·        Promote sustainable development for the wayana community along the Tapanahoni and Palumeu Rivers.

·        Education

·        Increase income for the villagers and to conserve the culture and biodiversity in their living area.

        The board of the Kuluwajak organisation until 2010 is:  
2nd Secretary
2nd Treasurer
Samoe Schelts
Arnold Arupa
Jakalika Welisiwen
Tanhoe Ikinadoe
Stoenka Ikinadoe
Pasipa Miliwa
Debbi Merenke 

·         Sustainable use for wildlife and natural resources

·         Awareness of community tourism and eco-tourism

·         Accessibility of education for the children

·         Capacity building and management of village leaders

·         Accessibility of basic inputs on food and equipment


The Kuluwayak Organization is very proud to launch Apetina.org!

On this website, we hope to present the latest developments and information about the local Wayana community, their livelihood and their culture.  We will also present relevant information about the development of eco-tourism in this area.  This information is being presented for the interest of current and future tourists, international researchers and the policy makers of the Surinamese government. 

With eco- and community- based tourism as the core of the sustainable development strategy in Apetina, the Kuluwayak Organization aims to increase the involvement of the local occupants.  The goal will be two-fold: promote the creation of employment and other direct benefits for the community, and teach them to treasure their own unique culture.

Since the awareness program for eco- and community- based tourism was launched in 2004, the local Wayana community has decreased their animal trade, opting instead to engage with new tourists in the employ of tourism.  Currently, many have jobs at the local tourist island-resort on Capasi Island, across from the village off of the Tapahoni River. In addition, the children of this community have already felt the direct benefits of Kuluwayak’s efforts, via the construction of the school building and the teacher’s houses.

Just a few years ago, Apetina was still unknown.  Now it is gaining popularity among tourists because of its unique combination of culture and wildlife, including a pristine rainforest with granite peaks, cool rapids and rich flora and fauna. We hope that this website will be successful in assisting its viewers, such as yourself, in your search for information about Apetina and the local Wayana community.  The Kuluwayak Organization thanks you for your interest and your time. We hope to see all of you soon!

On behalf of
the board of the Kuluwayak Organization, 
Samoe Schelts


Hello and welcome to Apetina.org,

My name is Arnold Arupa and I have been the principal of the Openbare School Kananoe Apetina since October 2006. I first arrived in Apetina to a school of 83 very shy Wayana children. At that time, I was the only teacher at the school with the important task of teaching the youth the official language of Suriname: Dutch.

Initially, the Wayana children lacked confidence because of their inability to communicate with visitors and lack of “fancy things.”  Since then, there has been much progress, and our school has grown to include 99 children and 5 teachers. Now, many of the children engage in conversation with the tourists, asking such questions as: how are you? What is your name? How is my village?  They also love to sing! Every Sunday we sing in church.  The willingness and the enthusiasm of these children is what motivate me to do my job everyday!

My hopes for the children are that they will become something positive in society, so that they may later contribute back to the village that helped foster their growth.  To that end, the Kuluwayak Organization has been a very positive and helpful force.

The last grade of the primary school is the sixth grade. We are currently at the fourth grade.  As with the rest of Suriname, these children will have to pass an exam, so we are doing our utmost to prepare them for that exam.  In addition, the Kuluwayak Organization is also trying to create a program whereby we can send the children to Paramaribo to continue their education.  If these children have good shelter in town, I know they can complete their education to get a good job and earn money in an honest way

I invite you to explore the rest of this website for more information, and contact Samoe Schelts, President of the Kuluwayak Organization, if you have any questions. 

The children, teachers, and I all look forward to seeing you when you come to visit us in Apetina!

Until we meet again,
Arnold Arupa


Apetina.org - product of Suriname Environmental Advisory Services & Kuluwayak organization - design by Reshma Kirpalani