Existing Member?

Pure Peru

The oxbow lake of Yarina Cocha is only a few miles from Pucallpa (referred to by author Tom Robbins as the

PERU | Friday, 11 January 2013 | Views [1154] | View Smaller Image

The oxbow lake of Yarina Cocha is only a few miles from Pucallpa (referred to by author Tom Robbins as the "dead dog capital of the world"), a city rapidly expanding into the surrounding rainforest. The lake is in stark contrast to the nearby city, which is polluted, full of traffic and brutish concrete. As these cities continue to expand, the forest is pushed back. Illegal logging clears the space for grazing cattle, and soon all that is left are rolling green hills - a seemingly idyllic scene, but in fact a devastation of the treasure trove of biodiversity that was to be found in the original forest. Likewise, as urban centers attract more peasants from the surrounding landscape, cultures become homogenized and pasteurized as traditional ways are lost. One of these cultures is the Shipibo: a tribe famed for it's art and music. The Shipibo also use Ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic brew, as a foundational aspect of many rituals and rites of passage. This has long made them of interest to anthropologists and ethnobotanists interested in the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of such plant medicines. It has also made them the targets of missionaries - so much so that the nearby village of San Francisco has 7 churches, all competing for fewer than 1000 locals. The Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), Wycliffe Bible Translators, and similar evangelical groups have long been active in the amazon basin, some with contracts from the Ministry of Education to educate the numerous tribes, such as the Shipibo, and to translate correct texts for several groups. This has made them extremely unpopular with nationalists, and many attempts have been made to force the organization out of Peru as the primary source for funding and volunteers for a majority of the evangelical movements emanates largely from the United States. In this photo, taken in the middle of the summer, the lake is at it's lowest level. Within weeks, as the moisture driven down from the Andes condenses into clouds, Yarina Cocha will swell and the water level will rise by some 5-15 meters, flooding access roads and some homes. Though extremely rare, river dolphins have been heard by local residents, sometimes spotted in the shallows near their flooded homes. - further essays here: http://journals.worldnomads.com/loverock/story/96736/Peru/Motivations-and-Seredipity

Tags: lake, oxbow, yarina, cocha, deforestation, water, pollution, pucallpa


< previous
5 of 5
Return to photo gallery >>

Add your comments

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image.
Comments identified as spam will be deleted.