Sinchi Warmi Amazon Lodge
Strong, brave women working towards sustainability
Sinchi Warmi is a project located in the Ecuadorian Amazon, run entirely by Indigenous people, the majority of which are women. In fact, Sinchi Warmi means “strong women,” and their work is a means of expressing and preserving the unique culture, gastronomy, and traditions of this part of the country, as well as empowering the women of the Kichwas community.
Along with staying in the lodge, travelers are rewarded with an up-close of experience of Amazonian culture. They are able to participate in a guayusa ritual, a sacred plant of the Amazon, as well as learn about cocoa and chocolate, and see handmade crafts. The beautiful, locally made huts are surrounded by the natural beauty along the Napo River, including gardens and hiking trails. The area where visitors are received, which includes a bar and restaurant, was constructed in a minga, a traditional practice where the community joins forces to complete a task together.
Involvement of V Social
Since 2019, V Social has coordinated with Viventura to send travelers to this very special place. We have also supported Sinchi Warmi in attaining a certification of community tourism by holding training workshops and offering help with project management. Currently, we hope to help them generate funding to grow their capacity and staff. The lodge also needs some improvements, which will lead to more jobs and more value to what they can offer visitors.
Support the Community
Sinchi Warmi is a pioneer organization among Indigenous communities in the region. Almost all its members are female, including its entire board of directors. By putting women front and center, and giving them ample experience in entrepreneurship and leadership, they have set an example of just what is possible. The Sinchi Warmi lodge has been operating for more than a decade and now has a capacity to welcome 45 travelers. Visitors are also offered an array of activities that allow them to get to know Amazonian culture. Along with preserving Kichwa Indigenous ancestral knowledge, members of the community feel valued and have decent employment opportunities. Run by 23 members of the community, the impact of Sinchi Warmi’s work reverberates through each of their families, and beyond.
Sophia Alvarado is the president of Sinchi Warmi project, located in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Through her leadership, she has demonstrated the value women bring to the community.
“We are a community of strong, brave women,” she says of the project. “We are working towards the sustainability of both our environment and culture, and fostering a harmonious coexistence with nature.”
In Ecuador, there are several Indigenous cultures, including Shuar, Waodani, and Kichwa, the community that runs Sinchi Warmi. Women have historically had a very low position in Kichwa culture, where they have not been seen as capable of leading a project. In the past, women have been denigrated by many men, and “by machismo,” Sophia says. Her leadership in the community tourism center proves that that old way of thinking could not be more wrong.
“We have proven that women can build incredible projects and break free from the limitations imposed by societal norms. We are not just waiting for our husbands' salaries, but showing that we can move forward on our own, that we have value.”
Sophia points to how the project allows women to take care of their families and their children. It also serves to inspire other women with what is possible, and encourage them to empower themselves.
“Sinchi Warmi is a project not about one person or one woman,” she says, “but about the many families who benefit. It allows us to feed, educate, and support our children, giving them everything they need. If a woman is dedicated, strong, and self-confident, she can carry out any project.”
And the women of Sinchi Warmi are not alone in their mission. By supporting this project, you too are uplifting women like Sophia and their families, helping them to provide nourishment, education, and holistic support for their children's well-being.
Support the Community