ANDES Pichincha Volcano
AGRICULTURE & REFORESTATION / ECOTOURISM
The community of San Francisco de Cruz Loma originated in Quito in 1948, and is located in the foothills of the Ruco Pichincha Volcano, which rises in a narrow, fertile Andean valley. Despite the altitude of its geographical position, it allows you to get a wonderful and unique view of the entire city of Quito.
In this beautiful paramo, you can see animals, like rabbits, skunks, wolves, eagles, hawks, sparrows, blackbirds and the famous condor of the Andes, the Curiquingue.
The climate is pleasantly moderate, with variations that attract tourists from around the world.
The following are projects that the community is currently working on:
Agriculture is the primary source of income for this community, and has proved to successfully reduce poverty.
Organic gardens began in 1990. Artisans grow vegetables, tubers and fruits, which are harvested and sold to the public; thus maintaining a self-sustaining way of life.
Making crafts: The straw obtained from the area is used to create beautiful artisan crafts (hats, weaved baskets, dolls, and much more) that are exhibited at fairs when the opportunity arises.
Reforestation: The members of this community work together to reforest the watersheds, which helps remove the pollution from the air coming up from the city of Quito.
Maintenance of hiking trails to bring tourists to their community.
Dairy processing: The milk from their own dairy cows provides them with delicious milk and cheese, processed by hand, which they also sell as another source of income.
Handmade Jams, prepared from the fruit from their organic gardens, are also sold for additional income.
Volunteers are welcome any time of the year, from January to December.
Work for individual and group volunteers would include:
Work in the organic gardens, dairy farm, reforestation of watersheds, and conservation of wilderness trails.
8-hour working day, or 40 hours/week.
Organic gardening: watering, weeding, hoeing, and planting seeds, harvesting, washing, cleaning and packing the fruit/vegetables.
Crafts: straw collection, sorting, drying in the shade, and preparation of handmade crafts.
Reforestation: carry and plant species to their destination.
Dairy processing: Milking cows, transporting the milk to collection site, processing cheese, and making sweet delicacies to be sold.
Processing snacks: selecting and cleaning the potatoes to be used in making artisan potato chips.
Organic fruit processing: harvesting, cleaning, processing, and packaging of the fruit to be used in the artisan marmalade.
Day 1 - Arrive on Friday (transfer from Quito Airport to Accommodations in Quito)
Day 2 - Orientation (Mission, Vision, and Expectations of the Program)
Visit Colonial Quito.
Day 3 - Private transportation to the community and guidance in the placement
Day 4, on – Begin work on projects in the community
Accommodations – you choose one of these two options:
Option 1: In Quito, Friday and Saturday: Room and Board in a hostel located in the tourist area, “La Mariscal,” in Quito. Volunteers will stay in either single, double, or triple rooms, with communal areas and shared bathrooms. Basic services of hot water, electricity, and Wifi are provided.
Option 2: In the community: With a host family, volunteers will have their own separate rooms inside the host family’s house; water and electricity are provided.
Food: Daily Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner are provided in the program during the week days. Volunteers will be served breakfast, lunch, and dinner at their host family’s house. Food will be the typical food of the area.
Is included in the program:
Airport transfers for arrival and departure to/from Quito.
From Quito, to Ruco Pichincha, and back to Quito.
For tourist activities during the day of Orientation
Project Requirements: No previous training is required, but we ask our volunteers to be flexible, keep an open mind, be willing to work, and have a keen sense of adventure.
Clothes: Comfortable clothes for high altitude: rain jackets, hats, scarves, rubber boots, gloves, and sunglasses.
Transfer IN OUT (Airport transportation - Hotel)
Lodging (Monday to Friday)
Breakfast, lunch, dinner (Monday to Friday)
8 hours daily work
Orientation and support during the program
Voluntary service certificate
Materials and tools in situ
Guide with local staff
Emergency contact 24/7