ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION / ECOTOURISM
AMAZON - Tiyu Yacu
The small community of Tiyu Yacu, Quechua for “stone colors”, is located in the Napo province, in the Misahualli area. Tiyu Yacu consists of approximately 85 people, including children, who are working hard to bring tourism to their community, and maintaining sustainable agriculture as a means of generating income.
The following are projects that the community is currently working on:
Daily searches for gold in the river
Hand-made ceramic artisan crafts
Planting of cassava, peanuts, green, corn, papaya, custard apple, guayusa, and sugar cane
Forest protection and reforestation.
Projects currently being developed in the community are:
• Construction of communal area, which is helpful for the children to have a place to be fed once they finish with their daily activities.
• Improvement of the chozas, or family homes. Each family has its own house built of straw and wood. However, these home need to be modernized with the addition of bathrooms and indoor plumbing.
• Construction of barrier wall to protect the community’s homes and crops from rainwater destruction. Tiyu Yacu depends heavily upon crops for their livelihood. Unfortunately, due to the constant rain that occurs in the area, the Napo river, which borders the community, often floods, bringing serious damage to the homes and crops, adversely affecting their way of life.
• Improvement of the walking/hiking trails to encourage tourism, which would provide needed income for proper education of their children.
• Reforestation is one of the most important projects managed by the community. The logging of trees destroys the natural habitat of many animals that share the ecosystem, thus threatening their way of life.
The main tourist attractions this community offers:
Visitors can learn how to make the ceramic handicrafts, called Mocahuas
Adventure hikes through the jungle
Canoe trips down the Napo River and Lake Paikawe
Visit the High Pusuno Waterfall
Participate in extreme sports in the different rivers surrounding the community
8-hour working day or 40 hours/week.
Construction of the communal dining area, which includes selection, and carrying of the natural materials found in the environment, and manual labor to build the structure
Trail improvements, which involve clearing the trails, creating signage, and taking inventory of the flora and fauna.
English classes for the community, including children
Reforestation: Planting seeds
Construction of natural water barrier to prevent damage caused by flooding, which involves the selection and transport of natural materials found in the environment, and manual labor. Coffee harvesting and processing
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 and Dinner
Day 3 - Private transportation to the community and guidance in the placement
Day 4, on - Begin work on projects in the community
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.
In the community: With a host family, volunteers will have their own separate rooms, with water, inside the host family’s house; electricity is available in the common area.
Food: Daily Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner are provided in the program during the weekdays. Volunteers will be served breakfast, lunch, and dinner at their host family’s house. Food will be the typical food of the area.
Private Transportation is included in the program:
Airport transfers for arrival and departure to/from Quito
From Quito, to the Amazon, 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: Quito is known as the “Land of Eternal Spring,” because of its mild, yet varied, climate. We suggest bringing comfortable layers. However, for the Amazon is very hot and humid, typical to a tropical rainforest.
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