How a trip to the Amazon Rainforest changed my life

The Amazon Rainforest, home to the largest number of animal species in the world, covering vast areas in Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and Bolivia. The Amazon is home to communities of indigenous families, who have lived in the Amazon for thousands of years, making the most of what they have.

My trip to the Amazon was a revealing one. Coming from England, where we have a defined lower class, middle and upper class, to visiting third world countries. Third world countries such as Brazil, Colombia and Peru have mainly two classes, the lower class and upper class, with a divide present in-between. Making it eye opening to see how communities live in the Amazon.

I visited a Colombian community called Valencia, which is home to 20 families. They live happily and are content with their lives; they play football, talk to each other and grow their own fruits, crops and plants. These families survive with no running water, windows or electricity. The Colombian Government had supplied the community with big buckets to catch rain water and plates and cups among other necessities. Many of the families in the communities had gas generators to give them electricity periodically and the family I stayed with had a television (I had never thought about a television being used to gain knowledge, and find out things about different places, until that point).

I never knew that people lived in this way, it was eye opening. It was amazing to discover how people live in different places and how much people live without and what we don’t need. It was interesting to see how easily people have adapted to their surroundings and it made me realise how lucky I have been to have travelled as much of the world as I have done. Some people have never ventured out of their communities and it’s a completely different world in the rainforest, but one without which we wouldn’t have some of the things we take for granted.

The Amazon is vast and covers large areas of Colombia, Brazil and Peru. On my flight back from Leticia to Bogota, we flew over the rainforest, we continued to fly over the rainforest for at least an hour of our 2 hour journey. Looking down out of the window I couldn’t help but wonder, what was down there, if I had visited communities by the river still living how they once did, how many more communities was there down there. The communities I visited were known and slightly developed due to the fact they established themselves on the Amazon River, if they had of chosen another river would they have ever been discovered?

How many more communities and people are out there living in Colombia, Brazil and Peru that have never seen the world, never know anything outside of where they live. Never met anyone outside of their communities, never known or seen things we take for granted. It’s crazy to wonder, everyone looks up at the same moon, but everyone lives and sees things differently. The world is full of billions of people, each living life a little differently, each seeing things differently and thinking differently.

It’s something to think about, travelling has taught me to be grateful for the things I have and never take anything for granted, because there are people in the world who would give anything to have what you do.

 


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