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Sailing into our First Voyage


By Renata Freitas

Having past one year (January 2012) since the conception of the Expedition Barco Iris (Rain Boat), I remember with joy the experiences we’ve endured. Our first contact with water: a brainstorm of ideas among people who want a more positive society on Earth based on a healthy coexistence.


If before we were seen as delusional artists calling the world’s attention through sustainability, now I’m sure the premise is true. Ultimately, who would give up their jobs and studies to climb aboard an adventure through the world’s mightiest river in a boat made partially of plastic waste in order to carry messages back and forth about nature conservation?

In reality we are sailors on our first voyage and we are still studying the nautical language. Nonetheless, our port became safer once we shared a common dream, a holistic view created through a constellation of crew members from around the world to explore the colours of the Amazon jungle on a raft; our home and stage for a conscious theatre/cinema and workshop created to visit the communities on the banks of the Amazon River and some of its tributaries.

We are embedded in a multicultural mission whose pennant is painted with the colours of the rainbow to appreciate nature as a work of art as well as to (re) discover a healthier interaction between human beings and being natural on this planet. Our floating theatre becomes an itinerant school when conscious acts are performed thoughtfully, constructively sharing knowledge and wisdom in an exchange with those who cross our path.

We have departed from Coca, on the 16 October, leaving the Amazonian city of the province of Orellana (where we built our boat in the community ‘Seis de Enero’), through the Napo River, located at the foot of the Andes. We will reach the Atlantic Ocean passing through Ecuador, crossing the border into the Peruvian and Colombian Amazon, before arriving in Brazil upon the Amazon River, and eventually traversing 4500 km’s to arrive in Belen, beside the mouth of the River, on the Atlantic coast of Brazil.

Distribuyendo Alegría en Ecuador!

At the same time we are sending messages focused on aspects of sustainable living and environmental education, the reuse of solid and liquid wastes, organic and inorganic, as well as waste reduction, recycl-ART, construction with natural materials, the use of appropriate technologies and healing through art. The objectives of the expedition Barco Iris include acting as a carrier of messages based on a positive manifesto sustained by native voices of the Amazon on the importance of preserving forests and their natural resources.

From the Amazon River to Rio de Janeiro

The messages are coming from the ambassadors of the communities we are visiting and authorities associated with the environment containing concrete proposals for the sustenance of life and nature. We have sent (and will continue to do) part of these messages to the ‘People’s Summit’, a visionary encounter that occurred between 15th and 23rd of June 2012, during the Rio +20, a United Nations’ conference on Sustainable Development.

Messages in the BottleThe rescue of this romantic act of communicating through messages in bottles (in this case plastic bottles), is an appeal to the way we exacerbated the consumption of “plastic packaging” and continues to be an appeal to slow the speed of light with which decisions are being taken in relation to the environment.

The collected messages were read at the meeting of C.A.S.A. (Council of Sustainable Settlements of the Americas: www.casacontinental.org ), through Pachamama Foundation and Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (www.pachamama.org.ec) and through Gaia Home, a space meeting of ideas, experiences and solutions for a sustainable world (www.benfeitoria.com/gaiahome).

The entire expedition is being filmed and photographed in order to produce a documentary containing our sustainable adventure through the Amazon.


The Natural Birth

The expedition Barco Iris was born as an integral part of the objectives of the EarthCode Project: (www.earthcode.org) ‘Adventurers in search of an intentionally sustainable future’, that since 2009 has been leading a harmonious life with nature through the coexistence with indigenous, alternative and conventional communities. After living, learning and sharing positive footprints in more than 80 sustainable projects within Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Australia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, the adventures of EarthCode continue no more in land, but through the veins of the Amazon River to lead again into the Brazilian Atlantic Ocean.

Navigating through an area of the ​​highest biodiversity of the planet, breathing through the lungs of the world and enjoying the abundance of wildlife, has been helping us understand the importance of a sustainable existence on Earth. Hopefully you will also accompany us on this conscious adventure! Check our page on facebook: Barco Iris




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