If you have seen us out and about lately, you’ve probably heard that we have teamed up with The Virabrations Project and Off the Mat Into the World in efforts to support indigenous and environmental rights in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Whew. That was a mouthful.
What it really means to us is a chance to support the country that so warmly hosts us and our groups each year in a struggle that is both pressing and international in scope. There are hundreds of articles describing the challenges and there’s just no way to summarize it all in one neat little package but I wanted to share some of the main points:
- Ecuador was the first country IN THE WORLD to grant constitutional rights to the environment. Wow.
- Indigenous populations in the Ecuadorian rainforest have been incredibly powerful over the past two decades, specifically in their efforts to encourage unprecedented unity amongst not only their own communities, but have inspired sweeping unity throughout the Andes and Coastal regions of Ecuador as well. This unity and passion is what led to the inclusion of nature’s constitutional rights and many other progressive, positive movements in the Ecuadorian government.
- “While drilling in the Ecuadorian Amazon from 1964 to 1990, Texaco – which merged with Chevron in 2001 – deliberately dumped more than 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater, spilled roughly 17 million gallons of crude oil, and left hazardous waste in hundreds of open pits dug out of the forest floor. To save money, Texaco chose to use environmental practices that were obsolete, did not meet industry standards, and were illegal in Ecuador and the United States.” -Chevron Toxico Campaign
- Chevron continues to fight against being held accountable. Their strategy seems to be to keep their competition in court long enough to exhaust the financial resources of those who support the rainforests & communities who call it their home.
- The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, made an unsuccessful plea to the international community to share responsibility in protecting the pristine areas of Ecuador’s rainforest from oil drilling. He promised that if we all could raise only HALF of what the oil is worth, he could & would prevent the drilling. Unfortunately, this plea came in the midst of economic collapses and hardships all over the world. The international community did not even come close to meeting the goal.
TO SUM IT ALL UP:
While communities in Ecuador have taken unprecedented strides to enact change, the government has included rights in the constitution for the environment, and there has been much hope, unfortunately Ecuador is still a developing nation and their greatest asset happens to be billions of gallons of oil tucked peacefully away beneath one of the most bio-diverse places on our planet.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Simply by being aware of these challenges, you are supporting positive change.
- Take a moment each day to take five deep breaths and know that one of every five breaths we take is thanks to the Amazon Rainforest.
- Know about the devastating effects of oil drilling and exploration…and be mindful of your oil consumption
- Share your knowledge with others. Don’t worry, you don’t have to know EVERYTHING about a situation to feel passionate about the cause. Just choose a couple of points that really pull your heartstrings and get to spreading the word.
- Grow your knowledge by visiting sites such as Amazon Watch
- Donate with us or to other organizations supporting the areas you’re most passionate about (for a list of who specifically we’re donating to, you can visit the Partners & Projects page on the Virabrations Project website)
THANKS for reading, for your caring spirit, your curiosity, and for the 5 minutes you just spent reading my ramblings! If you want more info, feel free to ask…we could talk about this all day.
Part of our challenge as a company guiding exclusively in Ecuador is that a surprising number of people have never heard of Ecuador. Until you say Galapagos Islands, many people don’t know much about this incredible country and surely know little of the mainland’s growing status as a vacation destination, let alone its potential for hosting a truly powerful wellness journey. There are a couple of things working in our favor to remedy this:Read more ›
Wondering what to pack for your yoga retreat in the Andes? When you’re ready to buckle down and get it done, check out this video and you’ll be finished in no time. If you take nothing else away from this video, the most important piece of advice I can give for anyone packing for South America is BRING LAYERS. The weather can change hourly here so be a comfy traveler and pack smart.
As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions. Happy Travels!
Feeling Tense and Stressed?
This is part three of our four part series sharing simple breathing and meditation techniques you can use anywhere & anytime to refocus your energies and bring your day back on track. This video focuses on Brahmari, a cooling breath that can also help release tension in your neck and shoulders.Read more ›
Getting around Ecuador from Quito is a very simple thing to do. Unfortunately there is not a lot of good information out there about how to do it and this can make a simple day trip a far more taxing ordeal then it need to be. In the following series of posts, I describe in detail how to get to various places in Ecuador, from Quito by bus.
As this is the first post in a series I am going to start at the beginning. You’re in Quito and you want to go somewhere outside the city. How do you do it?Read more ›
Need an energy boost?
This is part two of our four part series sharing simple breathing and meditation techniques you can use anywhere & anytime to refocus your energies and bring your day back on track. This video focuses on Kapalabahti, a warming breath, that can help with mental clarity and increasing energy as you warm your body.Read more ›
Here at Amazon – Andes – Sky we are always looking for way to improve our retreats. We are extreamly proud of our reputation for hosting the best yoga reatreats in Ecuador and we wish to maintain that reputation by continuing to improve our retreats and the experience for our friends and clients. Please take a minute to fill out the comment box below and let us know what you thought was the best part your last yoga retreat.
Greg and the AAS team.
Can you name this volcano?
This is Cotopaxi, the worlds highest active volcano. This picture was taken just outside of Ecuador’s Cotopaxi national park. The park offers several spectacular places to view the increadble power of nature and to truey appriciate our tiny part on this great big world.
Cotopaxi and the many volcanoes surrounding it is the perfect place to practice mindfulness as you are reminded of how big the world really is.
Many yoga retreats and yoga vacations concentrate on keeping you focused within. That kind of practice is good for the mind and soul. But when we go on a vacation we have given our limited time to some particular place. When you come to Ecuador you have not just chosen the particular you have chosen the spectacular.
Ecuador’s Cotopaxi national park is home to the world’s highest active volcano! Options for ways to interact with this gorgeous, surreal landscape in just one day include downhill mountain biking, hiking to the climbers refuge at 15,748ft or further still to the glacier’s edge, or a combo hike/bike. All day trips include round trip transportation from Quito, equipment, guide and lunch. We highly recommend that you spend a day or two acclimating in Quito before you take this trip to see how you adjust to the altitude (FYI, Quito is situated at 9,300ft).
You can can focus inwardly anywhere you wish all year. But we believe that during your yoga vacation you should not just retreat inward you should use your time to also expand outward.
Quito is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world who stop by on their way to the Galapagos Islands. While tourism in the Galapagos is extremely popular, Quito continues to be an unexpected surprise for many visitors. Quito is an historic city located in a lush Andean valley, the culture and vistas are not to be missed. But what to do in so little time? We have compiled a short list of must see day trips for the Quito quick visitor.Read more ›