South America’s jungle lands are deep in the middle of the continent and stretch into the neck of Panama. The jungle is almost forgotten, but a careful reading of colonial history and archaeology reveals places where the Inca people took refuge as they retreated from the Spanish on the western side of the continent, later known as Peru. To the Spanish who took the Pacific side, the jungle was a place of abandonment and exile; fear of wild animals and disease kept them at a distance. The Portuguese, who colonized the eastern side of the continent, were quicker to face the challenge of the jungle. They made the rivers of the Amazon their highways
and developed farming communities along the river banks. In 1854, Peru and Brazil came to an agreement for the free navigation of the Amazon River, creating a massive continental highway. More recently, the Peruvian government has begun to pay attention to this asset by establishing a paved roadway into the headwaters of the Amazon with deeper water ports for commercial traffic.

Taken from CMML Missions Magazine