A Caravan Down the Amazon River
Something is happening down by the river in Colombia. A bunch of colorful people, visionaries, artists, jugglers, musicians, acrobats, clowns, gardners, story tellers, curious souls and conscious beings have gathered to change sails with oars and paddle down the Amazon River.
BarcoIris is the name of the project, a project to form a fleet and spread smiles and exchange knowledge and wisdom along the Amazon in Brazil. The project started back in January with the build of the first boat, Yacu-Sacha-Wayra. Yacu-Sacha-Wayra and a crew of six, paddled down the Ucayali-river (one of the main streams that merge to the Amazon) for more than 1400 km from Pucallpa to Nauta.
In the 2 months the journey took, Yacu-Sacha-Wayra and the crew visited many villages on the way. Using the universal language of music, art and storytelling, they shared the message of ecology, environmental consciousness and harmony. This created a beautiful exchange of knowledge and culture that brought lots of learning for both parties.
Now the group has grown and are currently in Leticia looking to recycle more boats or materials to build new ones to join up with Yacu-Sacha-Wayra. In a few weeks, the fleet will be complete and set off on an adventure!
AWSC started in January 2014 as an independent and experimental project. Until now the fleets and/or vessels are still managing themselves independently, agreeing on certain guidelines. Our objective to experiment for ourselves a different and alternative way to travel and to live in a community with a nomad lifestyle.
Our vision is that this structure, mixing travel and community living, inspires more and more people to gather; sailors, travelers, visionaries, artists, idealists, etc, and to spread the idea of communally owned and sustained sailing vessels around the globe.
What it means traveling on a community boat:
- Spreading the knowledge of the ocean. Learn how to become a experienced sailor, living with a shared responsibility of the vessel and its crew’s safety.
- Experimenting the travel on sea, learn how to read the sky through the stars and the clouds, understanding the wind and swell, interact with the elements.
- Sharing your knowledge so that everyday on the boat is a learning day, where everyone offers and assists to different workshops such as language class, music basics, macrame, sailing yoga, motor maintenance, etc.
- Sharing a space where true communication, trust and mutual help is necessary as it is a limited space and reproduces the needs of a ‘micro-society’.
- Living with values of respect and harmony for the environnement, by transporting ourselves with the natural elements, self-sustaining as much as possible on the energetic plan, water and food resources and by recycling
Our shared ideas and visions
- Recycle whenever possible. Boat parts, food, clothing, and anything else we can to move away from a consumerist society
- live as a community of travellers, a world family of sailors and sea gypsies
- connect alternative land based communities around the world by moving goods and people from place to place
- provide an alternative means of travel by harnessing the wind and moving away from our dependance on fossil fuels and limited resources
- teach sailing to as many people as possible, including backpackers, travellers, schoolchildren and locals
- spread smiles through circus performance and music
- share what we know about sustainable living methods
- learn what we can about the cultures around the world, how they interact with the planet and each other
When we are in far away countries and it is illegal to busk on the streets it becomes difficult for us to earn enough money to keep essential parts of the community boats running. That’s when we ask for help in exchange for handmade gifts, art and sailing adventures:
A short film produced by the Boom Festival Broadcast and recorded on the journey of the Pacific fleet from New Zealand to Vanuatu.