Riv-er - World Class Academy




*a large natural stream of water flowing in a channel to the sea, a lake, or another such stream*


What is a River?

A tributary to the Upano River flows in from river right as it gains volume on its way to the Amazon River hundreds of miles downstream.

Is it a hindrance?

Something we must overcome?

Something we must tame and conquer?


Is it a free-flowing state of tranquility and safety?

A place of peace?

Is a river a resource we abuse?

Is it a source of life?

Funny how all of these questions can be answered so simply with one word:


Yes, it’s true.

A river is a hindrance and many have been tamed.


It is also a place of peace and has been badly abused.

The Sinague community (bottom right of photo) is located on the banks of the Rio Aguarico and are the guardians of the river system. Fighting for, and passing legislation to prevent mining concessions of hydroelectric projects on the Aquarico, Chingual, Cofanes or any of their tributaries.


What is the purpose of a river?

To provide for us as a growing population?

To give us water?

To give us power?

To connect us through travel?

To give us recreation?

To feed us?

Freshly caught Tilapia being prepared in the traditional way of the community; wrapped in fresh banana leaves.
Take care of the river, keep it clean, and it will take care of you. Fish, freshly and sustainably fished feed the Sinague community on a daily basis.

To provide for the ecosystems our earth depends on?

To house fish?

To take excess rain water?

To create habits?

To feed forests?

Again, all these questions can be answered with

one single word….


How can a river be a million things at once?

A home

An obstacle

A valuable resource

A slave to our every desire…



*used in a wrong or inappropriate way*

*treated with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly*

Are rivers abused?

Do we use them inappropriately?

Is cutting a rivers free flow with a massive piece of concrete for only our benefit cruel?

Is cutting the passage of spawning fishing violent?

Does this occur regularly?

Is flooding habits and homes inappropriate?

Is dumping waste from mining into rivers wrong?

Bright orange mercury is often a signal of gold mining in the area due to its effectiveness in separating gold. Unfortunately, after use, the heavy metal is often discharged straight into the river.


The answer is


So why?

Why must we control the rivers?

Because we fear them?

Because it’s easier to abuse them than care for them?

Because we are lazy?

Because countries in the past damned their rivers and it brought them wealth?

Because humans are selfish?

Because we cannot see the big picture?

Because money is what matters?

The city of Macas in Ecuador depends on the Upano River. Unfortunately, the government is planning up to five more hydroelectric dams on this river in addition to the one already completed on the lower Upano River.



*a barrier constructed to hold back water and raise its level, forming a reservoir used to generate electricity or a water supply*







Do Dams

Choke our rivers?

Create sediment build up and clog their arteries?

Hinder the fish from reaching their spawning grounds?

Obstruct natural habitats?

Create scares on the earth?

Barricade us from the future?

The same answer comes back into play…




*retrieve or preserve (something) from potential loss or adverse circumstances*



The Jondachi River is one of the most beautiful, pristine rivers on the planet as it is sourced from withing a protected reserve. Downstream however, the river community fights to keep it free flowing through its confluence with the Hollin, and eventually, the Amazon.

Can we save our rivers?

Can we conserve our rivers?

Can we undo the harm we’ve done?

If we remove dams and pollution will rivers heal themselves?

Are our rivers in a state of adverse circumstances?


Rivers are amazing.

Macas, Ecuador local Christian shares a special bond with the river. One of only three kayakers in the area, he wishes for people to see the amazing rivers of the Macas area to help prevent the hydroelectric projects coming to fruition.

They give us life

They give us wealth

They are an essential piece of the worlds puzzle

A piece we must









Give up

Rivers will give us what we give them


Do rivers deserve respect and rights?

Are rivers necessary to human life?

If yes…

Then why don’t we act ? ?

Written by: Stephanie Glouteney
Photography by: Abe Herrera and Kalob Grady

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