Iquitos, the largest city in the world that's inaccessible by roads, is situated between two of the Amazon’s tributary rivers—the Itaya and the Nanay. Just across a narrow stretch of the Itaya are four communities with whom INFANT works. During the dry season, it’s about a one-minute motorboat ride to the community San Andrés, closest to the city. It's then a half-hour walk down a road flanked by lush, looming vegetation to the community 8 de Diciembre, the furthest from the city and the most rural. In the rainy season, the water becomes so high that the road disappears, and canoes or motorboats are the only viable means of transportation; houses are built on stilts to accommodate the flooding.
The Festival del Agua is an exuberant tribute to this shifting terrain. The festival is a three-day dizzying array of events where the members of these communities, young and old, showcase their talents, voice their commitment to water preservation and anti-contamination efforts, and invite the rest of Iquitos to learn and understand the realities of their neighbors, unknown to so many despite their proximity.
Here’s a brief, very raw look at some of my footage from the Festival, including scenes from: the ecofería, where community members displayed and sold products they made from recycled materials (trash found in the water); the recycled materials fashion show; water sports; a boat tour guided by young people; and a spectacular parade of floats.