by Sandra Benítez Herrera
When we arrived to the Amazon Region we were joking between us about swimming in some of the many rivers located there. Rivers where we would probably be eaten up by piranhas or any other kind of dangerous animal. Only a funny joke, we thought at that time … We did not know by then that our route would take us to the Yaminahua Community. Yaminahua is an indigenous community located in the heart of the Amazonas forest. To arrive there we travelled for almost 3 hours by car (with room for only half of us!) and then took a boat for another hour long in the Acre River, which is a natural border between Bolivia and Brazil.
The trip by boat was a real adventure, jumping all the time, getting wet, trying not to lose any of the material, and even having to push the boat sometimes since the water level was very low at some pints of our journey. So at the end, we were indeed almost swimming in a river in the Amazon!
Finally we arrived to the community, where a few families live, including nine children. Some of them stared at us curiously for the shore. Apparently that day most people were away since they did not know they were coming! Information travels very slow in this part of Bolivia…
Despite of that, we had an amazing time with the children showing them how to use the telescope, playing volleyball with the Earthball and learning the names of the Sun, the Moon and the planets in their own language.
After only one hour at the community, we had toto go back before it got dark. During the almost four-hour trip we had an amazing conversation about our Universe, about different cosmovisions, about religion, the laws of physics, reality and everything beyond.
We arrived to Cobija quite late, but happy. We shared the wonders of astronomy with an isolated community lacking educational resources while learning about a different culture and cosmovision under the same sky.