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Yasuni native customs on display at Quito University exhibition

Yasuni native customs on display at Quito University exhibition

The curators of this exhibition say their aim is to educate the public about the Yasuni National Park; Where it is, what it is, who lives there and how they live. Alfredo Cárdenas

Source :
Quito. From dusk to dawn in the jungle, the treetop orchids, the jaguar, the smiles of natives, the birdsong and the humming of insects. All these wonders can be seen and heard in the Centro Cultural on the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Quito (PUCE) campus in the Ecuadorian capital.

Speakers inside the space reproduce these authentic noises while visitors may enjoy the images of Yasuni park nature and the native customs of its inhabitants.

The project was started by five nature photographers from the PUCE’s School of Biological Sciences. Esteban Baus, Rubén Jarrín, Megan Westervelt, Jorge Castillo and Lucas Bustamante captured multiple aspects of the biosphere reserve with their cameras.

The exhibition and its 400 plus images opens today in the PUCE Centro Cultural. The biologists say that the journey from Quito to the Yasuni reserve involves a fifteen-hour road trip followed by a thirty-minute boat ride down the river. They add that the project took ten months to develop.

Las formas de vida de las familias nativas y de sus nuevas generaciones están en la obra. Alfredo Cárdenas

It exhibits the lifestyle of native families and their new generations. Alfredo Cárdenas

In order to photograph families and other elements of Huaorani and Kichwa life, the photographers spent four days and nights in their communities according to Esteban Baus, exhibition director and photographer.

That is why they were able to capture their typical housing, their craft and customs, their food and also their struggle to remain a native community, he says.

“The aim of this exhibition is that those who visit Quito may admire the richness of the Yasuni National Park given that few have the privilege to visit the area. It is a long journey and they rarely have the means to do so”, Baus explains.

On a postcard you can see, for example, a Huaorani huntsman knitting barefoot and half naked beside his grandson who is clothed, with shoes on his feet like the children from in towns and cities. This reflects the desire of those who wish to preserve their culture but also to coexist with new generations and their separate influences.

To produce this exhibition, the photographers visited the communities of Guiyero, Timpoka, Ganketapare and Añangu and Pompeya, where the PUCE Yasuni research station is located and where one oil company is operating.

The exhibition will be on display until the 28th of next February. It is open Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 19:00 and on Saturdays from 10:00 to 17:00. Entrance is free. (F)

© - translated by felix Charnley / original article

Date : 06/02/2015