Briefing for Persons visiting Moraro
Moraro, is in the wider Koria/Wakapoa indigenous community. The Koria/Wakapoa community, like most indigenous communities is closed and before visiting, especially for over a period of time, persons from outside must be invited and accommodated by someone from within the village. Visits have to be sanctioned by the toshao (village leader). However, having an opportunity to visit is a unique experience and should be treated as such.
Moraro sits in an area that joins village life with the deep rain forest and is within walking distance of the hub of the larger community. As a small community within a larger one, we cannot get by without working with each other which is an important aspect of indigenous life. We look out for each other. In fact, we’d find it difficult living without one another because we rely so much on each other’s help.
It’s most likely because you value nature, and an ethical, eco-friendly lifestyle that you’ll be visiting Moraro. The place could turn out to be just what you wanted. It’s definitely where you would have a chance to work with, and connect to the natural environment … nature rules. And being immersed in nature basically means you’d be living away from mainstream society. Moraro is also a place where you’d be able to have a healthy lifestyle –natural foods, lots of exercise together with nature’s energies.
We practise the traditional, conservation ways of our local, indigenous people for the good of rain forest and environmental protection and also for our overall well-being. Because of their traditional lifestyle, the ancestors developed an affinity with the natural environment. And, we try as much as we can to emulate the ancestors, so visitors will experience life from an indigenous-person’s perspective. Also, because we practice indigenous culture, a visitor can expect a down-to-earth life - not much pampering. The life is very active and physical. Exercises like walking help to accomplish everyday tasks such as sourcing food. A lot of fetching has to be done. People carry their own belongings and physically transport food produce from the farm.
Moraro offers open, rustic living … an outdoor type of existence. Housing is designed to bring in the elements, thus the open structure. Maybe during a downpour, as you relax in a hammock, a gust of wind will randomly throw raindrops your way. And, expect to see rain forest animals sometimes because of the open space.
Outdoor toilet, with night time indoor conveniences are as eco-friendly as it can get. A walk along a trail is not just a walk, but a chance to feel the energy of the forest. We use water from the freshwater spring which is not only valuable to us, but also to the rest of the community. A wash in the pool, under open skies helps us appreciate how precious live water and the natural environment are. Plus, no other type of wash can beat this one.
Respect for Local Culture
Though people would not readily identify themselves as Lokono, Warrau or Carib, these are the three main indigenous peoples who live in the area. People are warm and friendly, and a walk on village trails can be a treat, but it is advisable that unless familiar with people, to pay only tasteful respect, if you meet them, whether on a trail or in their family-house area. Many houses are open by traditional design, but this is not an invitation to walk in. Unless invited, we do not intrude.
People tend to be reserved, but generally, visitors are appreciated, so people share (mostly food). If offered food and not too sure if you’d like to eat, insist on a ‘take-away’ (to eat later).
Diet is varied. With no refrigeration, eating is seasonal. Foods tend to be fresh, organic and tend to contain little fat. With a physical routine and the local diet, expect to shed a few ounces, if not pounds. It is simpler to use fresh or preserved foods and foods come in a wide variety of tastes, but there are everyday staples like ground provisions, rice and cassava bread.
What to bring
Baggage - easily manageable luggage with lock (for travelling to the interior), day pack
To keep dry, place your clothes in a plastic bag before putting into your travel bag. A garbage bag will do.
Clothing - hat/cap, light rain-coat, walking shoes/socks, flip-flops for indoors, money belt, light clothing…short/long pants, long sleeves shirt for the sun, T-shirts/vests for indoors, underwear…clothes should wash and dry easily
Essentials - sun-glasses, phone with solar-charger (test before), flash-light and extra batteries, water-bottle, camera/ camera bag, Zip-lock bags
Personal Items - insect repellent, anti-histamine tabs, diarrhoea tabs, pain-killers (your type) sun block…at least 15 SPF, anti-bacterial bath soap, anti-itch cream, anti-acid tabs, motion sickness medication (if you suffer) comb, sun-burn moisturiser, water-proof band aids, tooth-paste/toothbrush etc. etc.
What not to bring
Expensive items - jewellery, clothing, equipment