My 79 year old mother, Helen Findley, visited Ecuador and the Huaorani Ecolodge in November, 2012. She has traveled all over the world, and in addition to the USA, she has lived in China and the Philippines. She has visited the Amazon previously, having rafted the Tambopata River in Peru and stayed at Peru’s Tambopata Research Center. She has spent time with indigenous groups in the Philippines and elsewhere. But even after all of these trips, she found the Huaorani Ecolodge trip to be one of the best travel experiences of her life! From her 2012 Christmas letter: “Phyllis (a friend from Madison, WI) and I had an amazing adventure visiting an indigenous people in the Oriente area of Ecuador. This trip started out with a trip from the oil town of Shell in a five seater plane to a grass landing strip in the Amazon rain forest where we spent five days learning about the Huaorani people and the jungle. I loved waking to unfamiliar birdsongs, hiking muddy trails through the dense forest, traveling by dugout canoe to several villages, singing and dancing with their inhabitants (even getting my face painted) and learning to appreciate these wonderful people who are struggling to maintain their identity and way of life. The encroaching oil companies and farmers would destroy the forest which the Huaorani and also the whole world need for our planet to survive. That visit was life changing for me as I see how intertwined the lives of all of us are.” I have been to the Huaorani Ecolodge twice before, and absolutely love the experience. How cool that my mother loved it too! I will post more details and photos of her trip soon.