Ecuador

Food Revolutions

2019 Early Bird Pricing Only Available for a Limited Time – Apply Now!

We’re building a community of “backpacktivists” that are socially, environmentally, and politically aware of their impact in the communities they travel to and live in. We work with our local partners on community-requested projects to uncover the intricacies of each place we go to.

Ecuador is the first country to call for food sovereignty in its constitution but how do these policies actually affect the lives of people who produce food? From the hustle and bustle of Quito to the communities of Ecuador’s highlands and the Pacific Slope, there are pockets of passionate activists planting the seeds of change for food justice all across the country. We will meet with these very change makers to examine the impacts of the global food system on rural and indigenous communities in Ecuador, and see how they are fighting back. Get ready to stand in solidarity with our partners – all while eating cacao out of the pod, tasting farm fresh honey, growing food forests, and following a coffee bean from seed to our cup!

2019 Early Bird Pricing Now Available!

Currency:

Fees + Community Contribution

Regular Fees:
$1,600 USD + $100 USD
$1,750 CAD + $110 CAD
Limited time:

$1,450 USD + $100 USD
$1,600 CAD + $110 CAD

September 1 – 9, 2018
September 29 – October 7, 2018
December 29, 2018 – January 6, 2019
March 9 – 17, 2019
  • Hike in the shadow of Volcán Corazón in the heart of the Andes and taste highland honey with our partners at Bee Farm Shunku.
  • Connect with local farmers at Fundación Brethren y Unida (FBU) to get the dirt on organic farming and how indigenous knowledge is inspiring sustainable agriculture.
  • Immerse yourself in Tsa’chila culture and grow change by cultivating a food forest with local activists near Santo Domingo on Ecuador’s Pacific Slope.
  • 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!
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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 in Quito

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 fight for food justice 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 intersect!

Getting to the Heart of Agri-“Culture”

Ready for a quick jaunt over to the town of Tabacundo? We’ll hop on a local bus to meet our next partner – la Fundación Brethren y Unidad (FBU), a leader in community-based development and sustainable food production since the 1970s. We’ll work alongside our friends on a 20-hectare hacienda and get the dirt on organic farming and agro-ecology. 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.

Growing Change and Cultivating 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!

Disorientation with the Bees

After another bus ride or two, we’ll pay a visit to 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.

Departures

After regrouping to look back on our accomplishments and talk about how we can continue to make change at home, we’ll head back to Quito where our adventure started. Then we’re off to the airport for our hug-filled 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 jetsetter’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, and lumpy beds… but all with a side of some tasty treats! It’s time to experience the seeds of change!

Meet Your Regional Director

Ana was born in San Jose, Costa Rica and has since travelled whenever possible in pursuit of her passion for education, development, and nature! She has worked as an English teacher in public and private schools in Costa Rica, and volunteered in Quijingue, Bahia (Brazil) on community development projects. After completing her Masters in Translation, she worked with Peace Corps, Costa Rica until returning to the world of NGOs as a Program Coordinator in Riobamba, Ecuador. Now, she’s super excited to be part of the OG family and looking forward to establishing new partnerships, working with and training awesome program leaders, and designing more amazing programs in South America!

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