We are an Ecuadorian family of three having settled in Cotacachi about 7 years ago, after living in the outskirts of Quito. We are Xavier and Nelly, and our daughter Juliana who turned 13 years old this past August.
We are a multilingual family that speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish, and our daughter is currently learning French and German. We enjoy learning about other cultures and sharing our own.
Just over 5 years ago we bought a piece of land in the mountain outside Cotacachi, a famous leather artisan town in the highlands of Ecuador north of Quito.
Three years ago we moved in to build our house and developing the farm. We are in the process of developing an integral organic farm based around the crops of amaranth, chocho, flaxseed, quinua, corn, citrus fruits, potato, avocado, among others, but we are also growing the broadest range of food and plants we can trying to recover aboriginal plants such as melloco, different types of beans and potatoes, mashua, yacon, sweet potatoes. We are currently all vegetarians and gluten free.
This place offers a peaceful environment, away from city noise and pollution. We are proud and happy to breath clean air and live every day harmony and peace in mind.
DIY and building projects
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
We are an Ecuadorian family that have some knowledge about other cultures. In fact, Cotacachi, has become a cosmopolitan place where you can find a mix of indigenous people, mestizo, and foreigners from Asia, Europe, North, Central and South America, that live on a permanent basis or seasonally.
Nelly has been practicing Tai Chi for many years and would be glad to share her knowledge with eager volunteers.
Xavier lived in several countries where he learned about differences in culture, food and social organization. If volunteers are interested in contacting and knowing indigenous communities there are plenty of opportunities.
We are in the process of developing the organic farm. We have experimented with different crops and our approach is to start with small scale production. We have experimented with cheese production and currently we keep making cottage cheese.
The gardens are one of the areas we need help with. Our aim is to have enough supply of produce and grains from the gardens to fed ourselves. Any excess production will be sold and shared with others.
We also have chickens, turkeys, horses and llama. We would like to organize this production as well, in particular obtaining a permanent supply of eggs.
We need help with the daily activities to maintain and expand our project such as gardening, tree planting and pruning; looking after the animals and building shelters for them, like chicken tractors.
We encourage people with expertise on the above mentioned areas to come and share with us their knowledge and experience.
Since we started the farm we developed it with a "green approach". We have a good amount of solar energy and wind that gives us the conditions to develop a sustainable solar energy supply.
There is a two bedroom house that has comfortable and private accommodation with one full bathroom, kitchen, living and dining room. We use to live in this house while we were building our main house. There is also camping available, if need be.
All volunteers will be provided with food and the necessary ingredients, and are expected to cook for themselves.
This house has limited supply of electricity and has permanent hot water.
The main house is equipped with electricity generated by a photovoltaic system and a solar water heating system. We are serious about energy conservation and environmental protection.
The farm is located on the foothills of mama Cotacachi, in the area of Iltaqui, near to the community of Iltaqui, and bordering hacienda San Isidro. The town of Cotacachi is 5 miles from the farm. Otavalo is about 20 minutes’ drive from the farm and Ibarra about 45 minutes. There is plenty of shopping and entertaining options in both Otavalo and Ibarra. There is also, about an hour drive away, hot springs with a resort of well-maintained baths on Chachimbiro and its surroundings.
The landscape around the farm is awesome with breathtaking viewa of mountains such as Cayambe, Imbabura, Fuya Fuya, Cotacachi and a nice mountain range. We are surrounded by forests and agricultural land. Once on a while we can spot wild rabbits, skunks and deer. Also there is a good variety of birds from hummingbirds to woodpeckers.
For people who like mountaineering and trekking this is a paradise. A trek to lake Cuicocha can be done in around 4-5 hours back and forth.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week or establishing a schedule that is mutually beneficial.