Huaorani Ecolodge Renovated for Sustainability
Our partners in the Ecuadorian Amazon have recently completed some renovations to the Huaorani jungle lodge that are not only going to make your stay extremely enjoyable, but have also contributed to the stabilization of the ecologically threatened region and bring positive changes to the area.
Guests will be able to observe the sustainable manner in which recent renovations were accomplished. The dining room roof, for example, was reconstructed using durable materials that replaced the former thatched roof that had a short shelf life. The new roofs that will last for around 20 years were built with wood covered with a waterproofing material called Chova, a material made in Ecuador that is meant to repel moisture.
“Using Chova diminishes pressure on the forest by preluding the need to cut down palm trees from which thatch originates,” said Jascivan Carvalho, our partner in Ecuador. Previously the roof required using up to nine palm trees from two different species: Paja Toquilla (Carludovica palmata) and Ungurahua (Oenocarpus bataua).
Kitchen, staff dining and storage room roofs were replaced using a metallic fabrication called “duratecho” that also makes using palm fronds redundant.
Guests may now enjoy a new gift shop and book store and the assortment of handicrafts available that are used as decorative motifs in the dining room. Sufficient construction material was left over to build covers for trash cans in the kitchen. Other projects planned for late fall are refurbishing kitchen and dining room wood surfaces, replacing in-room mosquito nets in the cabins and sanding and varnishing tables and dining chairs.
The nearby Huaorani-operated Nenquepare Camp (included in all Huaorani Jungle Adventure packages) also received improvements: a new bathroom with two toilets, spacious showers and sinks overlooking the Shiripuno River. The local community of Nenquepare is involved in this development and will be trained to manage the site. The kitchen was upgraded with new ceramic walls and floor and in early winter a solar and refrigerator and solar energy for light will be installed. New walking paths also connect the dining room with cabins and bathrooms.
A popular feature, a nearby jungle waterfall, also has easier access thanks to stairway maintenance. A new bridge is being constructed over a creek that leads to a self-guided trail.
We are very excited about these new changes to the lodge and the Amazon. As Carvalho points out, the conservation/tourism partnership with the Huaorani has been positive. “The canopy is re-appearing over sections that were slashed and burned and along the rivers,” he notes. “The region is showing signs of regeneration with more sightings of giant river otter, jaguars, giant armadillos and the very rare short-eared dog.”
Add this or another jungle adventure on to any of our climbs or treks in Ecuador and experience life in the Amazon while helping to contributing to the conservation of this great region!