We are a 130-hectare organic polyculture fruit forest in southeast Ecuador. With a mild tropical climate, many tropical fruits are grown with almost no malaria/parasites/etc in this region. Primary foods grown here are bananas, biriba, plantains, oritos, papayas, cacao, chonta, yuca, araza, ice cream bean, café falso, citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and mandarins, and soon to have jackfruit, marang, and we are planting many exotic tropical fruits such as durian, atemoya, sapodilla, green sapote, and others. No domesticated animals are used, as the project is owned and operated by vegans.
You will stay at the farm in our volunteer cabin. We typically have 1-4 volunteers at a time. We accept only volunteers who are vegan.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
We are one of the worlds largest polyculture food forests and the largest veganic agroforestry establishment. Our members are well-educated in health, agroforestry practices and sustainable energy. The more that you apply yourself physically and socially, the more that you will gain from your time here. This is still a relatively new project, started in 2015, and we are still working on building up our repertoire of examples for people to learn from.
We primarily speak English, while most days we have Ecuadorian people around the property, and of course we have our neighbours. If you're looking to learn Spanish let us know, as various members of ours are glad to start a Spanish-only week (sometimes ending with prizes!) and can aid in general practice and such. The neighbours are very friendly, and this area is generally safe compared to most of South America and Ecuador (which is a reason why we are here). Please don't negatively affect the local culture with drug use, excessive spending, or cold interactions.
Culturally we are a misfit of the misfits. We tend to be labelled as Fruitarian Agroforesters if you want to define us, but we are just people trying to better life on earth by starting with squaring away our own needs and then sharing what we have learned with others.
Tasks generally consist of harvesting fruits, greens, and veggies, planting and mulching fruit trees, harvesting seeds and tending to saplings, assisting with new structures and other building projects, preparing meals for other volunteers, eco-friendly technology/energy projects, clearing with machete, and general yard/garden work. Cleaning up after oneself!
Please let us know if you have special skills, as we may be able to find a project for you. We will give task suggestions for 25 hours per week. There are usually many options. Typically you will help 3 hours in the morning and 2 in the afternoon or evening, but this changes depending on rain, task at hand, and other factors.
There is a wooden cabin on the mountainside. It has two bedrooms and a common area porch, with a small kitchen building for preparing and storing food. Amenity level is similar to camping in a cabin. There is a solar panel for electricity. There are also 4 bungalows to choose from, each of which is usually available for 1-2 people. What we call the Palm House, a two story building, has space for 2-3 people. Note that this is a rainforest, and as such you might find yourself bunking with venomous snakes and spiders.
It is and is not particularly remote - there are neighbours across the road, down the road, and up the mountain. There is a small village 2 km south and a small town 3 km north. Access from the town on the north is either via 15 minute boat ride, or via a 45-minute walk. The boat goes up and down the river all day. The boat ride is $1 per person. The market in Gualaquiza is about 1 hour of travel one way where you will arrive on bus and get various supplemental food/fruit.
We request that the amount of plastic packaging or other trash brought onto the land be kept to a minimum and removed when you depart.
We offer internet access for $10 per month if desired (no part-month discount).
Food: You will be provided a healthy whole foods vegan diet. No oil, bread, pasta or other heavily processed foods are allowed in the kitchen.
Please note that no animal foods are to be brought onto the farm; a vegan establishment. No hunting or fishing, as this disturbs the delicate rainforest ecosystem that is already damaged by clear-cutting for cattle. No cigarette smoking on the property. No drugs or alcohol. The composting toilet system we use is designed for vegans and doesn't safely function when people consume animal products. Please plan to not consume any animal products a few days prior and for the duration of your stay here, even when you are not on the property. Thank you.
We only accept volunteers who are plant-based vegan; please tell us of your dietary inclinations when applying.
In the event that we are not accepting volunteers at the time that you'd like to volunteer in SE Ecuador, we'd recommend the similar fruit-forest project "FruitHaven EcoVillage".
Buses, rancheros, taxis, and boats run regularly and are quite cheap.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
25 hours per week