IQUITOS - Portal to the Amazon by Cliff Tulpa, Author

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People of Iquitos The Iquitos natives were here before the City of Iquitos was established. Now Iquitos is a mix of natives from the Amazon basin including the Cocama-Cocamilla, Boras, Yaguas, Huitotos, Shipibos, Urarinas, Matses, Achuars, Jeberos and several more tribes, along with extranjeros (foreigners) and mestizos (children of mixed Indian natives and extranjeros). As the largest gateway market to the Peruvian Amazon Jungle, Iquitos draws many indigenous natives from the remote Amazon Jungle villages. They journey for days by “balsa” rafts, “pekipeki”, by canoes or they may get passage on a “lancha” river boat ferry. By whatever means they have, they come to Iquitos to trade, to sell, to buy, and to work making Iquitos their home, even if only for a temporary time. Most will return to their jungle villages with


new clothes, machetes, boots, stereos, metal pots and pans, salt, spices and other staples they buy. Some will return pregnant with a new baby from a quick romance in Iquitos. Many of these natives don’t return to their jungle villages and try to make Iquitos their permanent home. Iquitos is filled with jungle natives that are trying to make it in a very different world where they need money to survive. Voting in Peru is mandatory by law. Thousands of remote jungle natives must endure the journey to Iquitos to vote in the elections or face criminal fines and penalties. All citizens of Peru are required to register with the government and are issued a government tracking number and national identification card called DNI with photo and fingerprint. Many natives from the jungle do not have a DNI.