Comunidad Nativa Palma Real

The Amazon rainforest as well as being famous as “The Lung of the Earth” is also famous for the larger presence of native indigenous communities. These communities have always lived isolated in close contact with nature for generations, accustomed to seek out food, medicines and building materials directly from the environment in which they live. The unstoppable rise of globalization and technology has drastically changed their needs, their expectations and consequently their way of life. Located in the Tambopata Reserve, on the border between Perù and Bolivia, the native community “Palma Real” is one of the clearest examples of this change. This indigenous community, in recent years coming into contact with the civilized world, has entered a transitional phase that is modifying its usual lifestyle. Palma Real is formed by around 300 people living on the banks of the Madre de Dios river, which is the only way of communication with the civilized world, represented by the city of Puerto Maldonado at 6 hours of canoeing. Some members of the Community travels weekly to Puerto Maldonado in order to buy goods that they cannot find in nature, such as technological devices, clothes and industrial products. Due to the need to earn money to buy these goods, the community enter the national market with the sale of their handicraft products and in the local market with the sale of herbs and fish. Despite all this, Palma Real is one of the rare communities that during this phase of transition has preserved its traditions and its native language, the Ese-Eja, limiting also the environmental impact that civilization can bring. Their houses are still built of wood and palm leaves, except for some rare cases where is possible to find concrete floor. The electricity is derived from small solar panels outside their houses and not by generators which would cause environmental and acoustic pollution, putting in danger the local flora and fauna. Medicines are still derived from plants and trees in the jungle. Even if Palma Real has come into contact with the civilized world, remains an authentic indigenous community that will continue to pass on its ancestral traditions to the new generations, keeping alive its history.