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ECOTOURISM, AGROECOLOGY AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Work with this community, helping to develop economic and environmental alternatives that allow them to improve their quality of life without losing their principles, values and, above all, their sense of community.

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The project

This project is a mixed rural community composed by 50 families, located an hour away from Quito. It is a group of people that work everyday in order to develop economic alternatives that allow them to improve their quality of life without losing their principles, values and, above all, their sense of community. In 1995 they began a process of community organization and conservation through a forestry project. The project was supported by NGOs and international cooperation, which also implemented sustainable productive activities such as organic gardening, small dairy processing factories, fruit for making jams and ecotourism.

A couple of years ago, with the support of other organizations, this location was declared to be in a protected area. In order to achieve conservation of this area in the long term, there has been no incentive for monocultures, the use of agrochemicals, logging, or mass tourism. Also, scientific research programs that help rescue the biological and cultural wealth of the area are projects that are promoted. Their main objective is to improve the quality of life of its people through the sustainable use of the natural resources of the area.

 

Dates/Length

Project available year-round. 2 weeks to 6 months durations available.

 

Costs

2 weeks – $1360
1 month – $1830
2 months – $2770
3 months – $3710
Each extra week –$235

Location details

The project location is near Quito. Accomodation is with a local host family and it includes 2 meals per day: breakfast and dinner

 

Requirements

Spanish level: Independent user B2. Must be 18 and over, with valid passport and health insurance

Itinerary Sample

Mondays to Fridays

7:30 to 8:00  breakfast
8:00 to 12:00 according to the number of volunteers they are divided in two groups where they do different activities such as feeding the animals and cleaning cages and center maintenance, repairs, reconstructions.
12:00 to 14:30 lunch time
14:30 to 17:00 continue working with the activities.
18:30 to 19:00 dinner time

 

Role of the volunteer

The activities can vary according to the visitors’ interests, the needs of the community and previous conversations. However, it can include tasks such as:

Environmental Education: Volunteers are needed to support the development of an environmental education program for the child population in the community.

Forestry Research: You can also contribute heavily in the research of non-timber resources of the area (orchids, bromeliads, medicinal plants), or other aspects such as environmental services.

Organic gardening: You can participate in activities such as planting, cleaning, harvesting, and everything related to the maintenance and production of organic garden for women in the community. Participants will gain practical knowledge on organic agriculture.

Community: Your support in construction and maintenance of trails, camping area, recreation area, and composting systems will be appreciated.

Family Farms: Agricultural tasks and forestry (reforestation) at family farms. These activities are carried out with the participation of family members.

Mingas: Participants will be part of the so-called “mingas”. They area activities that involve to the whole community, whose objective is to perform works of common benefit

Dairy Processing and marmalade: Participants will learn and be part of the cheese process (made in a small dairy factory) and the marmalade production.

Eventually, volunteers have the option of participating in social events, sports and / or festivals that take place in the community.

 

Skills required

No 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.

What’s Included?

R

Accomodation

Available during the length of the project (Either at the project or local homestay families with 2 meals included)

R

Transfer from Quito to project

R

Cellphone

Local cell phone is included with a refundable deposit of $50

R

Aiport pick-up/ drop-off

Ecua Explora staff ready to transport you

R

Support 24 hours

On the ground Ecua Explora staff available

R

First weekend accomodation

In a hostal in Quito with breakfast

R

Orientation

(includes city tour and lunch)

Not Included

Q

Meals not specified

Q

Transportation to/from the homestay to the project each day

Q

Optional extras

Add $70 for day excursion upon arrival.
Add $50 per week for 6h Spanish classes if in Quito.

Sounds amazing? Want to be part of something important?

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