Activities of men and women

Men go to the river in the morning to fish with atarraya. That is the duty of men: they are dedicated to hunting, to agricultural work in the jungle and in the purines, in which they plant bananas, cacao, coffee, rice, corn, lulo and other species; they are dedicated to cutting and burning the forest, in addition to building their houses, canoes and work tools. Fishing and harvesting are tasks shared with women.

According to Enma Cerda, women are in charge of household duties, such as the care of the children, the cleaning of the home, the care of the farm, where the cultivation of yucca is given for the chicha, banana, corn and gardens of medicinal plants. The ceramics are an exclusive women’s task; they are also responsible for preparing the chicha and the food. Both women and fathers take care of the children, but due to the men’s work, this is a role that is performed more by the mothers. Children accompany their mothers in daily activities.

In the Añangu community, the main source of work for families is in the area of tourism. Since 2004, the Napo Wildlife Center Hotel has been the place of work for the men of the community. They work in different service, administrative and operational areas. The women of the community have also partnered to perform other tasks in addition to those that are traditional. Thus, the community has a Women's Handicrafts Committee, whose purpose is to strengthen the artisan activity to market their products to tourists.

They also have a Women's Directive, which carries out training processes to improve the quality of their crafts, create and strengthen their craft skills, and undertake productive projects that allow them to be part of the economic activity of the community. Since 2010, women have organized themselves into two groups that work for three or four days, each in the Interpretation Center. This place receives tourists from all over the world who wish to know something of the culture that has traditionally belonged to the Kichwa of the Amazon.

Carmela Andy is part of the Kury Muyu (Golden Seed), which is the Interpretation Centre. She is part of the women's organization, and according to her: "We are already working for about a year and a half. Since our men are working there (at the Napo Wildlife Center), then we can too and that is why we have decided to work here. [...] As a Kichwa, I feel proud because we are following what our grandparents did before, how they lived; I feel happy because we are following that culture, and for our children to continue with that culture as well. Yes, it has changed, but we have to teach our children to follow us with that culture too”.