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Information for the stay at the AMAZONICA Academy and the house rules




Helpful hints while packing

Medical information

See Germany’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (in German) under:



Summary of recommendations:


• Tetanus

• Diphtheria

• Yellow fever

• Hepatitis A and B

• Rabies


First aid kit:

• Malaria prophylaxis (e.g. Malarone). The Sharamentsa and Yuwints communities have been largely free of malaria incidents for several years now, yet they are located in a malaria area!

• Mosquito repellent (anti mosquito spray and suitable impregnated clothing, if available)

• Anti-itching agents (e.g. Fenistil, Azaron)

• Personal medication (hemophiliacs, diabetics, allergies, etc.)

• Pain medication

• Laxatives and medication for diarrhea

• Band-aids


Basic medical care is provided for by the medical stations in the communities.

A guarantee for the accuracy and integrity of the medical information,

as well as liability for any occurring damages cannot be assumed.

We ask that all participants seek advice from a health professional or a

physician specialized in tropical medicine!


House rules for AMAZONICA academy visitors

Dear visitors!


To make your stay at the AMAZONICA Academy as enjoyable and successful as possible for you and the Achuar and Shuar, we ask that you abide by the following rules.




The vaccinations listed in the informative report under the item “Summary of recommendations” and the contents of the first aid kit must be observed in full. This applies in particular with regard to vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis. Omissions only at your own risk. A guarantee for the accuracy and integrity of the information, as well as liability for any occurring damages cannot be assumed. By signing these house rules, the visitor agrees to consult a licensed tropical physician or other health care professional specialized in travel related medicine. Extreme climatic conditions can strongly affect the health of the acute or chronically ill. The seclusion of the AMAZONICA Academy may complicate care in emergency situations. Therefore, acute or chronic diseases, as well as the permanent ingestion of medication shall be communicated to project management before signing the contract. Visitors will bear the costs incurred for reasons of health complications themselves. Appropriate arrangements in the form of foreign patients or repatriation insurance must be taken on your own accord.


Gifts & Gratuities


According to the collective life of the ethnic groups of the Achuar and Shuar, gifts and gratuities are divided between the groups. These are therefore handed over collectively. The remuneration of individual members of the community is prohibited, including private tipping. This also applies to private objects that the visitor would like to give away as a gift prior to leaving. The gifts are to be brought into the village without any packaging and should not be made of plastic.


Behavior towards the villagers


With the introduction of the AMAZONICA Academy, the villagers are confronted with a completely new and unusual situation. The encounter with a foreign culture is often associated with confusion and uncertainty. To keep this to a minimum, the following rules were established together with AMAZONICA based on past community experiences:


• Visits to private homes are permitted only after registration with the municipal assembly or upon express invitation.

• Excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided in the presence of the villagers.

• Hugging and kissing common to European culture is foreign to the Achuars. These gestures may emanate from the natives only. In addition, the parents fear for their daughters. Friendly overtures can quickly be misinterpreted




Anyone who violates these three rules will be expelled

from the community and flown out at their own expense.


Entitlement to a refund of prepaid travel expenses

shall be deemed null and void.




• Visits to the community center are permitted only for meals, courses, or formal occasions. Strolls on the runway are not allowed after dark.

• The indigenous population use the showers and washing area on the riverbank of Sharamentsa between 5 and 7 pm. Please respect the privacy of the villagers and avoid visiting said places during this time.

• The women in the village will be glad to do the visitors laundry: Please take advantage of this service. They support the financial independence of the members of the community. Prices are firm and can be obtained from project management.

• Regarding the use of cell phones, iPods, etc. (excluding laptops): Visitors are urged to keep the use of these devices to a minimum. There is no reception for mobile phones in the forest. Internet access is available via satellite, but is rather expensive. Internet use can therefore be used only during specific times together with payment of a fee.




The following rules are for your own protection and are based on personal experiences of previous project participants:


• When hiking, wear long pants and shirts / shirts with long sleeves (protection against reeds, thorns, branches, mosquitoes, ants, etc.)

• Closed shoes are the only effective protection against sand flies.

• The village members place great emphasis on clean clothes for dinner and formal occasions. Behave accordingly and come showered wearing clean clothes (marked difference to the work clothes during the day) for dinner and official meetings.


Waste disposal, electricity, water


Waste: Cleanliness in the village is a prerequisite for healthy life and work. For sustainable project implementation, ensure that as little waste as possible is generated and please take your trash with you when leaving the forest. This applies in particular to plastic packaging such as tubes or bottles (shampoo, shower gel, cosmetics), tin cans, batteries, broken flashlights, etc. The project communities separate all waste that later winds up on a compost or is burned, buried or flown out. Please ensure that the village is just as clean upon your departure as you found it upon your arrival.


Electricity: Work and sustenance for on-site visitors is not possible without electricity. Workshops, water pumps, kitchens and computers require energy. The electricity is generated by photovoltaic and water turbines. Please be sensible with your power consumption!


Water: Clean water is not a given. Water is elaborately pumped from fountains to water towers with the help of solar energy. A sufficient number of showers and wash basins are available. Please use the water sparingly! The water from the tap is fit for human consumption and can also be used to brush your teeth.


Specifically native


As part of traditional rites, the Achuar ingest a hallucinogenic compound after numerous days of fasting that is made of various plants. The physical and psychological impact of this so-called Ayawaska on Europeans (or the non-adept) is unpredictable and may lead to serious health problems. By signing, visitors agree to abstain from asking for and/or consuming Ayawaska.



Anyone who violates this rule will be immediately expelled

from the community and flown out at their own expense.


Entitlement to a refund of prepaid travel expenses

shall be deemed null and void.



• The indigenous population act both as a host and tour guide during the scientific work. All visitors may inquire about the customs and ways of life, but only in conversation. The natives will not be used as objects of study!

• It is not common to speak openly about issues such as love, sex, polygamy or homosexuality in the native culture. Visitors are requested not to address these issues and not to ask questions in this regard.

• Since the waterfalls within the village are sacred to the local population, respect should be shown in this regard by refraining from bathing in the waterfalls completely.


Usage rights to the results of the stay


All work (undergraduate, graduate, masters and doctoral theses) incurred in connection with the period of study will be stored in the archives of the AMAZONICA Academy both digitally and in paper copy. All photos, videos, audio recordings, graphics, etc. must be provided to AMAZONICA in copy for non-commercial use.