December 03, 2013
Caitlin Huffman was involved in an atypical research project. She spent a portion of her summer in the jungles of the Amazon River investigating the use of medicinal plants.
“I was approached one day by my anthropology professor, who asked, ‘Do you want to go to Ecuador?’ she says.
“I jumped at the chance. I’ve always been interested in the preservation of culture and indigenous peoples. The next thing I know, I’m meeting people from all over the world in the Amazon, learning with healers and shamans, and researching the medicinal qualities of exotic plants.”
The Amazon provided a distinct backdrop for Caitlin’s learning and development.
“To be honest, I didn’t really like it at first,” she says. “It was muddy, it was wet, and there were lots of bugs. But then I realized how amazing it was to be able to interact and learn with the people and environment… Working with guides, making my own food… It helped me discover how to learn and research on my own. It was a great experience and an eye opener.”
Caitlin’s adventure in the Amazon could lead to discoveries in the realm of medicinal plant use, including dosage, treatment and research.