At a time when almost all other fruit festivals were canceled, the third annual Amazon Fruit Festival shone brightly as a sustainable gathering for fruit-loving folks deep in the jungles of Ecuador.
From January 14 through 30, 2021, we gathered together and enjoyed everything that was organized and prepared over the previous uncertain year. Our events included a coconut water fast and weeklong main festival.
Amazon Fruit Festival Origins
Almost a decade ago, the seed of Terra Frutis began to germinate in the minds of a few individuals who felt a calling to search for farmland in the tropics and start a community.
As the community Terra Frutis was founded in 2014 and then Fruit Haven in 2016, the next idea brewing in our heads was to host a fruit festival. Back then, with very little infrastructure, it seemed a distant dream.
But, finally, in 2019, we held the very first Amazon Fruit Festival. Since then, we try to improve the festival every year and attract more and more like-minded people. The festival is a great way for people to get to know our communities. It’s also a great way for us to spread this way of life and teach what we’ve learned about starting communities, living healthfully and growing tropical fruits in a natural way.
The Amazon Fruit Festival Is More Than Just a Festival But Part of a Larger Movement
Most fruit festivals take place on a rented campground or farm and are over as soon as the festival is done.
The Amazon Fruit Festival takes place at a vegan permaculture community, where we already live year round, growing fruits and building a sustainable new way of life. When you leave the Amazon Fruit Festival to fly back to your home country, the compost you left there is already being used on the fruit trees and the community lives on, having been enriched by your presence—and you by theirs, we hope!
Some people who come to the Amazon Fruit Festival end up loving the place so much they later come back to stay at Terra Frutis community, where the festival is hosted, or at nearby community Fruit Haven Ecovillage, which is located right up the river. Starting a homestead is also a feasible option for many people with the group land buys that are offered at Terra Frutis and Fruit Haven. Imagine buying a plot of land, building a house and living year round in an area with multiple communities centered on growing fruit and sustainable living, with the yearly fruit festival and other events happening almost in your back yard.
This appeal is real for many people. Which is why now over 30 people have taken the plunge and become landowners at Terra Frutis or Fruit Haven, doing everything from building cabins, planting fruit forests and installing solar panels to planning small businesses and healing retreats for when the community continues growing in size.
Some Amazon Fruit Festival guests rent rooms at Terra Frutis or Fruit Haven or spend some time volunteering at each community before or after the festival or at other times during the year. It’s refreshing to be in a place where people don’t think you’re weird for eating the way you do or believing the things you believe. One of our goals in holding the Amazon Fruit Festival is to give people a way to turn the festival into a permanent reality rather than a weeklong vacation where you return to “normal life” right afterward.
Highlights From the Third Annual Amazon Fruit Festival
Here’s the rundown of highlights from this year’s Amazon Fruit Festival.
We did breathwork, massage, meditation, various types of yoga and visited nearby community Fruit Haven Ecovillage. We learned how to graft and air-layer fruit trees. We went on runs, daily barefoot walks and even had hypnotherapy sessions. We learned how to ferment nut cheese and how to start an intentional community. There was something for everybody.
We had fewer people than last year but more than we expected considering today’s travel situation. Our guaranteed “COVID Refund” helped people feel safer about making their travel plans. We made some great new friends and connections and saw some familiar faces from last year’s festival.
We had delicious Edward and Kent mangos from the coast of Ecuador, yellow dragon fruit, ice cream bean, rollinia, cherimoya, jackfruit grown at Terra Frutis, local vegetables and too many other delicious things to mention. We drank unlimited coconut water and sugarcane juice and bathed in the stream and the hot tub.
We offered plenty of clean options, but, for those who like to spoil their palate, raw chef Paola and kitchen manager Peter (with a few other helpers) whipped up some great dishes. We had raw lasagna, pizza, cinnamon rolls, Buffalo wings, falafel with tabbouleh, cultured nut cheese and sour coco cream, taco night, nice cream and many other delicacies.