INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY CONSERVATION 2017
Open all year, starting on Sundays, every week, participation fee 630€ per week.
- Code : G/ECU/ICC2017
- Dispo : 5M / 5F (Total Part 10)
- Langue du Projet : ENG / ESP
- Age : 18 - 99
This program will take the volunteers to an indigenous community located in the Amazon Rain Forest, where they will live with local families, totally immersed in their native culture. They join the efforts of the community to conserve a growing piece of rainforest and establishing a sustainable lifestyle that encourages young people to stay in the countryside instead of moving into cities and giving up their land and traditions. This program gives volunteers plenty of possibilities to engage for the community as well as to develop their own ideas. All paired with a flavor of adventure in a unique environment. Volunteers might trek through the jungle with a machete, bath in waterfalls, get to know the process of growing bananas on the various plantations around, and help adding new plants to the family’s medical garden, while learning about seemingly mysterious medical powers of nature. They will watch the sun rise over the dusty rainforest, overview the breathtaking moment from a cliff high above the treetops, fade into sleep listening to the melodies of traditional flutes chiming through the night long after everybody went to bed. A thrilling way to support a community and practice your Spanish whilst collecting unforgettable impressions in this definitely not tourist program. This extraordinary time in the Amazon will contain countless opportunities to explore the area and experience the rich and traditional culture of the indigenous people. Volunteers should be prepared to be surprised not only by being stuck kneedeep in rainy mud, but also by being up to their neck in a different worldview and an unexpected perspective of life full of tranquility, peace and harmony with nature, making all of it an unforgettable cultural experience. Aims &Objectives The community altogether holds about 2500 acres of land of which 2100 acres are treated as a natural reserve. Thanks to the help of past volunteers, the community could develop a self sustaining, environmentally aware lifestyle. Cattle farming belongs to the past and active reforestation helps undo past mistakes. Every single volunteer who came left behind a few modern thoughts or ideas, that helped the community to think in a more long term and global way. And still there is much left to do.
Volunteers live in one of the volunteer accommodations in the community, ranging from small single rooms to bigger rooms with up to 4 people, depending on availability. All rooms are in walking distance to each other. The accommodation has a pretty simple standard. Still higher than the standard if the families of the community itself but one would describe it as basic. Rooms don’t have a lot of furniture and bathrooms are located outside the house. There is the possibility to wash your clothes by hand. Also there is a volunteer community area with a hammock. Food is either eaten together with one of the families or just amongst the volunteers. Dishes usually are typical dishes of the community involving plenty of banana and little or no meat. All meals are included. Vegetarian/vegan food options are available. You can find some small stores close by. Nevertheless we recommend to buy everything you need before the program starts. Especially bring sufficient mosquito protection.
The student will stay with an indigenous community living in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest in the Pastaza province. A long and straight street cuts through the landscape. Busses pass by about 3 times a day, cars every hour or so. Along that street, every now and then you will find a house of one of the families of the community, which in total owns and protects about 2500 acres of rainforest. Activities might lead the volunteer far into the rainforest. To the banana plantations of the family, to viewpoints, to herb gardens or down a huge cliff to a waterfall. Volunteers will not walk on paths, as there are none. The indigenous rather know their way through the jungle. Volunteers might be involved in tough physical work as the family does it and will likely be handling tools like a machete. Usually the indigenous don’t care too much about weather, so most the activities or walks are also happening if it is raining. The members of the community speak Spanish as well as their indigenous language. Our coordinator will help you with communication if you speak little or no Spanish.
This program requires participants to be interested in outdoor activities and medium physical challenge. Participants must be aware that these activities are not dangerous but require strength or focus or both. This program does not require Spanish knowledge. It is recommended to bring a sleeping bag and rubber boots. You could get both in Quito if you can’t bring it from home. Also make sure to bring clothes that can get dirty as well as sunscreen and mosquito repellent. Open all year, starting on Sundays, arrival on Saturdays and departure on Saturday morning, participation fee 630€ per week. Program runs Mon-Fri, (free weekends). Reception at UIO (Mariscal Sucre International Airport) at the arrival on Saturdays. We will leave Quito on Sunday morning at 09:30 am so we recommend you to arrive already on Saturday, if this is your first week in Quito. From Saturday to Sunday you stay one night in a hostel in Quito near the school (shared room / selfcatering). If you had another program with homestay before that program, you will stay with your host family until Sunday.