120 min

Perceptions of the Amazon

are mostly mythical.

But in Amazonia,reality

is more amazing than mythology


South America has the biggest river

Largest forest, the longest mountain range

And the greatest variety of life forms

of all the continents on Earth

Rivers from five nations

Pour into the vast flood land

of equatorial Brazil

To form the greatest moving

mass of fresh water in the world

The Amazon river flows

toward the rising sun

And with it 1/5 of the

continental water on the planet

Among the distant sources of the Amazon

is the timeless land of the Incas

Men of the Kallawaya tribe

were medicine-men to the royal family

In by gone days of an empire

larger than that of Rome

Even now Kallawaya men journey throughout

the Andes healing people with magic and medicinal plants.

Julio Mamani will follow the tradition of its people

It saddens me there was no plant,or magic

that could save my mother when she got sick

Whisper in pukina,the secret language

of the Incas

Mysteries of the healing arts are past

generation to generation

I've made a vow to go to the tropical forest

below our mountain home

And return with plants that will

increase our power

To cure illness and prolong life

Akomani the god mountain of our people

Watches over the kayawaya

And has done so since our

earliest beginnings

It is said that water trickling from the glaciers

of Akomani will be a great river

Sipping the melt of ancient ice

brings rejuvenation

When I reach the tropical forest perhaps

I can trade the glacier water for an unknown elixir

That will prolong life.

Incas once moved the highlands where source

rivers of the Amazon

gouged-out some of the deepest canyons

on Earth

Machu Pichu,the lost city of the incas

lies on the 200 miles as the condor flies

from Mamani's home land

Below the citadel the Urubamba river cuts its canyon ever deeper

on its rush to join the


In a few short miles from mountain peaks

to tropical forests

The traveler passes through as many ecological

zones as on a trip from the north pole to equator.

Below the mountains the trees become

an endless sea of green

Dr. Mark Plotkin is also a medicine-man

Like Mamani he's in search of plants

That will heal humanity ills

He is an ethno-botanist

His hope :
to find cures to diseases which

western medicine has not conquered

There's a remarkable connection between

the plants and the people of the forests

Virtually every useful medicinal or agricultural

plant has come to us from the rainforests

Where's first learn from indigenal people

Dr. Plotkin is driven by a dread that some

species may disappear

before their life saving attributes are discovered

In our search for new treatments for the

diseases that plague us

The Amazon represents one of the most

promising places to look.

At the LaCueva de las Sechusas

I can reach the edge of the legendary forest

It seems to me a mystical gateway

to the forest beyond

Mamani has reached the flatland of Amazonia

A region almost large enough to cover

the face of the moon

The Amazon basin is home to the planet

greatest celebration of diversity.

For millions of years

Environmental conditions have been favorable

to a profusion of life

The canopy is largely unexplored

Its upper tip where most of the life goes on

has barely been visited

It averages 50 feet

And amounts to 20.000 cubic miles of

wood,water,air and green leafs

Antonio is a shaman of the kokana people

He,s my friend and my teacher

He's knowledge of the healing properties

of the Amazon forest is extraordinary

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Rob Tapert


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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Amazon" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 23 Sep. 2021. <>.

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