Permacultura Caimito is an environmental sustainability and community development project that takes place in the small town of Caimito in the parish of Quingue of Esmeraldas. The town, consisting of 15 families that work primarily in tropical fruit production, is located in the last remnants of Tropical Rainforest (Chocó) on the coast of Ecuador, near by the Mache-Chindul Ecological Reserve and in the influence area of the Galera-San Francisco Marine Reserve. Understanding the uniqueness of this region, many families of the community are learning the importance and practice of sustainable and environmentally friendly forms of subsistence.
We are working to use the principles of permaculture and regenerative agriculture to design agroforestry systems that will support the production of the world’s most ecological cacao here in Caimito. The captivating landscape in which Caimito is embedded and the invigorating seascape it borders never fail to inspire awe and remind us why our efforts to live in equilibrium with the natural environment are so important.
Tropical Permaculture Apprenticeship
We developed a Tropical Permaculture Apprenticeship led by permaculture designer and biologist George Fletcher in which participants participate in thematic workshops to learn and carry out sustainable agriculture, ecological conservation, eco-construction, and community development. Participants who take part in at least 4 workshops (4 complete weeks) will receive a certification issued by Permacultura Caimito and the local community organization (Asociación Caimito Sustentable).
The certificates detail the amount of time spent participating in specific permaculture workshops and in volunteering. We have associates in San Francisco de Quito University that could potentially validate participants’ time in the program as transferable university credits. Please let us know in advance if you are a participant interested in this option by indicating so in the application form.
We offer a General Volunteering option as well for people interested in visiting Caimito to help us achieve our environmental and community development goals but may not wish to take part in the Tropical Permaculture Apprenticeship. Such individuals will work as volunteers in the areas that interest them most (e.g., teaching English to community members, assisting with event organization and outreach, working on the agro-ecological farms of residents, renovating structures in the town, etc.). Please specify if you are interested in coming to Caimito as a General Volunteer if you do not wish to take part in the Tropical Permaculture Apprenticeship.
REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE CERTIFICATION
Participants who take part in at least 4 workshops (4 complete weeks) will receive a certification issued by Permacultura Caimito and the local community organization (Asociación Caimito Sustentable). The certificates will detail the amount of time spent taking part in the permaculture workshops and in volunteering. We have associates in San Francisco de Quito University that could potentially help us to convalidate this program as credits. We need to know in advance if the participants are interested, so please indicate this in the application form.
General Volunteering has no specific start or end date and therefore can take place at any point throughout the year. General volunteers pay $5/day for accommodation and $3/meal. General volunteers do not take part in permaculture workshops or formal trainings.
Tropical Permaculture Apprenticeship:
There are fixed dates for the Tropical Permaculture Apprenticeship sessions that are selected at the beginning of each year after determining the availability of our Permaculture teachers and the timing of specific projects we wish to complete. We always list the confirmed dates on the homepage of our website, but you may also contact us to inquire about the dates.
For the year 2017, there are two sessions remaining:
10 July 2017 – 1 September 2017
9 October 2017 – 1 December 2017
Ideally, participants will stay for the full 8 week program to gain a solid foundation in the principles and practice of Permaculture, but we do allow people to join at any point in the session. The prices for the Apprenticeship are as follows:
The full price of the 8 week program is $1600 (there are discounts for groups or couples that can share rooms).
Price for Volunteer Program:
– 7 weeks (7 modules) is $1500.
– 6 weeks (6 modules) is $1300.
– 5 weeks (5 modules) is $1100.
– 4 weeks (4 modules) is $900.
– 1-3 weeks (1-3 modules) is $250 each week.
– Practical / theoretical permaculture workshops
– Certification (4 modules minimum)
– Three meals a day from Monday through Friday
– Lodging for the whole stay including weekends at Caimito, private room, mosquito net
– Tools for practical activities
– Access to the local Permaculture library (mostly digital)
Price does not include:
– Plane tickets
– Weekend meals: if you go on adventures you will eat away, but if you stay in Caimito you can arrange your meals with the local families ($3/meal) or buy supplies and cook your own meals at the volunteer house
– Leisure or touristic free time activities
– Extras: snacks, toiletries, alcoholic beverages, etc.
Please note that all prices are in U.S. Dollars, the currency of Ecuador.
Students who wish to continue working as volunteers after the program can stay paying only for food ($3/meal) and lodging ($5/day). If you are interested in staying 6 months or more learning and supporting in the community, please, let us know in your application form so we can provide you advice for getting a visa and find the best way to fund your stay.