The Cocamas are a people group indigenous to the Amazon Jungles of South America. The vast majority of them live along the rivers and tributaries of the Amazon River in Northern Peru, with a few located in Brazil. They typically live in villages and are non-nomadic, farming the banks of the rivers as they rise and fall with the seasons. The Peruvian Government reports there are approximately fifty-seven Cocama villages scattered along five major rivers in Peru, with a total population of approximately fifteen thousand Cocamas.
As modern technology such as cell phones and the internet slowly makes its way into these areas of the Amazon a dramatic intersection of modern and traditional cultures and ideas is often on display. Still, the people living in this remote area of the world seldom have a chance to get to know outsiders in a personal way, and they often harbor fears rooted in traditional beliefs and myths. Having no roads to travel it can sometimes take days to commute by water to the nearest port city, resulting in living in near total isolation from the rest of the world.
Intelligent, industrious, incredibly strong and hardworking are just a few words that describe this group of people. And for all of us with The Cocama Project that have been there, lived among them, gotten to know them and grown to love them, they are truly our neighbors. Matthew 22:36-40