Hector and Aya manage a very small family farm located twenty minutes walk from Cotacachi in an indigenous community called El Batán in the Andes highland (2400m above sea level) of Northern Ecuador, with a view of the mountains Imbabura, Cotacachi, and Fuya Fuya. The climate is very comfortable, but you do need a jacket for morning and night. (Remember, there are 4 seasons in one day in Ecuador.)
We are a family of 5 and are half Japanese and half Ecuadorian (Native indigenous Kichwa). We have 3 children ages 14, 9 and 5 as well as 2 adorable kittens and 5 dogs. We speak Spanish, Japanese, Kichwa and English.
We grow herbs and vegetables organically applying some permaculture principles. We will be needing help working in the garden, taking care of our animals, and if you love kids, a help for our children's homeschooling would be very appreciated.
Babysitting / child care
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Apart from being able to learn organic farming, you will be learning the importance of water by living in a solar-powered shower and compost toilet house and etc.
And our farm is located in an indigenous community where it still conserves strong indigenous culture surrounded by some great volcanoes. You can enjoy Ecuadorian Andes culture fully.
Volunteers are expected to help for four days a week (Mon-Thu) 6 hours a day and to stay over at least 4 weeks (arriving on Monday until 4th Thursday = 25 days minimum). Tasks include gardening: seeding, weeding, planting, making seedbeds, composting, watering, harvesting and collecting selecting seeds, feeding animals, cleaning cowshed, plus helping with the promotion and sales at the Thursday farm market.
Or if you have experiences in teaching kids and/or if you are native in Spanish, Japanese, Kichwa and English, you are welcome to help us with homeschooling our kids.
Plus, we are working on some community projects such as water conservation (including making compost toilet in the communities (there is no sewage system), harvesting water, reducing trash, purifying water etc.), so if you are professional in coordinating projects, have knowledge in the themes mentioned or grant writing, please let us know!
Please keep in your mind that minimum Spanish is necessary. And please arrive on Monday afternoon!
You will be staying in an independent house with 2 bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, outside space with hammocks, solar-powered shower and compost toilet. We eat together during the week days enjoying homemade, healthy food of both local and international cuisine. It is mostly vegetarian (+dairy and eggs) and prepared with our homegrown vegetables.
We provide 2 meals (lunch and dinner) for Monday-Thursday. If you have problem with celiac disease or any other food difficulties, please let us know in advance. We eat a lot of home made bread. If you have many food restrictions, please bring your own food or otherwise we may not be able to have you. For your breakfast and weekends, you may cook your own food. Basic utensils are provided.
You should be bringing long sleeve shirt, long pants (make sure you are well covered while you are outside in the garden), insect repellent (lots of black flies), a hat & sun screen cream (very strong sun) and if you think you are very sensitive to insects, you may need some gloves. Rubber boots are needed in the rainy season (nov-may). Please bring toilet paper, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, detergent for washing clothes etc. for your personal care.
An internet access is available in the main house. You are welcome to use it during your free time.
On your 3 days weekends off, you will have time to explore the local indigenous communities, walk to the town of Cotacachi, and visit Otavalo which is only a twenty-minute bus ride away. We offer guided tours hiking to Cuicocha lake and Mojanda lake, climbing Imbabura and Cotacachi, and many other activities (Hector is a licensed tourist guide with a professional driver's license).
3 days are long enough to travel other places in Cotacachi county such as Intag. It's a subtropical area and it has the most beautiful primary forest and pristine rivers. You will enjoy the totally different vegetation and climate in just a couple hours away from here!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
6 hrs a day, 4 days a week
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