Human Nature values our personal relationships with the the communities and organizations with whom we work, and we are passionate about giving our travelers the opportunities to create their own relationships across cultures. This is a vital part of our mission, but also a delicate one. We are very conscious of our impact within communities and the effect of globalization on the indigenous people we visit. While we encourage cultural exchange, we by no means want to “whitewash” the communities we visit, and we certainly don’t ever want to exploit them. We have designed our expeditions to maximize value for the local communities, and to encourage learning and respect for their cultures, languages, and traditions. We promote authentic interaction with communities, not just photo opportunities.
Partner Communities and Organizations:
Trees, Water & People
At Trees, Water & People, the mission is to improve lives by helping communities to protect, conserve, and manage their natural resources. They work with local rural communities to help them adapt to climate change while also improving their livelihoods. Their conservation projects throughout Latin America and the U.S. Tribal Lands are built with one question in mind: How can we improve the environment while creating economic opportunity for local people?
TWP Tours balances cross-cultural exchange with adventure to provide socially conscious travelers an opportunity to Travel With Purpose. By visiting partners and projects of our sister organization, Trees, Water & People, travelers with TWP Tours get a safe, rich, and unfiltered introduction to community life in locations throughout the Americas.
Sinchi Warmi Community in Ecuador
Sinchi Warmi is a woman-led community of Amazonian Kichwa people. “Sinchi Warmi” means “Strong Women” in the Kichwa language, and in this amazing, close-knit community, women are not just respected, they are the bosses. They are dedicated to sustainable development and sharing their traditional way of life with travelers who come to stay with them. They have a cocoa farm where visitors can help make their own chocolate. Sinchi Warmi is a fascinating balance of managing volunteer tourism with their ancestral way of life in the Amazon Basin.
The Shino Pi Bolon Cultural Center
The Tsachila of Santo Domingo, also known as “los Colorados”, are a vibrant and distinct indigenous group in Ecuador. Santo Domingo is nestled in the tropics between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Coast and is their ancestral homeland. The men are easily recognizable, as they have a uniform hairstyle that is shaved on the sides and back and then slicked forward on top and painted bright red with achiote seeds. The men wear black, blue, and white woven skirts and no shirts, while the women wear brightly colored striped skirts. They also paint their bodies with black horizontal lines. They speak Tsafiki, their native tongue, and their shamans are renowned for their healing power and knowledge of medicinal herbs and remedies.
Today, there are only about 2,000 Tsachilas who maintain their traditional way of life, the sum total of 8 communities. We have a close relationship with one of these communities and work closely with them on their sustainable development projects. Visiting the Tsachila is a truly unique and special experience, as this vibrant and endangered culture is so special and has an incredible history. Please check out or videos about this community here!
The Yunguilla community is a group of people committed to the development of sustainable economic alternatives. For many years they have worked to improve their quality of life through managing their natural resources. They have developed different sustainable activities including community tourism, through which they have met lots of people and shared their vision.
In 1995 the community started to get organized through a conservation project. They were supported by different NGOs and implemented different activities like organic vegetable gardening, handicrafts, tree nurseries, a cheese factory, and jam-making business. In the year 2000 they formed their community corporation.