Natütama means "everything under the water" in the local Amazon Indian Ticuna language.
The Natutama Foundation is a Colombian NGO working with indigenous communities along the River Amazon near Puerto Narino. Founded in 2005 by three women with a background in environmental studies, Natutama aims to educate local people about how they can protect Amazonian wildlife and habitats while continuing to live and work in the same environment. It also works in schools in some of Colombia's major cities as part of its extensive environmental education programme.
Hand in hand with its educational work, Natutama runs a conservation/wildlife monitoring progamme gathering regular information about wildlife numbers, distribution and trends with the aim of identifying and preventing potential threats. One of the most bio-diverse places on earth, the Amazon is home to many rare and beautiful creatures including river dolphins, turtles and manatees and unique species of plants and trees. The future of both people and wildlife is dependent on the ecosystem continuing to thrive and natural resources being carefully managed. The Natütama research team is made up mainly of fishermen from Puerto Nariño and nearby smaller communities who have a special knowledge of the waterways and local flora and fauna.
The team of educators, most of them young adults themselves, take weekly classes with grades 1-5 in local primary schools using interactive teaching methods and the endangered species wildlife diplomas Natutama has developed for each grade.
The Foundation aims to build on traditional and scientific knowledge to achieve a sustainable use of resources, especially aquatic ecosystems, to ensure quality of life for future generations. Children are the main focus of the programmes, which reach more than twenty communities in the Puerto Narino area. Apart from their work in local schools, educators have set up junior ecology groups and workshops at the Visitor Centre and run a pre-school. Educational work is based on the Waldorf/Rudolf Steiner system and incorporates local artistic traditions, stories and crafts.
Click here to read a full report of Natutama's work and findings in 2019 with pictures of "Natutama Week" - based on the theme "Where our Food Comes From".
The Whale and Dolphin Conservation organisation is a founding supporter of Natutama and has lots of useful information on its website http://us.whales.org/wdc-in-action/amazon-river-dolphins-colombia-natutama-foundation