In October of 2015 James Reed started our pilot project providing technical tree climbing training to families of the Kichwa and Secoya cultures within the Amazon forest of Ecuador. We are thankful to Ladi, the secretary for conservation of the Tamia Yura property, where we held the first course for the Kichwa and to Jonathan Miller Weisberger, who guided, interpreted and assisted in our first climbing trainings.
Tree climbing is a skill used for generations within these communities. We respect their ancestral knowledge. Tree Monkey project provides equipment and training to evolve forest caretakers to climb taller trees, more safely. We are committed to three or more visits to each community. Our goal is to produce trainers within Indigenous communities to continue tree climbing for sustainable harvesting, forest stewardship, research, eco-tourism, and fun.
"Indigenous peoples of Latin America are by far the best guardians of the regions' forests..."
-UN Food and Agriculture Organization,
Tree Monkey Project is heading back to Ecuadorian Amazon in September 2021 to fulfill our commitment to visit each community at least three visits to update techniques, gear and provide additional training for each location. Join us as a donator or ecotourist!
Your donation provides resources for Indigenous peoples of Latin America guarding the regions' endangered forests.
Our journey begins
Our journey begins on the river. Water is life.
Our guide navigates
It takes a plane, automobile, boat, and if we are lucky, a mule to get there.
A young member of the Kichwa community wants us to stop talking and start climbing.
Donations are essential to providing the equipment required for safe tree climbing. Thank you supporters for the gear!
Ladi welcomes us.
Ladi, secretary for the conservation property, Tamia Yura, welcomes us.
Attaching the rope to harness
Safety comes first. All climbers are checked and follow safety procedures. Photo taken during our 2014 training introduction.
Ascending into the tree
A Kichwa man begins his first ascent during our 2014 introduction to tree climbing.
A young Kichwa member tries on climbing gear. We bring and donate this equipment to the community.
Knot tying practice
The Kichwa practicing knot tying during our 2015 training.
Elders understand the fine art of lounging, 45 feet up in the canopy during the 2015 Secoya training introduction.
Preparing the next generation of climbers.
A Kichwa student utilizing her training in the field.
The Big Shot
We use this to get the rope in the tree.
Kichwa women prepping for climb
The new view
A view from the canopy down to the crew.
Carlos gives a thumbs up to tree climbing.
Carlos Cerda Grefa is using his skills to trim trees and help researchers from the local university.
Walter setting up for his climb
Ladi enjoying the view
Benjamin and Carlos
We made it!
A happy climber is a successful day.
2015 Graduation Photo
2016 Graduation Photo
Would you like to know more?
We took some time to explore after the training and saw this huge Cieba tree.
Sonja displays the "Girlfriend Kisses" flower for us. Can you guess how it received the name?
Assistant Trainer, Jonathon Miller Weisberg, sips a bowl of chicha. It is good manners to finish the whole bowl in one sitting.
Everyone loves tree climbing.
We return to Ecuador in 2021. Join us as an eco-tourist!