The Guiana Amazonian Park is one of the largest protected areas in the world. It harbours one of the richest levels of biodiversity on the planet. It is also a unique melting pot of cultural influences. To fully experience the multifaceted nature of this territory, head off and meet Amerindian, Creole and Businenge communities.
Setting off to discover the Guiana Amazonian Park is more than anything discovering the special relation between men and women and their natural habitat and exploring rich traditions and know-how. Amerindians, Businenge and Creoles share a territory noted for its typically Amazonian cultural diversity. This goes back to ancient history and reciprocal influences are still going on today.
Natural and cultural diversity
You will note this diversity in the traditional knowledge and know-how of every community you encounter. More than simple techniques, there are different coexisting perceptions of the world. Every community has its own language and specific cultural expressions in which nature plays a key role. It’s also lifestyles with their respective governance models and social organisations, an array of rituals, forms of transmission, local cuisine and even body painting. The cultural identities are dazzling and their diversity will never fail to impress!
Learn to cook all the flavours of manioc
Manioc is the staple food of the Amazonian Park inhabitant’s diet. The tubers are grown in fields (traditional slash and burn farming) and comes in a wide range of textures and flavours: couac (semolina), cassava (pancakes), tapioca (starch), cachiri (fermented beverage), spread… Traditional know-how is involved, and it is prepared in a friendly and collective manner. Certain basketworks, like sieves, the press and fans are especially made to process this food.
Taste Amazonian cocoa!
In the south of Guiana, a handful of farmers produce chocolate in the heart of the Amazonian forest. Their favoured plant, the Guianan cocoa tree, a spontaneous and wild species which produces a particularly powerful cocoa in terms of taste, but only slightly bitter. It is found solely in Guiana, where it is grown just in agroforestry in harmony with local biodiversity for family farm productions. These characteristics make this flavourful « Pure Guiana » chocolate a very sought-after product.
Discover the art of Maroni canoes
Maroni wooden canoes represent a very important facet of the know-how of the Businenge communities of Guiana. These canoes can carry passengers, several tons of freight, vehicles and even a broken-down helicopter. There are hundreds moored alongside the river banks. Navigation requires the canoers deep knowledge of the rivers, making the canoes requires a painstaking and traditional process involving age old handiwork.