Friday, May 09, 2008
Field visit to Yryapu Mbya Guarani Village
Martin Travel, a local travel agency invited me long ago to talk about Guarani Spirituality a couple of days ago. My talk was part of a refresher course for guides and staff on the Guarni Indians and on how to sell the Indian Village according to the new rules for vistors to the village a few miles from Iguassu Falls. The Yryapu Village seems to be a model among Argentine and Brazilian Guarani villages as far as visits are concerned. The Indians are in control of the visit. Thanks to a project called MATE funded by the Canadian Government, with the participations of many oher stakeholders and donnors including the Niagara College, the Rotary, Caritas and the ITEC, native mgya Guaranis have been trained to be "interpreters" of their own cultural and environmental heritage. The photos above show Claudio Salvador from ITEC / MATE talhing to guides and staff of Martin Travel and also Elvio Barreto the local cultural and environmental interpreter who serves as gatekeeper both opening and closing the gate as far as information related to the village is concerned. The third (horrible) photo on the bottom that shows a little fence-like structure that has not been put there for the tourists. The structure is used by toddlers that can hold to it as they learn how to trust the world.