SHUARNUM Cultural Preservation and Economic Development

November 20, 2023 by Sarah Tesla

With the support of the Lundin Foundation and Lundin Gold, SHUARNUM, an Indigenous business owned by the Shuar Federation of Zamora Chinchipe, recently launched four unique products under the Shuarnum brand in the Ecuadorian market.  

This product launch is part of the Shuar community’s long-term strategy to create sustainable sources of income through artisanal Shuar products, gastronomy, hospitality and eco-tourism services. This strategy aims to ensure cultural preservation and economic development for the community for future generations.  

Since 2019, the Foundation worked with the Shuar Federation of Zamora Chinchipe and Lundin Gold to create a transparent governing body to oversee the management of the Shuar-led tourism company. The governing board comprises 50 percent Shuar representation and is chaired by a Shuar leader. Since that time, the parties worked together and developed a business strategy focused on positioning Shuarnum as a cultural tourism business while generating employment for young people from the Shuar community. To diversify Shuarnum’s sources of income, the team developed a line of Shuar-inspired artisanal products that could be marketed to the tourism sector in Ecuador. 

Together, the Lundin Foundation and Lundin Gold provided business development support and financing to work towards the long-term goal of promoting the sustainable development, cultural preservation and economic empowerment of the Shuar communities of Zamora Chinchipe. This video highlights the spirit, ethos and strategic goals of the Shuar community, which are creating cultural and economic opportunities for the next generation. 


Featured Products

Four marquee gastronomy products have been launched and distributed in specialty  stores in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. They feature a specialty chocolate, coffee, chilli pepper and guayusa drink — developed in collaboration with a company with expertise in entrepreneurship and promoting and marketing value-added products.  

The “KAKARAM” (strength) chocolate bar is made with cocoa and guayusa, and the “KUSHIKIAM” (shuar cocoa) chocolate bar is made with 65% Amazonian cocoa.  

The 100% Arabica “NUA” (woman) high-altitude coffee has its flavour enhanced with guayusa and cardamom, characterized by its intense aroma and mild flavour. 

“JIMIA” chilli powder (Shuar chilli) is made with native chilli peppers and dehydrated with Amazonian salt. The guayusa drink “ENTSA” (river water) is an energizing antioxidant infusion prepared with the leaves of the guayusa plant and fortified with vitamins B and E.  


These products represent the cultural and natural wealth of the Shuar community of Zamora Chinchipe. The local team at the Lundin Foundation and Lundin Gold is very proud of the business growth at SHUARNUM and is committed to continued support in the Shuar communities.