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How do people make a living in the rainforest?

Updated November 21, 2016

Rainforest conditions are found all over the world, the largest being the Amazon rainforest in South America. People indigenous to these regions have traditionally survived by being hunter-gathers or hunter-gardeners. As of 2010, natives make their living in various ways.

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Traditional Living

The most traditional way of making a living for people indigenous to the rainforest is living off the land. Natives will find everything they need to survive in nature, including food, shelter and clothing. Although some natives have been somewhat influenced by modernisation, there are still tribes who live in the traditional way.


People living in the rainforest use tourism to their advantage to help make a living. The natives will sell various foods, wares, and handmade crafts to tourists who are visiting the rainforest. Natives will also travel to nearby towns and sell items at local markets.

Crop Cultivation

While the traditional hunting and gathering life still occurs, crop cultivation is also a main way in which the natives make a living. Natives will have two gardens, a small house garden to feed their family, and a larger plantation garden for added income.

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