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Buying items in Amazon villages during cruise?

Orlando, Florida
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137 posts
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Buying items in Amazon villages during cruise?

We are taking a 7-day Amazon cruise out of Iquitos and my understanding is we will be visiting villages along the way where locals will sell their craft items. We would very much like to support this, but aren't sure what is available and how to pay for it.

Anyone have experience? What sort of prices (very generally) can we expect, what sort of items, and what is the best way to pay?

We also understand small gifts are gratefully received. Paper, pens, and t-shirts have been suggested, but are there any other items the locals can use (espcially the children)?

Olmito, Texas
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1. Re: Buying items in Amazon villages during cruise?

i went to one of the villages near Iquitos. Most of the crafts are jewelery(necklaces, bracelets. etc) these are not gold or silver but made from local seeds and woven together with string. they do make a lot of flutes, some stone work, and sometimes they will have animal skulls. prices can range from a few dollars to maybe 50 dollars. I have seen some blow pipes(shoots darts) and a couple of bow and arrows with feathers of local birds. Usually the price is dictated by the amount of time it takes to make the item.

They usually accept Peruvian soles because they tend to go into to town and buy whatever they need.

Gifts: While the child might appreciate a toy or candy, socks, shoes, shorts, shirts are always the best gifts because the children will wear out their cloths.

california
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2. Re: Buying items in Amazon villages during cruise?

I read somewhere that dental care is a big issue, so toothbrushes and toothpaste would be a good thing to bring. I wish I had brought some fishing hooks for my guide. Any clothing even for men should be small sized. Baby clothes seem to crop up on lists frequently.

Lima
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3. Re: Buying items in Amazon villages during cruise?

Items offered do include jewelry items such as ear rings, necklaces and bracelets made with local seeds and sometimes paiche scales. One can often find beautifully woven bags and hammocks made with Chambira palm fiber twine and dyed with natural plant dyes. Wood carvings are often available as well. Animal skulls and skins are illegal and can't be taken out of the country.

Items used for trade, as mentioned above, can include t shirts (small) and baby clothes. Tooth brushes and toothpaste, batteries (AA), flashlights, pens and paper are all good.

Cash is usually preferred, either as Peruvian Soles or US dollars (1's and 5's) that are clean with no marking or tears.

Orlando, Florida
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4. Re: Buying items in Amazon villages during cruise?

Fantastic! That's exactly what I was hoping to hear, and I am most grateful for your replies!

I do have a list of things that are illegal to purchase, but it sounds like there will be plenty of ways to support the local craftspeople.

Thanks!

california
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5. Re: Buying items in Amazon villages during cruise?

Cleo, it is better to pay in Peruvian money if possible. It's difficult and costly for villagers to get into Iquitos, and I was also told that the exchange rate for $1 bills is less favorable than for larger bills.

6. Re: Buying items in Amazon villages during cruise?

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