The Payamino Project is a community based project started by the Amazonian Kichwa community of San Jose de Payamino in order to create sustainable development in the community and preserve the forest and culture.
The community located in the Ecuadorian Amazon in the Orellana Province. The community lands stretches from the foothills of the Sumaco Volcano to the Amazon lowlands along the Payamino River, totalling 16.000 hectares of forested lands, between 200 to 1,500 metres above sea level.
After heavy pressure from oil and timber companies and outside settlers to gain access to the community lands in the late 1990´s, the community decided to ban mining and logging in 2002 and to choose a sustainable development path for the community.
The initiative was rewarded the same year by signing a ten-year agreement with the Danish Aalborg Zoo to help protect the vast areas of primary rainforest, and to promote sustainable development projects for the community.
Today the forest is still standing with its original flora and fauna and San Jose de Payamino have opened the doors for tourists to come and experience this unique piece of the Amazon as well as Kichwa culture!