Archive pour la catégorie ‘Volunteer Package’
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Here is the final testimonial by Matt Jeffries on his 9 weeks at 3 volunteer programs in Ecuador, this time on one of Ecuadors many beautiful beaches in the north of the nation while helping to reforest Ecuadors endangered mangrove ecosystems.
We arrived on this island on the Ecuadorian coast not quite knowing what to expect and as soon as we arrived it was clear there was a relaxed atmosphere, interesting surroundings and many surprises ahead.
Upon arrival in Fundecol’s office we were explained the purpose of the organization and the huge amount of paperwork involving laws required for administrators while the volunteers get their hands dirty helping out with the reforestation of mangroves.
We did a variety of tasks, occasionally visiting the mangroves whereby wellies / gumboots were needed as you were up to your knees in thick mud, but a great atmosphere as the group planted seeds to regenerate the area and support future marine life, before taking a refreshing boat ride back to the island.
We also took part in a ‘Minga’ basically a project where the community got together and in this case we picked up litter and built structures so that when people use bin-bags and put them out, it meant that they didn’t get washed away as they could place them on the structures.
There was a real buzz about this particular project and it felt refreshing that the structures were outside our house so we could see that we were making a change. Finally there was a lot of cocoa plantation, we planted seeds in the soil bags, delivered 1000′s to various houses and communities around the area and in one particular community we helped out planting the cocoa plants and building structures around them to protect them from things such as animals and children, once again building and protecting for the future of these communities.
All of this with a nearby beautiful beach where you could pop along with any spare time and have a drink or play football against the locals or even go for a swim (watch out for little jellyfish, nothing too lethal just small stings). There was also various batido huts who produced fresh batido’s from fresh fruit on the island, with sammy’s hut producing particularly tasty well made batido’s and him singing a bit of bob marley was a sound to behold also.
There is something about this island that draws you in, the people are very friendly, the beach is beautiful and everywhere you look people are being creative, for example the children making kites out of a plastic bag, some reed canes and a roll of string. An amazing experience and highly recommendable.
I worked 3 months for Ecuador Eco Volunteer, in 3 different projects. The first project was in the jungle near Puyo, volunteering at an animal rescue center. The people there know only some words in English so it was direct a good practice for my Spanish. I was picked up by the owner at the bus station in Puyo. The refuge is in de middle of nowhere so we needed to do shopping’s for a whole week first.
The centre had several animals; parrots, caimans, peccaries, turtles and a paca. And there are also some half wild animals like a tapir and several species of monkeys. 2 Weeks my work was helping with cooking and cleaning because there where big groups of students there. And 2 weeks we worked on a new stair to the turtles. And some days we went looking for the tapir, to see if it was still ok. These were some very nice jungle trips! I also liked the cooking because I learned some typical Ecuadorian meals.
The next month I worked in an orchid garden, also in Puyo. I stayed in the house of the family. The family was very nice. The owner is a special man, with a great love for nature. He created a little forest near the city with beautiful orchids and many plants and trees that are used by the people in the jungle. I learned a lot about orchid pollination and the eatable, medicinal and other useful plants. I gave tours to ingles speaking tourist, planted a lot of seeds, replanted trees, put new sawdust on the walking paths and I made a start for posters for the new museum.
My last month I got to Volunteered in Mindo, a beautiful, small and save town in the middle of a lot of nature. Here I also worked in an orchid garden. I helped with the orchids, labeling them, cleaning them and I cleaned the paths and helped when there were tourists. Also I helped with working at the canopy lines. The family was really friendly and again I learned a lot more about orchids, but also about birds, because the owner is also a great bird guide and in the garden are many hummingbirds!
Wlady and the Ecuador Eco Volunteer organization arranged everything very well. He always helped me how to get to the places, and made sure I was picked up. Although I used many weekend to discover more of Ecuador I was always welcome in his house! I was even welcome to celebrate new-year with him and his family!
All this moths I learned a lot and had a great time!