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Adventures with Friendship Force

by Raymond Enstam      

I have been asked to write about an unexpected adventure from traveling with Friendship Force. Many years ago I went on a home stay exchange to Trujillo, Peru and while there came upon a book in common use in the schools of Peru to teach about the history of Peru in the Amazon. It was named Sangama: A Story of the Amazon Jungle. It was published in 1942 by Arturo D. Hernández in Spanish. I found out that it also had been published in French and German in the 1950s, but never in English. I thought that the English language readers ought at least to have the opportunity to read this work. The daughter of the family I was staying with is an attorney and she helped me find the family of the author (then deceased). I contacted them and with her help negotiated worldwide publishing rights in English to all the works of Hernández, as well as the Spanish rights in North America.

Checking on his other writings, I found that in the 1930s he had interviewed a young woman who had been kidnapped in 1927 by a fierce tribe of cannibals from the jungle interior. She had been given to one of the warriors and had spent four years as a captive before her daring escape. She learned their language and was treated as a member of this tribe, observing things no outsider had ever been witness to and could not witness without changing the tribe by their very presence. Hernández wrote a book based upon her time in the tribe. The book is entitled Selva Trágica: Captive in the Jungle. This book had been available in Spanish and French, but never in English. Working with the license agreement that I have, I have translated both of these books into English and they are now available on Amazon. I have also published and sell on Amazon the original Spanish of these 2 books.

When I first joined the Friendship Force I never imagined where this worldwide organization could lead me. There is a world out there to discover. You just have to look.

Ray Enstam
Member since 1996 – 20 years!

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