Ecuador

Food Revolutions

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Ecuador

Food Revolutions

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  • Explore Ecuador’s iconic capital of Quito while sampling some sweet canelazo along La Ronda, learning the language with Yanapuma Spanish School, and giving salsa dancing a whirl!
  • Get your hands dirty with Fundación Brethren y Unida (FBU) and learn how indigenous knowledge is inspiring sustainable agriculture in Picalquí.
  • Immerse yourself in Tsa’chila culture and learn to grow a food forest near Santo Domingo on Ecuador’s Pacific slope.
  • Hike in the shadow of Volcán Corazón in the heart of the Andes and taste highland honey with our partners at Bee Farm Shunku.

Program Dates

2017
December 30, 2017 – January 7, 2018

2018
February 17 – 25

March 10 – 18

Fees + Community Contribution

$1,320 + $95
$1,450 + $105
Currency:

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Sample Itinerary

*This itinerary is based on our previous experience with the region. Programs change every year based on the needs of our partners. This should give you a sense of what our program may look like.

Orientation and Ecuador 101

Our program starts in Ecuador’s cosmopolitan capital of Quito. Following pickups from Mariscal Sucre International Airport, we’ll get settled in the city’s “centro historico” and get acclimatized to the sights, sounds, and smells of the region. We’ll learn the lingo with the Yanapuma Spanish School, an incredible social enterprise that also works to promote education and community-based development in Ecuador. After class, we’ll scavenge the local markets, taste sweet canelazo, chow down on delicious patacones, and maybe take a salsa lesson or two.

We’ll also begin to explore the food revolution at its roots with Yachai Wasi, an indigenous school in Quito that uses urban agriculture to promote traditional knowledge and practices. Get ready to unpack Ecuador’s colonial history and see where culture, ecology, and cuisine all come together!

Putting the “Culture” back in Agriculture

Next, we’ll take a quick bus ride north to the town of Tabacundo. We’ll work alongside la Fundación Brethren y Unidad on a 20-hectare hacienda, and get the dirt on organic farming and agro-ecology. The FBU has been a leader in community-based development and sustainable food production since the 1970s. They’ll definitely have a thing or two to teach us in their large vegetable garden, blackberry plantation, tree nursery, and animal pastures. Plus, we’ll get the chance to eat delicious food and learn how these projects reflect a unique form of resistance and cultural revindication for indigenous communities in Ecuador.

Food Forests in Santo Domingo

About a four-hour bus ride from Quito is the province of Santo Domingo on Ecuador’s pacific slope. We’ll spend our time here reconnecting with our friends at the Yanapuma Foundation to learn about the power of permaculture. This group of indigenous Tsa´chila are working to preserve their cultural heritage through small-scale community tourism and sustainable agriculture. We’ll get back to the basics as we stay with local families, eat hearty home-cooked meals, and continue to get our hands dirty. We’ll taste cacao fresh out of the pod and learn to grow a food forest – literally a forest of food! This is our opportunity to exercise our inner farmers and really immerse ourselves in Tsa’chila culture!

Disorienting with the Bees

After another bus ride or two, we’ll look for a little-known family farm named Shunku. This husband-wife team have dedicated themselves to saving Ecuador’s bees and to preserving its once pristine highland forests. In their kind company, we’ll kick back, relax, and reacclimatize to the highlands. When we’re not reading a book or writing in our journals, we’ll play in the dirt, grow some veggies, plant some trees, or even join Gabriela in the apiary to learn how to make that delicious sticky syrup called honey. We’ll stay in a rustic farmhouse, fire our own pizza, and talk conservation in the heart of Ecuador’s highland wilderness before saying our goodbyes.

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What’s Included?

A comprehensive program itinerary and educational curriculum focused on the issues facing your specific region

Experienced and caring program leaders with you 24 hours a day

All lodging and accommodations throughout the program

Three local meals a day

All group tours, entrance fees, and excursions

All group transportation on the ground

Regular discussions and workshops to help you internalize and reflect on your experience

Support from OGHQ whenever you need it

Accommodations

With OG, you live like the locals.

This is not a vagabond’s adventure, nor is it a five-star jet-setter’s cruise. We will be sleeping and eating as a team in diverse accommodations from hostels to rural homestays to guest houses. We’ll break bread together at family dinner tables, local restaurants, community kitchens, or perhaps just around the fire. Ethical travel and community immersion will allow us to get to the roots of food in Ecuador, though this may mean living without some of the comforts of home. Be prepared for some dirty days, cold showers, lumpy beds… but all with a side of some tasty treats! It’s time to experience some food revolutions!

Meet Your Regional Director

Emilie lives for creating and seizing opportunities; opportunities to meet people, to challenge herself, to laugh (loudly), and to learn. From Haiti to the Philippines, she early on found travel as way to fulfill all of the above. After a mechanical engineering degree, she quickly figured out that she had a magnetic attraction to engineering experience and connections rather than things, although things would be way easier! She now loves to get her different gears turning, with social and environmental change as the motor. Wherever Emilie is, you’ll find her breaking into a dance, trying to cook something new, and spending time outdoors as much as possible accompanied by endless evenings of music and board games.

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