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.
Ecocanoa now has seven models of canoes that have been tested throughout the Amazon throughout a variety of conditions and circumstances with success. These canoes have a lifespan of decades instead of a few years, and these canoes do not require the destruction of the trees we have left in the Amazon. They are truly an ecologically friendly alternative.
La Ecocanoa Quilla – 6 meters
This is the answer for individuals or families that need a canoe for fishing, for short voyages, or personal use. With an estimated weight of only 50 kg, this canoe is light, fast, and easy to use. It can be made with or without a “quilla” to assist in driving.
3 ecotourists (comfortably with space for luggage, supplies, etc.)
La Ecocanoa Familiar – 9 meters
This canoe comes in two models: one only for rowing and the second with space for a motor up to 15hp. It is ideal for ecotourism outfits, with a capacity for 7 people, its stability, and its resistance to the common bumps and bangs of jungle rivers. It can also be used for a family or a small community with a small motor.
5 ecotourists (comfortably with space for luggage, supplies, etc.)
La Ecocanoa Familiar – 12 meters
Similar to the Familiar but with an extra 3 meters of space for people or cargo.
10 ecotourists (comfortably with space for luggage, supplies, etc.)
La Ecocanoa Sueno – 13 meters
A dream for its speed. It has been tested on the Rio Aguarico in the Ecuadorian Amazon at more than 40 km/hr. With 8 passengers, cargo, and 2 crew members, it has beat DESLIZADORES with less weight in speed. For the environmentalist, it is important to note that this canoe causes much less turbulence in the water, resulting in fewer waves, less erosion, and fewer community-relations problems. In addition, the lightweight design and smooth finish assure less fuel consumption than wood or metal canoes of the same size. The Sueno is the ideal model for ecotourism agencies that want to take their travelers to their destination in more comfort and with more speed without causing damage to the ecosystem. It is perfect for the mid-level business that wants to transport cargo or passengers economically. It can be used with motors from 15hp-65hp, and it is easy row in calm waters.
15 ecotourists (comfortably with space for luggage, supplies, etc.)
La Ecocanoa Comercio 1 – 16.3 meters
This canoe is made for business. It measures 16.3 meters long, 1.8 meters wide, and more than 1 meter deep. It is really big. It is made with eight caps of fiberglass and seven layers of Roving fiberglass cloth, reinforced with strong wooden ribs, with a smooth and shining finish, and ready for any trip. Its design and structure guarantee that it is much lighter, faster, and economical than the traditional wooden or metal canoes. An advantage of working in fiberglass is that it can be modified to serve particular needs. We offer this canoe with mirrors made specifically for the motor or motors that you will use.
30 ecotourists (comfortably with space for luggage, supplies, etc.)
La Ecocanoa Comercio 2 – 18 meters
A little bigger.
35 ecotourists (comfortably with space for luggage, supplies, etc.)
La Ecocanoa Comercio 3 – 20 meters
40 ecotourists (comfortably with space for luggage, supplies, etc.)
For more information, please contact:
Fundación para la Sobrevivencia del Pueblo Cofán
Mariano Cardenal N74-153 y Joaquín Mancheno
Telephone: (593-2) 247-0946