This is the volunteer program that was made in Huasquila to reforest the reserve, and now we can see the amazing results. Huasquila Eco Lodge is the result of year of work by people from the community, foreigner volunteers and the owners.
The project is located within the Sumaco Biosphere Reserve, only 3 hours from Quito, Ecuador´s capital city and 40 minutes away from Tena, capital of the Napo province. The property has 115 ha, 65 ha are secondary forest and the rest is still primary forest. Six years ago with the help of volunteers from all over the world, we have started reforesting an area of 20 hectares with native trees and medicinal plants with the goal in the long run to replant an ecological corridor that will connect the Cotundo area with the close by protected area of the Antisana reserve.
The activities vary from collecting plants in the jungle, building a plant nursery and planting the collected trees, medicinal herbs and flowers, to help maintaining the work that has been done before.
Since Huasquila started the volunteer program 6 years ago, there are numerous animals (birds, armadillos, insects and even monkeys!) that have come for protection to this area from the close by deforested areas. This wonderful event has made us expand the volunteer work to also be responsible for observing, feeding and identifying these new animals.
This program also gives the unique opportunity to get insights into the tourism activities of an Eco- Lodge in the Amazon. Among those activities are guiding tourists, gardening and working in a small Ecuadorian family run company. You will learn how an eco-lodge works, attend guests, translate the tours guided by native guides into your own language etc. Also in the past year several volunteers have started to work in the close by community school 9 de Junio to teach children ages 4 – 8 basic English and german. This has shown to be very welcome by the close by community.
- Eco-lodge (In high season the work was more directly in the EcoLodge)
- Help local staff (help in the kitchen, wash your own dishes, etc)
- Housekeeping (the volunteer house is cleaned by volunteers, earn how to arrange the bungalows and perform simple maintenance tasks)
- Restaurant (you use this area a lot and will have to keep it clean, also learn how to arrange tables and serve)
- Swimmingpool: learn how to keep it clean
- Particularly In high seasons, chance to go on different tours with the tourists and, if sufficiently fluent in Spanish, translate tours into your own language
- Reforestation (depends on the number of Volunteers working on the Lodge)
- Collecting plants and seeds in the jungle
- Nursing trees
- Planting, composting and maintaining everything
- Gardening (bromelias, orchids, etc)
- Research (define plant, use, make info sheet)
Wildlife (depends on the number of Volunteers working on the Lodge)
- Feeding stations
- Identification plus research (define animals, make info sheet)
- Community School 9 de Junio (not mandatory, optional)
- Teaching children ages 4 -8 years basic english and german.
During any tasks you fulfill, also constant contact with the local people and your work will include teaching them your native language as well as introducing them to your country’s customs and culture. This is the best way to share with local people and really get to understand another country’s cultures and customs. This exchange is very personally enriching!