SARAGURO: EL ORIENTE / THE "ORIENTE" (UPPER AMAZON BASIN).
Since around 1900 Saraguros have been entering the Yacuambi
River Valley, searching out new lands upon which to raise their
cattle. This region lies across the high
páramos and fifty kilometers and more to the east of
Saraguro in the upper Amazon basin (Ecuador's "frontier"
zone, which is known as the "Oriente"). This part of the
Oriente has traditionally been the territory of the
Shuar people (formerly--and improperly--known as the
"Jívaro"). Since the 1970s Saraguros have
scattered widely into other areas of the Oriente outside of
the Yacuambi Valley (see the population
distribution map) in order to seek new lands for pasture or in
order to seek other economic opportunities (such
as using their mule teams, trucks, and stores to supply emerging
small-scale gold-mining operations). Almost all of the Oriente
settled by Saraguros is in the Ecuadorian province of
* It should also be noted that in 1994 we traveled from
the small, isolated population of Guaysimi, to Loja, on a bus with
cushioned, reclining seats, curtains on the windows, and a TV/VCR.
This page revised June 15, 1999
FOTOS / PHOTOS
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