The very first time I went to the Amazon was in the early 90s. My old memories of that trip include a stay in the Ariau Hotel, “the largest treetop hotel in the world”, in the middle of the Rio Negro. One night, I came out of my bungalow, having taken a shower and ready to dine. As I crossed the bridges between buildings, suddenly all the little monkeys around got very excited and started screaming. Two of them landed in my head, trying to eat whatever fruit they could smell from my aromatic shampoo. Luckily, I was saved by some locals who knew how to get a monkey off you and back then I had lots of hair to lose!
I’d like to remember Manaus as this beautiful place with friendly people, exquisite culinary and exotic animals. Recent news, however, put the city in the spotlight for its crescent number of COVID cases in Brazil, specially in Manaus, saturated health system, and crowded mortuary spaces.
The situation is even more dramatic for the indigenous people in the Amazon. Hundreds of lives have been taken from a very vulnerable population. The government doesn’t have the resources to help those communities, many of them far away from mainstream life, without a strong immune system and economic means to survive this pandemic.
Isolated from the rest of the world, their handcrafts are not only part of their culture but a way of living.
Our partnerships with members of the indigenous community, showcasing their art crafts, allow them to survive, find some financial relief and shelter away from the virus, during these difficult times.
Sandy, one of our artisans, is a single mother with two children. She loves to create new jewelry pieces with the seeds that she dyes one by one. Her favorite is a Morototo tiny little seed that takes several days to be cleaned, colored and dry out. Once they are ready, she collects them one by one, in a patient handmade craftwork, putting them in a line of tucum. Those are our Infinity Morototo Necklaces. Those are our Seeds for Love. Love for the people and their lives.