To children of the Amazon, our world must seem distant and magical. Some of them know of our way of life through television, which has reached some less remote villages. Mostly, they only know of the western culture through school, or in some cases from the tourists who visit occasionally. Whatever the case, their perception of life in the industrialized countries of America, Asia and Europe are very different from those of us who live there. Hence, a universal characteristic of these children is an intense curiosity about who we are, where we come from and why we are there.
Tourist riverboats are a powerful lure for local riverside children, whose curiosity draws them to seek handouts from the passengers. Tourists must be conscientious about the gifts they offerchildren will fight over a mere pencil if there are not enough to go around. Candy or soda causes poor dental health in places where there are no dentists.
Even if the tourists are not handing out gifts, the strange foreigners are endlessly fascinating to the children of less frequently visited, more remote villages. To them, we are people from another world, and to us, they are from another world.