After landing in Quito I went straight to the bus terminal to catch a 9-hours coach to Coca. From there I was planning to go by boat to Iquitos, Peru’ but I had to abandon the idea because of the current lack of…boats.
This is a town that developed in recent years over the nearby oil plants and the relative business. The water is a Coca Cola product and the coffee is instant Nescafe’.
I’ve hired a local guide for one day, Numa – meaning shaman – who was born and raised in a nearby wooden house in the jungle, when Coca wasn’t there yet. He used to work as an architect but now he does only social and touristic work.
I wasn’t interested in caiman watching or piraña fishing so I asked him to take me to meet the communities that live in the jungle. We eventually got stuck cause of a never ending storm but we still managed to visit a few houses and a school near the riverside. Some less fortunate kids are left alone all day at home while their parents are at work.
I can tell Numa loves the river, the selva “preciosa” and its people. His voice deems when he talks about the “petroleros” and their exploitation of the area.

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