For rural, indigenous communities the ways structural modernization, exposure to Western-scientific epistemologies, and formal schooling affect environmental reasoning remain unclear. For one Kichwa community in the Napo region of Ecuador, daily routines have re-oriented toward formal schooling but environmental learning opportunities remain intact. Here, while a Species Interaction Task elicited consensus across ages on inferred ecological interactions, younger people reasoned differently than older people: for them, animal interactions with flora were considered damaging, not neutral. Aspirational practices like schooling can thus reorient environmental reasoning, even in contexts in which young people share cultural understandings of local ecological relationships with adults.