Alma & Gaia in action
Immersion in the Amazon Rainforest with the Pachamama Alliance
by Muriel Bauer, Feb 2020
‘An endless field of broccoli’
This is the first thought that enters my mind as I am flying in a tiny plane over the Ecuadorian part of the Amazonian rainforest. I am on a two-week trip with a charity called the Pachamama Alliance, and will be visiting the Sapara and Achuar indigenous communities.
Our group made up of about 20 people from all over the world is united by a common goal: the preservation of this pristine natural wonder. As days unfold, we succumb to the beauty and mystery of the rainforest and its incredible inhabitants.
I have been on many amazing adventures before but this one is different: it is a journey into a deeper relationship with myself and the Pachamama (mother Earth).
After a few days in the forest, my senses are in turmoil: I start to see, hear, smell and feel more vividly. As I spend time meditating and soaking up the environment, visions and dreams show their faces and my consciousness expands. Stripped bare from all links with my modern life, I turn inwards and have access to deeper layers of my inner self.
Learning about the Achuar cosmovision
Here, dream interpretation is an integral part of life, in the same way that we might use a GPS to find directions. Everything that surrounds us (trees, animals, the water, the earth, the sun) is Spirit and as such, demands the deepest respect. In every community, we are welcomed by powerful shamans who share their ancient wisdom and provide spiritual cleansing at night. Listening to local men and women, we are struck by an almost visceral realisation that we all belong to this interconnected web of life.
The largest pharmacy in the world
Following the Sapara Chief Manari through the dense forest is a lesson in ecology, bio-diversity, and humility. This calm and grounded man can describe the medicinal virtue and function of each tree, plant, bark and leaf in the forest. Listening avidly to his teachings, we understand we are standing in the largest and most potent pharmacy of the planet and feel the urgency of conserving this magical place.
Trekking for hours through the forest is indeed magical. Breathing the incredible pure air, bathing in pristine water, listening to the myriads of birds at dawn is like a long-lost luxury. I have deepened my conviction that healing our soul and healing our planet are deeply interconnected. I feel immensely grateful for the incredible warmth of all the people I met on this journey, and remain in awe of the majestic beauty of the rainforest. The spiritual insights I picked up will stay with me as I come back to my urban life with a renewed sense of purpose and responsibility.
Why is this trip important?
This trip is a heartfelt plea to protect the Amazon forest, and by extension, the areas of our planet that are still pristine and undamaged. The Indigenous Tribes live in complete symbiosis with the fauna and flora. If this fragile ecosystem is ever even slightly disturbed, their very survival will be compromised. The aim is to create a massive protected area, free from oil mining, logging, mineral extraction and contamination.
Almagaia and the Pachamama Alliance
The Almagaia company has been supporting the Pachamama Alliance for years, and we invite you to look at their mission and projects. As an eco-therapist, nature lover and founder of Almagaia, Muriel has had the privilege of staying with some indigenous communities and experiencing the healing properties of the Amazon forest.
Since 1995, the Pachamama Alliance has worked with indigenous partners in Ecuador to stand for the rights of indigenous people and Nature, safeguarding the rainforest and working in the industrialised world to challenge the culture of overconsumption that threatens their Amazonian home. The Pachamama Alliance has launched a campaign calling for the protection of the Sacred Headwaters (the rainforest part of Ecuador and northern Peru) and a complete ban on all industrial extractive activities and logging.