The rivers in the Amazon basin have served as highways to connect Indigenous communities since ancestral times. In the last decades, these highways have become more crowded due to the increase in the number of boats that sail them. The majority of these boats have gasoline powered engines, and although the amount of CO2 emitted from them is insignificant compared to the amount emitted by cars in the cities, it poses an ethical question for Indigenous communities that oppose oil extraction in their own territories: Is it OK to consume oil that has been extracted from other communities, similar to theirs?

The Achuar, an Indigenous community based in the south of Ecuador who have historically opposed extractive activities in their territory, have taken action with this regard. Together with a local NGO, they have built and implemented six solar powered boats so far and are building more. But this collaboration does not stop here. Over the last three years, the solar energy project in Achuar territory has evolved enormously. Currently, the village of Kapawi, near the border with Peru, has a solar center that serves as a recharging point and provides clean electricity to part of the community and the local school. This sends a symbolically strong message to the international community, as it shows how new generations are already growing up handling and seeing first-hand the importance of solar energy in the Amazon. This center also trains community members in the technical aspects of working with solar energy, so that the community itself will perform maintenance to their boats and solar power station. This will bring a sustainable work alternative for the community, whose tourist income has been severely affected after the COVID-19 pandemic.

This visual history will show how the Achuar territory is becoming an important center of the solar revolution in the Amazon and how this experience is spreading to other territories and countries (Peru, Brazil, and Suriname are some examples). It is clear that solar boats, which are now used not only for transportation, but also for surveillance of the territory against extractive threats (logging, mining, and oil), are important elements of life today, however it should be emphasized that the solar project is not only based on them, but in the total conversion to clean energy. Therefore, this story will focus mainly on the influence of solar energy in the daily life of the community and how it is transforming the dynamics of the territory.