Volunteer in a native tree nursery, work with kids in a school garden, and experience the culture and biome of highland Ecuador with the Tandana Foundation.
When: Arrive in Quito on the night of Saturday, November 2; Leave Ecuador on the night of Saturday, November 8, and arrive back in the U.S. on Sunday, November 9, 2014.
Where: In the Andean highlands outside of Otavalo, Ecuador. Lodging will be at La Posada del Quinde in Otavalo; a lovely inn with great food, free wi-fi service and friendly staff. Ecuador is a beautiful country on the equator in South America that is on the Eastern time zone and uses U.S. dollars. Spanish is the major language. Tandana will provide group coordinators who are fluent in Spanish. The weather should be in the 70’s during the day and quite cool at night.
Why: To help 23 communities who have joined together and created an operating nursery to raise native trees to plant in their watersheds and protect their water supplies. We will be collecting seedlings, weeding, planting trees, etc. The nursery is run by a dedicated plant-lover, Matias Perugachi. You can see a video of him on the Tandana Foundation blog. We will also help children with their school garden and teach them a garden-related lesson. And, we will learn about another culture and biome.
Cost: $1,200 double occupancy, $100 additional for single occupancy. Plus: airfare and personal expenses. The trip fee covers all the basic expenses (food, lodging, transportation, activities) from when you land at the Quito airport until we drop you off there.
How to sign up: Please register by filling out our online registration form: http://www.tandanafoundation.org/registration_form.html. Send a check made out to the Tandana Foundation for $1200 (double occupancy) or $1300 (single occupancy). The mailing address is 2933 Lower Bellbrook Road, Spring Valley, OH 45370.
Saturday: arrive in the evening.
Sunday: orientation and visit the world-famous Otavalo market.
Monday: help in a minga, [community work party] planting trees in one of the communities. In the afternoon, participate in a traditional cooking class and learn about the plants cultivated by local families.
Tuesday: collect seedlings for the tree nursery. In the afternoon, tour a rose plantation.
Wednesday: work all day at the tree nursery, potting the seedlings we collected, weeding, and trimming roots.
Thursday: work at the tree nursery most of the day, and then visit Cuicocha volcanic lake (photo below.)
Friday: teach a lesson about plants to school children and help them work in their school garden. In the afternoon, visit a master weaver.
Saturday: visit the high-altitude páramo to see another biome, have a celebratory dinner at a hacienda, then head back to Quito and fly out at night.