December 8, 2023

What comes to mind when you think of the Amazon Rainforest? Is it untouched, pristine nature teeming with exotic plants and animals? While you may think of a wilderness unaffected by human interference, this perception is false. For over 13,000 years, the Amazon rainforest has been intentionally cultivated by indigenous people, yet their stories and cultural impact have long been erased by history. Wayusada is bringing its ecological legacy back to light.

Wayusada is helping change the perception of the rainforest by educating individuals on the impact of humans and culture on the Amazon. The website serves as a guide that merges ethno and eco-tourism. The client, Dr. Fausto Sarmiento, professor of mountain science at the University of Georgia, received funding for the project through a National Science Foundation grant. Wayusada’s digital platform goes beyond traditional scientific research to educate tourists and provide a hub of knowledge that corrects misconceptions about the rainforest. Its promotion through the Napo Cultural and Wildlife Center in Ecuador is the connection to tourists and locals.

Wayusada’s website displays myths that stem from cultural traditions in the Amazon. These myths provide insight into how humans have interacted with the rainforest. The website is intended to not just serve tourists visiting Ecuador, but as a broader resource for the local community and those with an interest in the rainforest to learn about its history. Understanding past human influence is a crucial step in advocating for the Amazon’s preservation. Wayusada is championing this understanding by educating on the intersection of nature and culture in the Amazon rainforest.