Living in Iquitos, surrounded by rain forest, wildlife and multi-cultural indigenous ethnic groups makes me feel how great a blessing the opportunity to experience this is.
To be able to see animals still in their natural habitat, to learn from the natives how to make the handicrafts, their legends, culture and tradition is more than I ever wish from the rain forest.
Many of us come through without knowing that our presence could have a positive or negative impact on nature direct or indirectly. It has a lot to do with the way that the chance to hold animals, birds etc is sold to people.
A large part of the wildlife trade in Iquitos is supported by the attractions (jungle lodges, animal “sanctuary” and rescue centers and even healing retreat centers) that are buying animals on a regular basis to show to the tourists for cuddling, petting, photos, etc.
We have to start practicing Responsible tourism as seller and try to educate/ inform the visitors regarding the reality of our city and region.
- Responsible Tourism is about the legacy and the consequences of tourism – for the environment, local people and local economies.
- Responsible Tourism does not only take place in protected natural environments – Any tourism business, whether located in a thriving metropolis, a desert, rural village, sub-tropical island, medieval town – can be a Responsible Tourism operation.
So on a daily basis our visit can be responsible, we don’t have to try a endangered species like paiche or caiman or a wild animal. Just imagine if every tourist wants to try, how many animals will die so we can TRY it.
Avoid taking picture holding animals, tell your guide you don’t want to capture anything, but yes you want to learn as much is a possible, you will be helping the wildlife, the guide will be forced to learn more and your tour will have better quality.