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An Intercultural Deep Forest Wilderness Journey into the


to meet the AMAZANGA COMMUNITY and the
a UNESCO declared Endangered World Heritage Biosphere Reserve.

Sometime in June, 2007. Dates will be determined shortly
8 days / 7 nights

Next Journey to Secoya

Vistas of Sangay National Park from our camp

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With (sister and brother)
LADNA MILLER-WEISBERGER –- Applied Ecologist, Rainforest and Ocean Field Guide; Interpreter; and co-director of Grupo Osanimi’s ground-level rainforest conservation projects. She is also Guaria de Osa’s assistant International Liaison. Her skills encompass scuba diving, rainforest ecology, and photography and she is an avid practitioner of Capoeira. Ladna is an active member of Grupo Osanimi’s ground level rainforest conservation projects since 1995.

The night before journey begins, Ladna will show an Earth Film DVD Production Amazanga Kausai: The Llushin River Valley Conservation Project. You can purchase this fine documentary by contacting: james@asis.com and/or nicolapeel@hotmail.com - To see more of their cutting edge film work, visit www.earthfilms.org.

JONATHON S. MILLER-WEISBERGER -- Ethnobotanist, Conservation Biologist, Guide, Interpreter, Director of Grupo Osanimi/The Osa Foundation; founder and steward of Guaria de Osa Rainforest Ocean Discovery Centre on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica.

don RAFAEL SANTI -- Amazanga Community Chief, Rainforest and Cultural master, Architect, Artisan, Herbologist

doña LUCIA VARGAS -- Midwife, traditional Herbologist, Cultural Teacher, Community Matriarch

FLAVIO SANTI -- Director of the Wanduk Yachai Foundation, Cultural Advocate, Artisan, Musician, Master of Traditional Mythology

By participating your tuition helps raise funds to purchase priceless, mega- diverse, tropical rainforest directly bordering Sangay National Park. Your tuition also supports people working towards rainforest conservation and cultural heritage renewal and indigenous peoples’ communities who are making a difference at ground level!

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“Vividly inspiring is a great way to describe the journey!” — PETER BRYANT, Professor, Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine

"My journey to Amazanga stayed with me long after I left, and continues to live in me every day. Truly an amazing, altering experience!" — ANNE SHAW, Director, Brainard Writing Center, Carthage College

“Excited, delighted & honored to do this journey!” — PETER BOWLER, Professor, Director of Global Sustainability, University of California, Irvine

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• Experience a wilderness adventure off the ‘beaten path’

• Meet the Amazanga Community/”Spirit of the Forest”

• Be introduced to the Santi Family, a Kichwa/Shuar Indigenous Community
dedicated to making positive change towards Cultural Renewal and Rainforest Conservation

• Be part of a Rainforest Conservation Legacy expanding a biological mega-diverse Rainforest Refugia

• Have a unique adventure hiking into pristine wilderness rainforest

• Celebrate the sight of the sacred Llushin River and its crystal clear, pristine emerald waters in Sangay National Park

• Explore the Sangay National Park in the central Andes of Ecuador, the largest area of unaltered wild land in the country's eastern Cordilleras. It has outstanding natural beauty, two snow-capped active volcanoes and an entire range of ecosystems from the tropical rainforests of the Amazon basin to mountain glaciers. Its isolation has protected a great diversity of wildlife including indigenous species such as he mountain tapir and Andean condor.

• Bird – Watching: Some 400-500 bird species may be present, although comprehensive inventories have not yet been compiled.

• Visit distinguished elders and shamans

• Sit on a wooden turtle or anaconda carved bench


• Have direct experience learning from the plants themselves

• Challenge yourself with a traditional “plant diet” for wisdom and strength

• Learn forest ecology, tropical nature & indigenous worldview counting on its Origin mythology

• Befriend rainforest medicinal plants such as Uña de Gato, Sangre de Drago, Chuchuguasu and many others

• Engage in healing ceremonies for replenishment and well being

• Climb very tall old trees

• Soak in hot springs

• Engage in lots of laughter

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Sometime in June, 2007
Dates will be determined shortly


Day 0,
or earlier if you like
DAY 1 Leave Quito
Baños Hot Springs
Sleep in Baños at Rio Verde
DAY 2 Arrive into the Amazanga Community early afternoon
Introduction to Community
Sleep in the community
DAY 3 Amazanga learning about their way of life
Meeting the community
Drinking chicha
Visit their gardens
DAY 4 after breakfast hike to Llushin
cross Pastaza River to base camp
DAY 5 Hike to Llushin River visiting recently formed reserve and Grupo Osanimi’s purchase of properties and Purinatambu Reserve
DAY 6 Hike to other properties Grupo Osanimi purchased and visit saved Rainforests (saved by the purchase)
Sleep at base camp
DAY 7 return to Amazanga by noon
say our despedidas
DAY 8 hot springs at Baños
depart for Quito arriving by 5 pm
Day 9
or later, if you like


All participants must arrive into Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, on or before JULY 8, 2006. Your departure from Quito will be on or after JULY 17, 2006. Please Note: A journey to Secoya Territory is planned for JULY 20 – 29, if you’d like to attend this one as well, then your departure from Ecuador must be on or after July 29th.


Your arrival into Quito: Hotel reservations will be made for your first night. We offer an optional excursion to colonial Quito with knowledgeable local guides. Cost is $60/person; does not include meals. Visit 490year old churches painted in gold; walk through museums and forgotten side alleys of ‘Quito Viejo’ - old Quito, a UNESCO declared Patrimony of Humanity.

Evening: 6 pm dinner & group introduction. After dinner, a DVD Earth Films
production of the Llushin River Valley Conservation Project will be shown by Ladna Miller-Weisberger.

Please Note: Be prepared to hike 3 hours with your gear. Sentient Experientials is providing porter service (horses and/or staff) to assist you with your gear. This is not an arduous journey and the pace is nice and easy!


- We depart from Quito in the morning for a 6 hour ride in a private van through spectacular landscape of the high Andes, passing Cotopaxi, a nearly 20,000 ft high snow capped volcano while viewing other epic volcanoes on the way. After 4 hours we arrive to the town of Baños

Baños is a quaint town at the gateway to the jungle and is well known for its waterfalls and mineral rich healing thermal springs. Outside the town's church, known for its fascinating paintings of historical miracles that took place with the Virgin of the Holy Waters, one sees the priest blessing cars, busses, and passengers, as they are about to descend to the jungle. You might even see the priest pouring holy water into the buses radiators! After lunch, and having drunk some pure freshly squeezed sugar cane juice (a Baños tradition), we’ll soak for a while in hot springs replenished by a 200 ft. waterfall. This particular hot springs is at the base of Mount Tunguragua. Then, if time permits, we visit an incredible waterfall known as La Shamana (the Shamaness). We bathe in the waterfall to enjoy the mysterious vegetation and cliff faces

- We leave Baños driving through the cloud forest arriving, before nightfall, to the Amazanga Community, just south of the Amazonian jungle town of Puyo

- Introduction and reception by the Amazanga Community offering a cultural event and traditional music

- We sleep in our tents in a large traditional round house


- Sunrise Guayusa Tea and cleansing ceremonies

- Departure after breakfast to cross the Pastaza River and hike 3 hours to the Llushin River

- We set up our wilderness camp on a ridge overlooking a million or more acres of rainforest wilderness and the Sangay National Park with its unexplored rainforest foothills of the Hualcanga Urcu also known as the “eyebrows” of the Andes and home of Spectacled Bears, Olingo, Kinkaju, Deer, Puma, Peccaries and many kinds of birds, such as Amazon Parrots, Paradise Tangers and Currasows - all living in a mega-diverse tropical rainforest

- Experiencing unforgettable and breathtaking vistas seen near our camp

- After lunch we take an afternoon hike to the lakes

- Evening storytelling around the campfire


- Commemorate life and nature’s cycles with a sunrise Guayusa Tea ceremony and dream interpretation

- Begin our hike to the Llushin River and beyond

- Visit the sacred mouth of the Cuyuimi River, its pools and the mythological rocks

- Receive the healing energy of our pristine environment as jade green flowing waters cleanse every pore of our beings

- Picnic lunch; look for wild edibles; explore the ancient forest; and return to our campsite before nightfall

- Evenings: hold council with elders, our hosts, guides, professors and distinguished naturalists and learn about an Indigenous worldview, its original ways and instructions

As the fire flickers to the nocturnal sounds of the mighty forest luring us into Amazonian dreams


- We spend the morning learning from our guides and about dreams

- An old Jungle saying teaches, “We must have many dreams. We must ‘see’ everything.” Dream Interpretation continues with seeing that the forest gives the gifts of dreams

- We explore various aspects of the millenary rainforest culture and wisdom pertaining to plants and plant medicine and how this knowledge can be translated into everyday modern life

- We discuss issues pertaining to the Amazon, its plight, the path of knowledge and rainforest conservation alongside other pertinent themes within an indigenous worldview and how to re-orient our ways towards harmony and well-being

- Ethnobotany is explored as a tool for rainforest conservation, personal and planetary awakening

- After lunch we hike to the Swallows House and to a mysterious lake where the Santi family’s ancestors studied the spiritual science and pathways. This is where don Rafael Santi’s father, don Virgilio Yu acquired his spiritual powers to heal and help humanity through vigorous fasting

Some may want to hike back to the Llushin at 4 am to observe flocks of parrots feeding at sunrise on clay and mineral licks

DAY 5 & 6

- A full day of auspicious rainforest discovery

- We hike uphill, along ridges laden with many kinds of palms; visit the unprotected primary rainforest we are saving through acquisition

- We gather resin from the blessed Copal Tree and hike a good 8 hours along small footpaths that are rarely walked - footpaths that wind around trees and over many roots

- For those who prefer not to do this hike, you can stay at camp and learn traditional basket making or gather herbs with doña Lucia

- On this last night we hold council while the cool jungle night refreshes us

- For the intrepid adventurer we can do a nocturnal walk to the Swallows House, a cave where thousands of swallows sleep at night. The sounds are astonishing as the swallows fly around accommodating themselves for the evening


- After our daily sunrise tea ceremony and cleansing ritual, we enjoy our last morning with reflection & contemplation at the rainforest mountainside with doña Lucia, don Rafael and their family

- We go to the lookout view and admire the millions of acres of wilderness that extend into the high Andes and onto Mount Sangay

- We pack just after breakfast and return to cross the Pastaza River to the Amazanga Community Village

- After lunch and a closing circle to commemorate new friendships made and an epic adventure, we say our goodbyes (till the next time) and from here we return to Puyo to sleep in a small jungle hotel with a hot shower


- After breakfast we can visit the Fatima Wildlife Wildlife Refuge where we meet Tapirs face to face and many more rainforest animals

- If time permits, we can visit the Omere Ethnobotanical Garden

We return to Baños for lunch and a night time soak in the hot springs and then continue on to Quito

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- Land transportation from Quito back to Quito: round trip transportation from Quito to Baños to Amazanga to Llushin River crossing at Pastaza en route to the Llushin River and back to Quito

- Wilderness guides and translators

- Meals: We do our best to provide nourishing meals at our wilderness base camp. For example basic and natural meals with varied grains, tuna, rice, beans, lentils, lima beans, corn, yucca, plantain, barley; herbal guayusa tea, tamarindo drinks, and chicha; natural chocolate beverages; nuts and raisins. We suggest you bring trail mix, nuts and/or power energy bars for wilderness camping.

- Introduction to the Amazanga Community and their ancestral wilderness homelands

- Nature and discovery sojourns to enchanted waterfalls

- An experience with the jade green Llushin River and Mt. Sangay

- Cultural activities

- Ethnobotany

- Traditional medicine council and renewal ceremonies

- Rainforest wilderness trekking

- Explore traditional science and its approach to learning directly from the natural world

Space is limited to 12 travelers in good health that can take long deep forest hikes and live for several days in a traditional manner (without the modern conveniences and values of the techno- world). Physically, this is not an arduous journey.

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Please Note: Because Sentient Experientials channel funds toward ground-level rainforest conservation and cultural heritage projects via Grupo Osanimi, as well as, create an economic opportunity for the indigenous staff, guides and workers involved in the event, we are obliged to keep expenses low and maximize each dollar. Therefore, tuition does not include:

Airfare to and from Ecuador

Hotel in Quito or Baños (about $100 for 1 night in Quito and 1 night in Baños one way)

All Quito Expenses including meals, taxis, etc.

Taxi pick up and drop off at Mariscal International Airport (about $5 one way, depending on traffic)

Restaurant Meals en route to Amazanga & back to Quito

Personal snacks, purchases of arts and crafts, and other personal items

Required health-evacuation insurance

Ecuadorian exit airport tax US$31.60

Tipping is a kind thing to do and a consideration where services are extended. Thus, please give US$80/person (that comes to $10/person/day for a full 15 hour day service) to Ladna Miller-Weisberger - your guide and coordinator - who will distribute your collection to the jungle kitchen staff, guides, other team personnel assisting the journey, and the bus driver. Much appreciated.

Amazanga arts and crafts: at least $50 - $150

We suggest you bring at least US$500 to cover the above Ecuador expenses not included in the tuition. Because the Ecuadorian economy fluctuates, prices listed are not fixed.

If you can’t attend this journey yet would like to help purchase rainforest ancestral homelands in the name of the Amazanga Community, a rainforest conservation land acquisition project of Grupo Osanimi, please make your kind donation(s) payable to Living Bridges Foundation. Living Bridges Foundation is a US based 501(c)3 registered non-profit organization. Donors will receive Living Bridges Foundation’s tax-deductible number for your tax purposes.

Please make your donation check payable to: Living Bridges Foundation
In the memo of your check, write: Llushin Land Conservation Project
Mail to: Living Bridges Foundation
Attention: Donna Runnells
P.O. Box 667 Aptos, California 95001, US

Thank you for networking this event.

Sentient Experientials
Contact Person: Dahlia Esther Miller
Tel: (510) 235-4313 in California

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Please write your check for US$1700 tuition payable to:
Sentient Experientials

Alongside your check please mail the 4 documents
Download Registration Travel Documents
found at http://www.guariadeosa.com/fees/
(located to the right of the sunset foto)

Mail to:
Sentient Experientials
c/o Dahlia Miller
P.O. Box 1004, El Cerrito, California 94530, US

In the memo of your check please write:
Amazanga Journey, July 9 – 16, 2006

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1 photocopy of photo/info page in your passport

Health insurance-evacuation policy number

We suggest you bring only US Dollars in cash or traveler’s checks; when traveling in the jungle, bring cash

Note: Postal money orders or personal checks are not valid in Ecuador

Airlines permit passengers to check in 2 bags, weighing 70 lbs. each. In addition, 1 to 2 carry-on shoulder bags. Anything you wish to leave behind, you can give to your group leader who will donate to the families in need.

Sentient Experientials is providing porter service (horses and/or staff) to assist you with your gear.

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CLOTHES for Quito

Quito is cool in the evening so bring a jacket, a sweater and a pair of jeans or cotton pants, socks and/or tights, flannel or long-johns sleepwear, sandals and walking shoes. Average daytime temperature is in the 60's F (16 C); average night time temperature is in the low 50's F (10 C). It may rain.
Please note: Because of Quito's high-altitude and dry climate, we suggest you bring chapstick for your lips that may get dry.


Lightweight fabrics wash and dry easier in the rainforest; appropriate for chilly nights and daytime tropical jungle heat
No camouflage (military) patterns

• Bathing suit (respecting cultural sensitivities, no skinny dipping, please)

• Footwear:
Rubber boots or lightweight quick dry hiking boots; or knee-high rubber boots can be bought for about $30 for size 11 (43) or less; if you wear size 11 / 43 – please bring your own
Sandals: waterproof; not leather
Sneakers: an old pair (one that you may have in the back of your closet)

• One special outfit for special cultural events; refrain from dark colors, red, or busy, bright, tie-dyed designs; white and pastel colors are appropriate; women can bring a skirt and/or dress (rayon, quick-dry, lightweight)

• Pants: 2-3 pairs; long, loose, fast-drying, light-weight; rayon/cotton

• Rain Poncho: lightweight

• Shirts: 2 or 3 long sleeves; lightweight, cotton/rayon; sweat outfits and/or flannel for cool jungle evenings

• Shorts: 2-3 pairs; quick-dry, light-weight

• Skirts and/or dresses: rayon, quick-dry, light-weight

• Sleepwear: lightweight, thermal, flannel, long-johns, or sweats

• Socks: 3 to 5 pairs

• Sun/Rainhat: lightweight, foldable; visor, baseball cap or straw hat

• T-Shirts and/or tank tops: 3 to 5; lightweight


• Backpack or Duffel Bag

• Biodegradable toiletries: bath soap, natural toothpaste, dental floss, sanitary needs (washable sponges or washable pads are sold at health food stores), sunscreen, sunblock, natural shampoo and conditioner. We recommend Dr. Bronner's liquid all-purpose soap for everything-- teeth, body, hair, and clothes!

• Day Pack for diurnal and nocturnal rainforest trekking

• Camera and/or Polaroid with Film: Fuji color or Fuji chrome 200; Kodak Tmax 400 black and white work very well for forest shots

• Camera batteries - plus extras

• Citronella candles and soap - to distract visiting mosquitoes

• Dictionary/phrase book - bilingual (Spanish - your language)

• Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries

• Garbage plastic bags (4-6)

• Gomasio: a combination of sesame seeds and sea salt; effectively picks up one's energy during the heat of the day; can be purchased at a health food store or made at home

• Ground Tarp: 4 feet x 7 feet plastic for under your tent

• Hanging your hammock will need: 2 simple caribiners - cost about $5 each; and 20 feet of strap (or webbing)

• Journal and writing tool(s); art paper & drawing tools

• Mosquito net & mosquito repellent

• Pocket Knife

• Personal first aid

• Sleeping bag liner, light sleeping bag, or lightweight blanket. Wool/cotton blankets can be purchased in Ecuador for US$15 to $30

• Sleeping pad

• Stuff sacks

• Sunglasses

• Sunscreen

• Tarp: plastic; 10x12 or 16x20 (with grommets) and 50 feet of inexpensive nylon rope about 5 millimeters thick (to use as an extended roof off from your tent and/or a ground cover)

• Tent: lightweight, portable

• Toiletries: toothbrush, comb, hair brush

• Towels - 2

• Twine: one roll

• Water Bottle

• Ziplock bags - a variety of sizes to protect, just about everything from moisture


• Aromatic essential oils

• Bandannas or handkerchiefs (to replace paper tissues)

• Bed Sheet (to go with a blanket); not needed if you bring a light sleeping bag and/or a sleeping bag liner

• Binoculars

• Camp Chair (or a 'ThermaRest' attachment to your sleeping pad)

• Cigarette Lighters: 3 - 4, even if you don't smoke

• Clothesline: static, 20 ft., nylon

• Magnifying Glass: to amplify intricate details seen on hikes

• Map of the South American Star Sky chart; contact Audubon Society for their "Field Guide to the Sky"

• Mess kit (a camping set of plate, bowl, cup, and utensils)

• Musical Instruments: portable and small

• Pillow: 'Thermarest' pillows can be purchased at camping stores

• Sewing Kit

• Tape-recorder: pocket size with extra batteries, and blank tape cassettes

• Telescope: portable and small

• Trail mix and/or energy bars or nuts if you have high metabolism

• Thermos

• Tree Climbing gear: static rope, 200 ft, 10 mm thick, harness, ascenders, descenders, figure 8's, webbing and carabiners

• Umbrella: useful for sun and rain

• Water purification tablets or water filter

• White Sage smudge sticks

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Please Note: The transition to the jungle environment is not easy or immediate, even if you may be a well-seasoned traveler. We recommend that you prepare yourself ahead of time and bring some simple western and/or traditional remedies to assist your body in this change.


Although no shots are needed to enter Ecuador, the following is recommended by the American Medical Association:
- Tetanus and polio booster
- Hepatitis A - preventative or vaccine
- Typhoid - oral
- Yellow Fever Vaccination

The risk of getting malaria is very low in the area we will be staying. Mosquitoes are not that common at our location. Yet bring a good and environmentally-safe mosquito repellent.

Taking Larium - mefloquine, 250 mg - is also a preventive. If you want to sleep outside of your tent, you can buy mosquito netting in Ecuador (cost about $10). If you are especially sensitive to mosquitoes, consider wearing light long-sleeve clothing.

Malaria Prophylactics: Although there is a low occurrence of malaria in the region we travel to, we recommend that all participants take the following malaria prophylactic - Larium (mefloquine, 250 mg). One pill is taken one week before departure into the rainforest, then one pill for each week in the rainforest, and four pills for four following weeks. Drink with a full glass of water and food. Six Larium pills for 12 days in the jungle is sufficient. However, please consult your physician for proper dosage and indications.

Past Participants have told us they found complimentary remedies to Larium, such as, Lomatium, Olive Leaf Extract Avlocor, Paludrine. One recent participant recommends eating local honey ('local' meaning within a mile from your home) for health maintenance. Another suggestion is a homeopathic malaria prophylactic, in pill or liquid form, which you can order from BOIRON, Tel. (800) 876-0066.

Please Note: Larium is not advised for anyone with a history of mental health problems. For updated information on tropical diseases, contact The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. Telephone: (404) 332-4555

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Please Note: For your benefit, no matter how "seasoned" a traveler you are, we recommend that you prepare for this journey.

Past participants taking Nutri-biotic Grape Fruit Seed Capsules, Vitamin B12, Acidophilus, Goldenseal and Vitamin C report that these have assisted their health significantly.

Nutri-biotic Grape Fruit Seed Capsules, (not the tablets nor the liquid form) is designed to enhance your immune system; it contains Artemisia, an anti-malarial ingredient; available at most health food stores; please read instructions. Or, to order, contact Nutribiotic Company (707) 263-0411 to find out what location close to your home you can purchase. The Canadian broker is EcoTrend Products, Tel. (604) 876-0466.

Vitamin B12 - has the reputation of repelling mosquitoes

Acidophilus capsules - helps to digest new foods

Vitamin C - about 1,000 - 2,000 mg. daily

Goldenseal - a bitter herb that protects the body in new environments

A Note on the Local Micro-organisms
We guarantee quality food and juices in the spirit of health, hygiene and sanitary service throughout the journey. Nevertheless, it is important to be always prepared for any unforeseen occurrence, especially for those who have never traveled to South America. Although the region we will be visiting has a low disease occurrence, by just traveling into a new environment, we will expose ourselves to new micro-organisms. For those participants who eat healthy foods on a daily basis, your body will act differently in the Amazon in contrast to how it works at home. However, on our past journeys we are proud to say that we have had no major illness and only minor and temporary discomforts.

We have a first aid kit for the group with homeopathic remedies and some allopathic first aid. However, the following is a suggestion of additional items that may be useful for you to consider bringing. These can be purchased at most health foods stores around the world and/or at a wilderness camping store.

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Mosquito Repellents - "Jungle Juice" or any natural alternative;
Avon Skin-So-Soft is an effective 'folk medicine' for repelling mosquitoes; to prevent itching, ask for a lemon in the jungle kitchen and rub the affected area

- Personal medications, if any

- Aloe Vera Gel - for sensitive skin; good to rub on after a sunny day

- Aconite - a homeopathic remedy - excellent for onset of any physical upset; internal tablets

- Arnica - a homeopathic remedy - for bruises, sprains, reduces swelling; internal tablets and/or external ointment

- Band-aids and moleskins

- Blue Green Algae - as a nutritional supplement

- Calendula - a homeopathic remedy - ointment for minor wounds and mosquito bites

- Cranberry capsules - for kidney maintenance

- Echinachea-Goldenseal tincture or gelatin capsules - excellent for general immune system and or infections

- General Vitamins with minerals as a dietary, daily supplement

- Milk Thistle capsules - for liver maintenance

- Rescue Remedy - a Bach Flower remedy for sensitive travelers; internal

- Tea Tree Oil - a natural topical antiseptic

- Vitamin C - 500 mgs. - preferably chewable

- Vitamin E - for internal or external use for your skin

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The more you prime yourself with background, the more you will receive from this experience in the jungle. Knowing some elementary conversation in Spanish may be helpful. Moreover, despite your own travel experience(s), we hope you come with a "beginner's mind." The following preparation list is a priority as we see it.

• Continue your personal development
• Have elementary swimming skills
• Know elementary conversational Spanish
• Maintain a physical fitness program

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Amazanga Kausai: The Llushin River Valley Conservation Project, an Earth Films DVD production. To purchase this fine documentary contact: james@asis.com and/or nicolapeel@hotmail.com. To see more of their cutting edge film work, visit www.earthfilms.org.

Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (Unabridged Audio Edition/New Dimensions Radio Presentation) by Paul Ehrlich, Gary Snyder, Joanna Macy, Fritjof Capra, David Suzuki, George Sessions, Winona LaDuke, Bill Devall, Jerry Mander, Edward O. Wilson, Dave Foreman, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Theodore Roszak, Stephanie Mills, Edward Abbey, et al. Arne Naess (Author)

Ethnobotany: Evolution of a Discipline, Richard Evans Schultes and
Siri von Reis

Neotropical Rainforest Mammals, Louise H. Emmons

One River, Wade Davis

Running the Amazon, Joe Kane

Savages. Joe Kane

Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing, Michael Taussig

The Cosmic Serpent, DNA and the Origins of Knowledge, Jeremy Narby

The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World, David Abram

The Three Halves of Ino Moxo, Teachings of the Wizard of the Upper Amazon, César Calvo, translated from original Spanish by Kenneth A. Symington

The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems, Fritjof Capra

The Yajé Letters, Allan Ginsberg and William Burroughs

Tropical Nature: Life and Death in the Rain Forests of Central and South America, Adrian Forsyth & Kenneth Miyata

World as Lover, World as Self, Joanna Macy

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This journey is intended to raise funds to re-claim Rainforest and Cultural Preservation in the name of the Amazanga Kicshuar Llushin River Community, under a perpetual land trust which declares the land intangible to exploitation of any kind.

Protecting the Rainforests through land acquisition is a fundamental part of Grupo Osanimi's conservation ethnobotanical strategy. Working with Indigenous communities, local government, schools, and private landowners, Group Osanimi in Ecuador acquires land to create national parks that serve as buffer zones around existing protected areas and ethnobotanical gardens.

One such project is with the Amazanga Community, a group of ‘Puyuc Runa “Cloud People’” who speak the Kichwa language, living in the outskirts of the jungle town of Puyo in the Amazonian Province of Pastaza. A vibrant people, they are relentless and self-determined in their struggle to protect their forest home and the ancestral traditions of their people. Their cherished belief is in the “‘Sumac Causai’” and “‘Suma Allpa’” - the beautiful and healthy life in the beautiful and healthy land.

The Amazanga Community is a strong traditional family of mixed Kichwa and Shuar ancestry. They are dedicated to Rainforest conservation and the renaissance of their cultural heritage as they struggle tooth and nail against the oil companies. The community has purchased plots of ancestral primary Rainforest homelands and established their Foundation, Yachai Huanduc, dedicated to the preservation of the area and the strengthening of Indigenous Peoples' traditional values. Translated to English, Yachai Huanduc means ‘Wisdom of the Sacred Leaf.”

This honorable, ethical, and committed community has several innovative projects in motion. They are growing native palms as a source of leaf thatch to rescue traditional architecture; they hold seminars among the elders and youth at the universities and schools in Puyo and Quito on Indian Culture and the issues they face to strengthen and keep alive their traditional cultural ways.

Group Osanimi has worked continuously to assist the Amazanga Llushin River Community to raise monies to directly protect unique Rainforest wilderness in the headwater country of the Llushin River bordering the Sangay National Park in Pastaza Province of Amazonian Ecuador.

The land is called Llushin. It is the ancestral grounds of Virgilio Santi Yu, the community's grandfather shaman who passed on in his late 80's back in 1983. Flavio Santi (community leader, activist, organizer, artist, traditional architect) while investigating his family tree discovered that to be a shaman his grandfather Don Virgilio fasted for years at these sacred lakes at the base of Mount Sangay. While visiting the area Flavio learned it was owned by a colonist who complained that his chickens were always sick and losing their feathers. Flavio explained that these were sacred lakes and the area was not suitable for homesteading. The colonist offered to sell the land to Flavio.

Group Osanimi assisted in the purchase of this first 50 hectares (31 acres) of 95% primary forest with two lakes - a blackwater and a whitewater - in the name of the Amazanga Community. This was in 1996 for the equivalent of US$4000. Since then, with the cost of land going up, we – Grupo Osanimi in synergy with Living Bridges Foundation and Tropical Rainforest Coalition - have channeled funds to acquire a total of 775 acres surrounding the Llushin River Valley. The area is full of salt licks where birds abound. The forest, at the base of the Andes, is exquisite, radiant, superbly teeming with huge trees and ephiphytes, orchids, lychopodium, cyclanthaceae, bromeliaceae, rich with a variety of rare palms, and tropical wildlife abounds!

Your participation in this 2006 journey – or your donation if you cannot attend - will help buy the next parcel of Primary Forest in the name of the Kicshuar Community of Amazanga (currently owned by colonists).

We invite you to join us to visit the Amazanga Community, the Llushin River, and the Sangay National Park. The reserve we hope to acquire will be a forest sanctuary and used for Nature walks, a site for traditional knowledge transmission and Indigenous spirituality. The area is 75% covered in pre-mountain primary Rainforest from approximately 600 — 1,000 meters elevation above sea level. The area is home to a wide array of wildlife and endangered species. Tapirs, parrots of many kinds, military macaws, kinkajous, olingos, and even puma and jaguar make the area their home. Because these forests are at the base of the Andes, they are wetter than lowland forest and are teeming, from the base of the trees to the branches, with epiphetical growth of all kinds. Orchids and many other species of canopy plants prevail. The area is also extremely diverse in beetles and there are many species of endemic frogs as well.

Grupo Osanimi considers this project necessary for direct cultural and biological diversity protection and is committed in solidarity with the Amazanga Community to assist then in purchasing and, thus, re-claiming their custodianship of lost parts of their ancestral homelands. To raise funds is a challenge in and of it’s self. To protect the rainforest long term at ground level is an even greater and more involved challenge. We can help raise funds and bring groups to visit and learn — yet, at the end of the day, the hard work is in the hands of the Amazanga Community at ground level.

Rainforest conservation takes constant vigilance. Ultimately it must be the awakened Indigenous people themselves who will protect the rainforest. The Amazanga Community has taken on this mission with more than 15 years of dedicated service among the Kichwa People of the Pastaza Province in the fields of rainforest conservation, cultural renewal and strengthening.

An alliance has been formed between the Amazanga Community, and since 1999, with their legal foundation Wanduk Yachai - Knowledge of the Spirit of Past, Present and Future - Group Osanimi, Living Bridges Foundation, and Tropical Rainforest Alliance are working towards the everlasting existence of the mighty forest.

The rainforest, at the base of the Andes, are refugia zones where the forest survived the ice ages, where climate conditions allowed the forest to survive. Now we are faced with another climatic condition — that of humanity’s intelligent hearts, willing to serve and pro-actively love the Earth and all her creations — the Rainforest and her multitude of species. Such a shift will allow for the Rainforest to live on.

So come and join us for a peak experience with fun and adventure to the mighty rainforest at the base of the Andes, where the Llushin River runs jade green, like no river you’ve ever seen! A week is like an eternity for the memories brought back will always remain.

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Sentient Experientials Registration Administrator in California
Dahlia K. Miller - Tel: (510) 235-4313

In Ecuador: Ladna Miller-Weisberger
Cell: (011-593-9) 832-3793

(Ladna is currently in the field; will be available shortly before the journey)

Thank you for networking this event.

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Amazanga Photo Gallery

Click here for a photo gallery of the Amazanga community.

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