The indigenous of the village of Nazareth, off Colombia’s Amazon River, have banned tourists. Under Colombian law, they are allowed to regulate access to their community.
Last year 35,000 tourists came to the Colombian Amazon, a peninsula sandwiched between Brazil and Peru, to admire the flora, the fauna and the monkeys, and to swim with rare pink dolphins. But the indigenous never saw much of the benefits, and they complain it was the travel agencies who made the big money. Instead, tourists contaminated their water and left behind rubbish. They also do not like the tourists’ intrusive questions about their culture, which seem like an attempt to gain sacred knowledge.
Eighty percent of the indigenous of the Amazon are Ticuna indians, and sadly, the United Nations estimates there are only around 30,000 remaining Ticuna people.