Living with strangers: Huaorani and tourism industry in the 21st century

  • Aleksandra Wierucka
Keywords: indigenous people of the Amazon, local tourism, image of the indigenous peoples


Indigenous groups that made full contact with Western culture relatively recently (almost sixty years ago in the case of Huaorani) are targeted by Western tourists looking for “exotic” people and places. Huaorani people’s image fits into this category and it can be found in various media. Huaorani have quickly adapted to increasing numbers of tourists and their needs: they sell handicrafts, found their own tourist agencies, build “jungle lodges” in the tropical forest and become licensed tourist guides. This paper focuses on the image of the Huaorani created by various media, on tourists expectations, their fulfillment by the local people as well as tourist services provided by inhabitants of one remote Huaorani settlement.