1. A large majority of the 17,000 Kokama live in Peru.
A small fraction of them live in the surrounding countries of Brazil and Columbia. According to Rosa Vallejos, "the Kukama-Kukamiria is a deeply endangered language spoken in the Peruvian Amazon by approximately 1500 people. The remaining fluent speakers of the language are mostly older than 60 years, are spread out across various villages, and speak the language in very restricted situations." The rest of the people are speakers of an Amazonian Spanish dialect.
2. They serve as fishermen and farmers.
Kokama men and women both work. Crops include maize, sweet potatoes, taja-cara, beans, yams, sicana, pumpkins, peanuts, pineapples, cayenne peppers, peach palms, avocados, papayas, guavas, yucca, and bananas. They also grow cotton, tobacco, and barbasco for poisoning fish. Most of the farming is done on the opposite bank of the river. The Kokama plant crops in the river beds during the dry season when the water levels are low. They travel back and forth across the river daily on canoes carved out of tree trunks. They also use these boats for fishing. The yucca they get from the farms and the fish they catch are their main sources of food. They salt and dry the fish for preservation since no refrigeration is available. Occasionally they may be successful in killing a wild animal, such as a pig, tapir, or iguana.
3. The Kokama have a growing population despite past harships such as epidemics, colonial rule, and slave raiding.
Most of the Kokama people live in wooden bungalows built on the edge of the river. These bungalows are raised by large stilts to give way to the rising and falling of river levels during the rainy season. The Kokama build their bungalows to be open air due to the hot and humid weather they endure year round. They usually sleep in platform beds or cloth hammocks, and use mosquito netting to keep from contracting malaria. The Kokama get their water from the river. This dirty water causes illness and infections. They are in need of a clean water supply.
4. While some Christian beliefs are taking hold, many still keep traditional Kokama beliefs alive.
The Kokama have a mixture of beliefs due to their engagement with the outside world in recent years. It is a challenge to teaching biblical truth to the Kokama because each of these traditional beliefs must be addressed.