Eating the rainforest at Ecuador's top restaurants

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Ecuador: Feast à la Amazon

Nuts, ferns and roots: Ecuador's indigenous communities are bringing a taste of their rainforest gardens to the country's gourmet restaurants. And they're earning a living in the process.

Project objective: Protection of the rainforest and the traditional "chakras", — the gardens of Kichwa indigenous peoples.

Project Implementation: Generating revenue for indigenous groups in the Amazon by selling their chakra products to restaurants in Quito

Project size: Around 350 indigenous families in the Amazon region of Ecuador,  and 15 restaurants in Quito

Ecuador's Kichwa people live from the biodiversity of the Amazon region. But they're also among the country's poorest inhabitants. They often have trouble selling the edible nuts, ferns, roots and other rare culinary treats harvested from their rainforest gardens — known as "chakras" — at local markets. The nongovernmental organization Canopy Bridge is helping these Amazon communities promote their produce: Fine diners at 15 restaurants in Ecuador's capital Quito can now try out some of the delicacies.

A film by Michael Altenhenne

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