The Cuyabeno Wildlife Production Reserve, in Ecuador, was created in 1979. Within the Reserve there are five ethnic groups: Kichwa, Siona, Secoya, Cofán and Shuar. The Kichwa zone extends over 72,000 hectares, which includes the lower course of the Cuyabeno River, where exclusively tourist activities are allowed in the first five hundred meters of each margin, the rest being an intangible zone, where no activity can be carried out.
The canton of Cuyabeno was once occupied by Western Tucano indigenous groups, such as the Sionas, Secoyas and the disappeared Tetetes. These groups were reduced by diseases introduced by colonists. From 1950 to 1981, the presence of the Summer Linguistic Institute in the Cuyabeno area facilitated the creation of the communities of San Pablo, Dureno and Puerto Bolivar. In the 1970s, the Kichwas arrived to form communities such as Zancundo, Puka Peña, Centro Eno and Playas de Cuyabeno, dedicating themselves to agriculture, hunting and fishing and secondarily to commerce and wage-earning work in oil exploration expeditions.
In the 1990s, Playas de Cuyabeno became a tourist area with the arrival of the international tourism agency Metropolitan Tours and its five-star float. Members of the Playas de Cuyabeno community gained a lot of knowledge about the tourism industry during those years, performing various roles (e.g., guide, transportation, gastronomy, crafts and waiter services) both on the float and in the canoe and land tours and activities. Almost the entire community participated and benefited from these activities and tourism flourished, attracting other agencies to work with the community, including Native Life, Niky Lodge and Jungle Discovery.
By the year 2000, the Colombian-American anti-drug initiative Plan Colombia had a negative impact on regional tourism and several agencies suspended their tours to Playas de Cuyabeno, including Metropolitan Tours.
This departure affected all the inhabitants of the community, because they were left alone and without employment, the people were desperate not knowing what to do because the only way to survive was to work with the tour operators. grew unemployment many people left the community to seek other alternative and livelihood for their family. The few people who remained within the community carried out activities such as hunting, fishing, agriculture and captured animals, birds, monkeys to sell in the cities as pets.
But during that time ¨año 2006 ¨El Ecuadorian State completely prohibits activities that affect the environment.
While the community has no alternative to get out of the crisis that affects our daily companions, children and elderly.
In the assembly of 12 and 13 April 2016 the community decided to build projects focused on the development of ecotourism, in this assembly the community is divided into three important groups, 44 people (the most adults) to build the lodge, 36 people to build a bird watching tower, 36 young people to build a Cultural Interpretation Center (total 116 people involved in ecotourism).
Year 2019, four years have passed and we are ready to receive visitors in our modern Eco Lodge. We have capacity for 30 visitors with basic services in the middle of the jungle
Today the Kichwa Community “Playas de Cuyabeno” seeks to boost its tourism offer, In 2013, Playas de Cuyabeno became the first Millennium City at the national level, providing the population and its visitors with access to basic services and care centers, such as a medical clinic and police station.