In San Juan de Nicaragua, the end of the road so to speak, we sought out a guide of the native Rama people to take us up the Rio Indio, deep into the Indio Maiz jungle. Here we lived with indigenous families that were forced from their forest homes during the tumultuous Contra War period and, since being allowed to return, have spent the last two decades picking up the pieces of the life they left behind.
Here the way of life is so far removed from our own. This is a world where a ten-year-old boy is a hunter, jungle guide and protector from deadly snakes. A world where a twelve-year-old girl retrieves fruit from high-up branches, cleans clothes by hand and fishes daily for the evening meal. These are families where every member, both child and adult, contributes to daily life. They live off the land in every sense of the word. Nothing is caught or gathered in excess.
These are the people we met and lived with in the depths of the jungle. A world apart from the one we are used to.