In every village we visited we were greeted with youthful
enthusiasm. Sometimes, the children would paddle out their canoes to play
in the wake of the boat. Other times, they climbed up on the boat and used
it as a diving board to jump back into the river. Children were in the majority
in every village we stopped in and they were always the center of attention.
Over the years, the difficult living conditions and poor medical care take
their toll; we saw few old people in the villages we visited.
Most of the villages grew fruit trees: lemons, limes, or
more exotic star-fruits and mangos. A short walk into the forest and we
were lucky enough to find and sample fruit from cacao, the chocolate tree.
Our 21-year-old guide, Abelardo, a Yaguar Indian, showed us which fruit
was ripe and how to peel it.