The area that I’m in is pretty touristic. A lot of travelers from around South America and the world come here to see the jungle, play with the monkeys, take selfies with the indigenous and eat ayahuasca… Which is cool, but as always, whenever things get too popular, the spirit disappears.
I caught a canoe down the river to check out the indigenous community of Moyuna, but after a quick look around I walked away disappointed… It’s not really an Indigenous community, it's more of a suburb of Misahulli that has become part of the tourist circuit.
A soon as you step out of the canoe you'll meet an indigenous woman wearing a palm leaf skirt, coconut top with some paint on her face, and for a dollar per picture you can prove to your friends that you met a real Indian (the same real Indian woman I saw selling rip-off Nike shoes in town the day before).
Next you can some pay more money to watch Indian kids spin around and wave their arms in the air to the sound of a cow skin drum and experience the traditional dance of the bullshit people.
If you’re feeling really adventurous you can explore the zoo which, I dunno, probably has a couple of nice birds in a cage and a dude standing there with a domesticated python over his shoulder… I dunno because I didn’t go in there. I was too busy shaking my head watching the tour group walking around buying into the display village like it was a traditional experience.
Oh and for 5 bucks you can buy a jug of Ayahuasca off a 24-year-old drug dealer and go ‘ find enlightenment’ (or lose ya shit) in the forest… no one cares… as long as you hand over that silver.
A little bit sad really. I went to the community hoping to find some wise old man or at least some information about building balsa rafts, but unfortunately, any real wisdom that place had left years ago, forced out by the growing tourism industry. If I’m going to find that wise old man and the true spirit of the Amazon, I’m going to have to go deeper onto the jungle, well past the gringo circuit, where tourism hasn't yet spoilt...