Preserving the cloud forest and the coastal environment in Ecuador
Chiriboga & Manabi
Volunteer project: This program is dedicated to true nature lovers who want to contribute to one of the biggest problems of our environment and society. Our main objective is the protection and conservation of two different ecosystems: the coast and the cloud forest. The volunteer project combines beach cleanup in the community of Ligüiqui in Manabí Province and environmental and construction activities in the cloud forest of Chiriboga, Pichincha Province.
Ligüiqui is a small coastal community where the main activity of local people was fishing but nowadays they live from tourism. Ligüiqui is located close to the natural reserve of Pacoche and a protected marine area. It is also a very important archeological site.
In Ligüiqui, the group will clean the beach, picking up garbage that comes to the beach carried by winds and marine currents. In addition, the volunteers will work to raise awareness about the impact of garbage in the community.
The volunteers will experience life in the forest in Chiriboga Reserve, located 50 kilometers south west of the capital city Quito, at an altitude of 1,680 meters above sea level. The reserve is part of the cloud forest of the northern foothills of the Andes and is home to a great variety of birds and animals, including some endangered species. The volunteers will help protect and preserve one of the few remnants of the cloud forest.
In Chiriboga, the volunteers will work on water basin conservation (protection of water sources with native species planted around riverbeds and streams to prevent drought), will help in the maintenance of forest trails, will learn and help to plant an orchard. We will also assist in the renovation of rooms for the accommodation of volunteers.
The work in the reserve includes working with tools such as shovels and machetes, being in contact with the ground and plants. Volunteers should be ready to get dirty and accept manual tasks as they arise.
Leisure time: In the free time, the volunteers can do any kind of group activities such as sports, swimming in the river, walking around, or simply enjoy time around a campfire.
Language: The official language of the project is English. However, basic knowledge of Spanish is required.
Accommodation: The accommodation is modest at the beach; food will be prepared by people from the community. There are basic services like running water and electricity, but there is no phone signal or internet.
In the reserve, the accommodation is comfortable; there is no running water, nor internet or phone signal. This is a good opportunity to disconnect yourself from the daily life and relax in a friendly intercultural environment.
The group, together with the coordinator of the project, will travel from place to place by public transportation.
Three meals a day are provided except on the days off when the volunteers are usually away from the project site, travelling and exploring the area.
Location: Ligüiqui, Manabí and Chiriboga Reserve
Age range: 18 and over
Extra fee: $330 US
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.