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In the tropical rainforests of Ecuador, an ancient technique exists for making immense canoes out of giant tree trunks. This technology has been developed over centuries to produce very sophisticated designs. However, in order to make one of these canoes, one must cut down a tree that is more than two hundred years old. The average lifespan of one of these canoes is less than five years.
In order to confront this situation by creating an eco-friendly solution, the Fundación para la Sobrevivencia del Pueblo Cofán collaborated with the European Union's Proyecto Petramaz to find an ecologically friendly version of the canoe that incorporated the quality of the design of the ancient technique without destroying century-old trees.
Communities throughout the Amazon use these canoes as their primary form of transportation, and there are not many alternatives on the market. Speed boats cannot carry heavy loads, they create large waves that erode the river banks, and they are dangerous on smaller streams. Metal canoes are heavy and delicate, and have a short lifespan.
After significant research, we chose fiberglass to make our ecologically friendly Ecocanoas. With the help from experts in the use of fiberglass, we created molds from exceptional wood canoes. We trained young Cofáns with experience in making wood canoes in the new technique of using the molds to make fiberglass canoes, assuring that in the long-term the project combined the ancient knowledge and methods with modern techniques creating a new concept in fluvial transportation, the Ecocanoa.
On the next page you will find a list of sizes and descriptions of our specific eco-canoes.