Our place is an organic farm and ecotourism lodge on the Western slopes of the Andes. We grow coffee but also a host of other cropsI am a Cuban-American conservationist and photographer who has lived in Ecuador for 39 years, the lodge and farm is run by myself and our neighbor Roberto. Though I love working with the soil, because of the threat of a large-scale mining project 20km away, I spend most of my time as an environmental activist. The farm is located on spectacular a 500 acre Cloud-Forest reserve. As an ecotourism lodge we only open for groups (typically 10 in a year). Our guest are usually students and we provide birding opportunities, guided hikes, and lectures on local conservation issue, among other activities. Our accommodations are rustic (composting toilets, solar showers, no electricity in the cabins) but comfortable. We maintain several trails, three cabins, and an orchidarium for our guests. The farm is diverse, and most everything is produced for our and our guests consumption. Besides growing shade- coffee, we also have all kins of citrus, avocadoes, bananas, pineapples, vegetables, tree tomato ect, etc... And, yes ,dogs, cats, chickens, a horse and a cow or two. We are located 1 hour and 30 minutes from Otavalo by bus follwed by a 45 minute walk. We are about one hour away from the delicious Nangulvi hot springs.
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
[Please only contact us if you are certain of your travel plans and will be volunteering within the next two months]
We need general help with farming (machete and hoe work) and kitchen work (cooking and cleaning ). You should be able to lift at least 45 lb. We have particular need for help during the coffee harvest (July-August). We also expect workers to help with trail maintenance and general maintenance of the facility. We expect you to cook 1 meal per day. Work is 5 hours per day and you are of course free to travel or explore the region on the weekends. If you are here when we have guest we will ask that you assist with general tasks such as harvesting food from the farm and translating guided walks.
One possible alternative to this routine would be involvement with conservation work with local communities - depending on skillset/language ability.
You will stay in rustic cabins with composting toilets and solar heated showers. The cabins do not have electricity- but there is electricity and Wifi 2 minutes away at the main house. You will have the cabin to yourself- with exception of a few times a year when we have large enough groups that we need some of the rooms for guests. You have full access to the kitchen at the main house, a gazebo with hammocks and a big yard. We have two friendly dogs, two skittish cats and cows.
I am a something of a generalist naturalist with a particular interest in moths, birds, orchids, and reptiles...; biologists and the like are welcome. Our community is small but there are often small gatherings in the local community center (Santa Rosa).
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week