Mapping for Indigenous Needs in Napo Province, Ecuador

Authors: Chase Mohrman*,
Topics: Indigenous Peoples, Latin America, Tourism Geography
Keywords: Participatory Mapping, Ecotourism, Kitchwa, GPS, Ecuador, Latin America, Indigenous
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This project consisted of the creation of ecotourism maps for various Kitchwa communities along the Napo River in Napo Province, Ecuador. GPS units were used to obtain the coordinates of six ecotourism communities, ArcMap and Illustrator were used to plot the locations of them on a map with supplementary information provided by the communities themselves, with translation help from a member of one of the Kitchwa communities. It is a continuation of a previous effort that produced maps of the Kamak Maki cultural museum, the first ecotourism site in the area. The maps will help promote tourism for the communities that often lack the technology or the means to promote their livelihood. The project was carried out on the principle of participatory mapping, which differs from traditional colonial mapping practices as it relies on locally produced and condoned spatial information and the consent of the people involved in order to empower rather than exploit them. The maps have been created in three languages: English, Spanish, and Kitchwa. Copies of the printed map will be delivered to the people at the Kamak Maki museum and to other Kitchwa tourism centers during next year's immersion trip to the area, just as the maps created last year were delivered during this year's trip. Once given to the communities, the Kitchwa people will have ownership of the maps and the right to use them in whatever way they desire.

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