Trekking the Amazon with Love and Care

  • Eglee Zent Lab Ecología Humana, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas
  • Stanford Zent Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas
  • Lojta Jtute Knowledge holder and community member
  • Awelajlu Jtitekyo Knowledge holder and community member
  • Jkatalila̧ Jtute Knowledge holder and community member
  • Lobįko Ijtö Knowledge holder and community member
  • Ilę Jkwayo Knowledge holder and community member
  • Maliela Yaluja Knowledge holder and community member
  • Iva Juae Knowledge holder and community member
  • Noe Jono Knowledge holder and community member
  • Alejadro Molö Knowledge holder and community member
  • Aula Amikoja Knowledge holder and community member
  • Abeto Melomaja Knowledge holder and community member
  • Alabala Aubojkyo Knowledge holder and community member
  • Kyabo Bowijte Knowledge holder and community member
  • Awaïkï Yewi Knowledge holder and community member
  • Jani-Yewi Yewi Knowledge holder and community member
  • Ba̧lejko Jtitekyo Knowledge holder and community member
  • Jkai Knowledge holder and community member
  • Jtobá Jtute Knowledge holder and community member
  • Lila Yolo Knowledge holder and community member
  • Ajti̧ta Uliejteja Knowledge holder and community member
  • Jtujkaybojlae Bowijte Knowledge holder and community member
  • Ulijkule Jtute Knowledge holder and community member
  • Jkwajkya Jlawi Knowledge holder and community member
  • Late Bowijte Knowledge holder and community member
Keywords: Love-care, Biocultural conservation, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Indigenous Peoples, Jotï, Amazon


This essay highlights the philosophical views of the Jotï, an Indigenous group from the Venezuelan Amazon. Daily Jotï behaviors are embraced by a notion of life in which everything is interconnected (mana jtïdemame) and should be respected given its sacredness (jkïmañe). Furthermore, life is in perennial movement (jkeibïae dekae) and is designed to be carried out together in groups (uliyena majadïka). The maintenance of life is related to engaging in solidarity, reciprocity, and amicability (me madöna), with these values being the key metaphor for hunting-gathering-farming-fishing rather than predation. The universe is populated by a myriad of entities with unique capacities, volitions, and motivations (budëkïmade)—like those of people, regardless of their nonhuman appearances—evidence that the universe’s inherent condition is subjective, and all life forms originated from the same root. Likewise, no landscape or life form is pristine or final; instead, everything is potentially subject to ceaseless transformation (jka ojtali ~ jkabaemade). Those reasons provide the basis for why every person should strive for righteousness (nï jti maudöna), endeavoring to be morally good and practicing love-care with all that surrounds us (jkyo jkwainï). Love-care is the translation of a praxis considered an innate essential constituent of all persons. It is also the fundamental strategy to sustain and protect life. Given that nothing prevents a person anywhere in the world from embracing love and care as their life motto while struggling to prevent the current path of destruction of the Earth, the enactment of love-care is an endless possibility regardless of location or time.

Author Biography

Stanford Zent, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas

Full Professor, Lab Ecologia Humana IVIC


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An illustration of the Jotï Cosmos, Spheres of Life and Trees, featuring disks of different habitats from the forest floor, underbrush, water and sky, connected by trees and plants, and including a variety of animal life and humans within one complex but whole ecosystem. Elaborated by Nuria Martín.
How to Cite
Zent, E., Zent, S., Jtute, L., Jtitekyo, A., Jtute, J., Ijtö, L., Jkwayo, I., Yaluja, M., Juae, I., Jono, N., Molö, A., Amikoja, A., Melomaja, A., Aubojkyo, A., Bowijte, K., Yewi, A., Yewi, J.-Y., Jtitekyo, B., Jkai, Jtute, J., Yolo, L., Uliejteja, A., Bowijte, J., Jtute, U., Jlawi, J., & Bowijte, L. (2022). Trekking the Amazon with Love and Care. Ethnobiology Letters, 13(1), 29–40.