Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America, roughly equal in size to Colorado or the UK, but home to a huge diversity of climates, flora and fauna and indigenous cultures. Snow-capped volcanoes rub shoulders with the Amazon rainforest and Pacific beaches, and are a short hop from the unforgettable Galapagos Archipelago. Simply stunning but amongst all of this are over 17 different cultures who have had to adapt to these ecological and at times harsh environments, living alongside a myriad of unique bird, animal and plant species. However life is never easy and some of these communities are struggling to cope with the fast changing pace of life and this is where we come in ....
We have partnered up with a Local NGO called the Yanapuma Foundation who collaborates with local grass-roots projects and communities to help preserve their history, culture and very existence. Our Leap volunteers provide the very resource needed to get projects completed, but more importantly it is through the side by side interaction, cultural exchange in its simplest form that will help reinforce a pride back into their culture and therefore a determination not to give up.
For example the number of Tsachila communities, in the lowland jungle, has now dwindled to just seven remote settlements, all of which are at risk of losing their traditional culture, due to the expanding influence of the mestizo culture and loss of the young who are pulled to the bright lights of the cities. By working side by side the community on simple projects, the young will see an interest in their history and learn that life in the city is not as simple as they might think.
It is with these principles in mind you will travel across the country to combine adventure with sustainable development and conservation on the Galapagos Islands.