One week ago, the community of Tena, Ecuador, hosted the second annual Jondachi Fest, a not-for-profit, volunteer-driven celebration of the free-flowing Jondachi River. Anyone who’s paddled in Ecuador is well aware of the unique abundance of magical whitewater. (And if you haven’t yet made it to Ecuador to kayak, there’s no better time than right now to make it happen.) The Jondachi is one of the last remaining free-flowing tributaries to the Ecuadorian Amazon, and it is currently threatened by two poorly-conceived hydroelectric projects. It is also one of the most spectacular rivers a kayaker could ever hope to experience.
Jondachi Fest brings together international and local paddlers, community members, and decision makers to celebrate the healthy, intact Jondachi River corridor as a viable economic, cultural, and ecological resource. We are heartened and encouraged by the outpouring of support for this effort to keep the Jondachi flowing freely, without dams and without further degradation.
Small World Adventures has deep roots in Ecuador. With each year that passes, and with each new generation of managers, guides, and staff, SWA furthers its legacy of leading superlative kayaking trips for international visitors throughout this country. Traveling abroad to kayak is a powerful expression of grass-roots diplomacy. As paddlers far from our own homes, we have the opportunity to cultivate meaningful human relationships, to learn about the myriad factors that affect river conservation on a global scale, and to truly listen to the stories that other places, cultures, and rivers have to tell. Small World Adventures facilitates this learning, this listening, these profound and unique experiences abroad.
Small World Adventures was Jondachi Fest 2016’s title sponsor. From financial backing for the event infrastructure, to generous support for event organizers, to crucial on-river safety for the Upper Jondachi Race, SWA’s support of Jondachi Fest was unparalleled. We are grateful for it all, and we hope that Jondachi Fest might play a part in allowing Small World guests to enjoy the free-flowing Jondachi River for years to come.
Thank you, Small World, for all you do to share Ecuador’s rivers with the world, and for supporting Jondachi Fest.
Que vivan los rios libres.
Communications Director, Ecuadorian Rivers Institute
Co-Organizer, Jondachi Fest