West of the highlands, and along the Pacific Coast, we arrive at the Pacific Tropical Rainforest. The high western range of the Andes geographically isolates this ecosystem from the rest of the country. Among the most biologically diverse places on the planet, it is a fragile environment threatened by the intense extraction and exploitation of its timber, minerals, and fish.
Water and the rainforest are the source of life and the site of interaction for the region's indigenous, mestizo, and majority African-descent populations. For more than five centuries, people in this region have mined and commercialized mineral resources for jewelry making and many families depend on these resources as a principal source of income. Artisans make good use of the richness and diversity of forest resources to carve tools for use in daily activities at the river's edge. Rivers are also settings for community celebrations and processions accompanied by a chirimía band, the signature musical ensemble of the north Pacific.