The inhabitants of a village located in the Colombian Amazon have banned uninvited tourists in a bid to preserve their culture, according to reports.
Nazareth, which is situated 20 minutes away from the town Leticia, is inhabited by 800 indigenous people who uphold age-old jungle traditions.
The majority of this population is made up of Ticuna Indians – an endangered community. According to the United Nations there are only about 30,000 Ticuna people remaining.
Increasing numbers of tourists are flocking to the region to enjoy exotic fauna and flora, rare animal species and the traditions of the natives. 2010 saw the arrival of 35,000 tourists (and backbackers), a dramatic increase on previous eight years, despite the fact that this small village is supposed to have been off-limits to visitors for the past two years.
But according to locals, the tourists have been leaving litter, taking intrusive pictures and behaving inappropriately. According to their reports, only travel agents are benefiting from the influx of visitors.
Following these allegations, the Elders from the village held a meeting and agreed that only tourists with prior invitations from the villagers will be allowed to visit and all travellers will need to undergo a process of identification.