Ecuador is recognized internationally for its biodiversity, but did you know, Ecuador also boasts its diverse nationalities? Ecuador has over a dozen nationalities located in its Coast, Andes, and Amazon. The Siona Nationality was once paired with the Secoya Nationality, and was once known as Secoya-Siona, however, in recent decades, the Siona have independentized itself completely from the Secoya.
The Siona not only live in Ecuadorean land, but also in two other Andean countries: Peru and Colombia. In Ecuador, the Siona live in the towns of Putumayo and Shushufindi, belonging to the Province of Sucumbíos, in the Ecuadorean Amazon. It is difficult to say how many Siona have survived the effects of deforestation, and colonist settlement in general, but it is estimated that a mere 400 Siona still occupy their lands.
The Siona’s tradition and culture has been heavily impacted by the introduction of the outer world. Before, the Siona relied on hunting, fishing, and farming for survival, but now, their lands have been polluted and forever damaged extractive resources practices and foot print. Fortunately, they have been able to conserve several aspects of their ancient culture. They are well known for their knowledge of medicinal plants, and healing abilities. The Siona have also conserved their native language: Pai’koka.
We can only hope, that these precious nationalities will be able to endure the test of time, and find ways to preserve their culture. With our Eco sustainable operation, we will be able to prevent new human settlements as the ships only visit these communities during the day and leave until the next visit. This is the best way to get to know and help these secluded cultures without affecting their traditions.