CLOUD FOREST CONSERVATION PROJECT
Get engaged with the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources, contributing to the maintenance and restoration of natural ecosystems, their resources and biodiversity for future generations through the diffusion of productive activities that are compatible with nature, supporting values of social equity and respect for natural and cultural diversity.
The reserve was acquired in 1984 and began working towards the conservation of the cloud forest. Since then, adventure tourism activities had been developed, environmental education programs, organic agriculture, biological surveys and other related activities that support the work plan on the reserve. The volunteer program has been running since 2008. Participants carry out different activities on the reserve and in the local community. The projects and activities are not only done within the reserve, but also, the volunteers take part in activities that promote the social and economic development of the community, along with the help of other organizations.
This organization is a non-lucrative conformed by a group of people with a vast professional experience, engaged with the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources. Its mission is to contribute to the maintenance and restoration of natural ecosystems, their resources and biodiversity for future generations through the diffusion of productive activities that are compatible with nature, supporting values of social equity and respect for natural and cultural diversity.
The volunteer activities were created based on the needs of the reserve and the community. The principle objectives of the volunteer projects are to strengthen the environmental consciousness of the participants and promote cultural exchange. Also, they would like to enable the volunteers to participate in conservation activities by way of maintenance and administration of a protected area, in agreement with the principal of “experiential education”. Lastly, the organization is trying to develop the knowledge about the Chocó bioregion and its problems and promote conservation alternatives for the community.
Volunteers can enjoy hiking to the waterfall, horseback riding, and hiking to the Museo de Tulipe all within the reserve! Also, Mindo is located just 20 Kilometers from the reserve where volunteers can enjoy waterfalls, rafting, butterfly museum, bike rides, tubing, and visit the Mindo-Nambillo Reserve.
Project available year-round. 1 to 6 months durations available.
2 weeks – $1360
1 month – $1830
2 months – $2770
3 months – $3710
Each extra week – $235
The project location is North West of Ecuador, 2 hours from Quito. Accomodation is with a local host family and it includes 2 meals per day: breakfast and dinner
Spanish level: Basic user A1. Must be 18 and over, with valid passport and health insurance
Role of the volunteer
The volunteers will divide into work groups and supervised by a coordinator. The participants will be involved in a variety of activities focused on two areas: environmental/conservation activities and culture/community development activities.
The environmental activities include restoration of ecosystems, which includes collecting of seeds, plant production in the nursery and reforestation. In addition, Agro forestry like implantation, management and monitoring of diversified organic coffee plantations. They will be working on maintenance of trails and gardens and working on organic agriculture, which will consist of elaboration of organic fertilizer, harvesting, and management of a garden. Also, volunteers will be raising farm animals like horses, cows, chickens and making cheeses. Lastly, working on a Biological survey that identifies orchids and bromeliads, ecological studies of the local avian and technical tests regarding the germination of forest seeds.
The cultural activities include community development work outside of the reserve and workshops on art and recycling programs. Also, Teaching English, environmental education, computer or any other skills the volunteers possess that are compatible with the interests and demands of the community.
Skills requiredNo special experience is required. However, the number one qualification is the willingness to learn and help, as well as being opened to live in a small community and be part of their daily activities.
Available during the length of the project (Either at the project or local homestay families with 2 meals included)
Transfer from Quito to project
Local cell phone is included with a refundable deposit of $50
Aiport pick-up/ drop-off
Ecua Explora staff ready to transport you
Support 24 hours
On the ground Ecua Explora staff available
First weekend accomodation
In a hostal in Quito with breakfast
(includes city tour and lunch)
Meals not specified
Transportation to/from the homestay to the project each day
Add $70 for day excursion upon arrival.
Add $50 per week for 6h Spanish classes if in Quito.