Indigenous Ecotourism and Sustainable Development:
Interested in visiting Río Blanco? This community is actually one of several Quichua communities in Ecuador's Napo Province which have developed grassroots ecotourism projects. They have formed RINCANCIE, a network to coordinate their activities. RINCANCIE has an office in Tena, the provincial capital. Tourists have two options for visiting one of these communities:
Contact the RINCANCIE office, care of Tarquino Tapuy. The telephone number (in Ecuador) is (6) 886-614. The mailing address is: Bellavista Baja, Calle Atahualpa y 9 de Octubre 435, Casilla 243, Tena, Napo, ECUADOR. Spanish only. Reservations should be made well in advance, especially for larger groups.
Take a rainforest tour to Fundacion Jatun Sacha's biological field station, which is in the same area as Río Blanco. Most of these tours visit Río Blanco or another RINCANCIE community during their trip. In the U.S., contact Missouri Botanical Gardens, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299; telephone 314-577-5100. Ask about the Save the Rainforest tours. In Ecuador, contact Mike McComb, Casilla 17-12-867, Río Roca 1734, telephone/fax 593-2-441-592.
An excellent guide book to Napo is The Ecotourist's Guide to the Ecuadorian Amazon, recently published by Dr. Rolf Weshe, a geographer who has done considerable research in the area. It may be available at your local travel bookshop; otherwise:
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 613-236-3307, FAX 613-562-5800, ext 1040.
Contact the South American Explorers Club, 126 Indian Creek Road, Ithaca, NY 14850, Telephone 607-277-0488, US$25 members, $29 non-members plus shipping.
Or purchase it from the Adventurous Traveler Bookstore, US$29 plus shipping, P.O. Box 1468, Williston, VT 05495, telephone 800-282-3963, Fax 860-6667. In Ecuador, it is available at the South American Explorers Club and at CEPEIGE on the third floor of the Instituto Geografico Militar (IGM).