I met Alejandra Tapia in the Ecuadorian Amazon in 2010. We were in Tzawata—an indigenous community with a population of 300 that was preparing a legal battle against a Canadian mining company.
Alejandra was a 20-something year old with choppy black hair, dirt-caked clothing, and a camera perched on her shoulder. Though she was Ecuadorian, she was like me: an urbanite with a heart that couldn’t keep away from the Amazon. When we met, it was like I could hear that White Stripes song from Napoleon Dynamite; I can tell that we are going to be friends.
Alejandra and I are still good friends though I now live in the States. I recently caught up with her on Google chat to get the scoop on Ecuador’s failed Yasuni ITT initiative.