The jungle village of Tamshiyacu is located in the middle of the Peruvian rainforest on the banks of the Amazon – only accessible via the river.
For generations people have been living there from and with the jungle without destroying it on a large scale. They fish in the river, plant fruit and vegetables on small plots, keep a few chickens and pigs; it is enough for a very simple life.
Tamshi is the name of a liana, which was very popular in the past and was to be found abundantly in the vicinity of Tamshiyacu. It was used in house building and the production of everyday objects, but also as medicine. Today, people have to walk far to find tamshi, or other vital things – such as the palm leaves to cover the roofs.
The population of Tamshiyacu is about 8,000 people, many of them children and old people. There are several schools that you can visit until technical school. With the schools Tamshiyacu has a high population growth. Since 2012, more people are coming every day because of the earning opportunities offered by the deforestation.
Poor infrastructure, scarce earning opportunities are social limitations, absolute neglect in state support measures, limit the development opportunities of the people living there.
With little food being produced to sell there is hardly enough earned to send the children to school. After school, only expensive education remains in the city.
People are very willing to sell what they think they no longer need or what they think they have enough of. People find little or no support in their culture. The social structures have become fragile. Alcohol abuse, prostitution, family violence and sexual abuse, are increasingly coming to light.
So people are looking for ways to leave their paradise instead of creating their paradise.
Although these people want to leave paradise behind – better yesterday than today, we Westerners can learn a lot from these people.
People from all over the world have always traveled to the Amazone for the medicine, healing science and the shamanism. This has remained in its original power because of isolation from the rest of the world.
People from the Western world found loving, friendly people in Tamshiyacu, a magic that borders on the unbelievable and people who can live naked and unprotected with nature even under the most hostile conditions. Their closeness and relationship to the laws of the jungle makes this possible.
However, on the other hand, this makes social life for these people difficult.