The Wayana community is located in the northern Amazon region of Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil. In Suriname, the Wayanas live on the banks of the Lawa, Litani, Ulemari and the upper Tapanahoni rivers. They arrived here from Brazil around the mid-18th century and settled in Apetina (Puleowime), Palumeu and Kawemhakan (Anapaike) the Ndyuka and Aluku Marrons had already settled along the Tapanahoni and Lawa River respectively.

The indigenous Wayana area in Suriname is located on the banks of the Lawa and the upper Tapanahoni River in the southeast of the country and is home to approximately 800 inhabitants. Worldwide there are only about 2500 Wayana left. The Wayana indigenous people live in an area of ​​nearly 31,000 square kilometers. This area is home to passionate communities living in six small villages and camps; Apetina (500), Kawemhakan (85), Kumakupan (35), Lensi dede (40), Palumeu (200, Wayana and Trio community) and Tutu Kampu (50).



“Wayana legends often tell about the great forest spirit; Meliimë the jaguar. Meliimë the jaguar is used by the Wayanas as a sign of unity and for invincibility, in other words: together we are strong ".


Palumeu is an Indigenous village that lies in the heart of the Amazon rainforest in Surinam and borders the Tapanahoni river.  About 200 Trio and Wayana Indigenous live here among many special animal species. It is a traditional Indigenous village, where people still live according to the old traditions The village is governed by the captain and his bajas and the inhabitants live off hunting, fishing and small-scale arable farming. Nowadays,  Palumeu is mainly dependent on (eco) tourism.

Our mission

Our mission is to preserve our habitats, improve and develop the medical, social and economic elements. This development will be realized with and by the people of Palumeu. This mission has been translated into short and long term goals aimed at preserving our Wayana and Trio identity.
Duurzame leefomgeving

Sustainable environment

  • live in safe and clean territories [land rights]
  • 24/7 sustainable energy for Palumeu
  • clean drinking water for Palumeu 
  • sustainable land use and preserving eco systems
  • improved farming methods; less “slash and burn”

Environmental issues

  • mercury-free mining
  • clean river and creeks
  • waste management
  • land rehabilitation

Protect our territory

  • demarcation/mapping of the Wayana territory
  • land use management planning/system; Determine how to use the various areas (hunting, agriculture or keep it pristine)
  • sustainable use of the area
  • area protection plan
  • an inventory of the existing biodiversity


  • Wayana - Trio language training
  • Dutch language training
  • English language training
  • Training in everything a Wayana needs in daily life (repairing outboard motor, chainsaw, woodworking, electricity etc.)
  • Courses about Wayana and Trio culture, traditions and customs
  • Leadership development
  • Training in Western thinking
  • Training for outsiders about the Wayana and Trio customs and habits
  • Capacity building foundations, youngsters and traditional leaders and self-determined development

Social Healthcare

  • information and prevention of high suicide rate
  • information and prevention of domestic violence
  • information and prevention of sexual abuse
  • information and prevention of teenage pregnancy and teenage parents/mothers
  • information and prevention of alcohol abuse
  • information and prevention of mercury poisoning


  • Cooperation between the Wayana and Trio in Suriname based on their shared vision
  • Cooperation between the Wayana and Trio people of Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil
  • Making the paths between Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil passable
  • Revival of culture, traditions and habits

Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous decision making institutions.

Article 18, United Nations: Doc.18_declaration rights indigenous peoples

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