A permaculture-based ecotourism project
The project takes place on a 10-hectare organic farm on the Pacific coast of Ecuador, which has developed a project around ecotourism. Over the past 30 years, the farm has developed according to permaculture principles. The farm's owners have many years' experience in tourism and sustainable agriculture projects. They are keen to pass on their knowledge to volunteers. They have created a small paradise that attracts tourists and volunteers from all over the world, eager to learn more about living in harmony with nature. This awareness of the permaculture philosophy attracts not only adventurers, families and day-trippers to the farm, but also seminar participants, as the courses given are renowned for their quality.
A school where children learn about organic farming
The farm also runs an environmental school so that rural children can learn all about sustainable agriculture. If you have a good work ethic, are open to learning new things, and enjoy mingling with others, you belong on this ecological farm. You'll learn a lot about environmentally friendly planting practices and conservation. You'll also be able to educate visitors about the importance of developing organic farming. This experience will take you out of your comfort zone and into a totally different way of life.
The eco-farm extends over 10 hectares
The 10-hectare property includes a typical local forest, orchards, pastures, alternative energy models, rotation areas for raising small and large animals, vacation homes for tourists, shared accommodation, a large open-air kitchen and comfortable hammocks. The eco-farm offers everything you need to unwind from your daily routine, explore a new environment and discover who you are. As if that weren't enough, the Pacific beach with its surf spots is just a few kilometers away.
Volunteer farm work in Ecuador
The work assigned to the team is distributed on a weekly basis. As a result, you'll discover a wide variety of tasks as an eco-volunteer. If you're interested in a particular area of work, you can of course specify it.
Example of a typical working day
A typical working day on the farm lasts around 7 hours. You can start by watering the plants and harvesting the fruit, before enjoying a delicious breakfast of fresh ingredients at 7:30 am. After the meal, either everyone does their own washing up, or volunteers divide up into washing-up teams.
The second part of the morning is entirely devoted to farming and planting: sowing, transplanting, composting, weeding... Volunteers collaborate with farm staff and the owner family while being directed by an expert for each task.
In the afternoon
The various projects - including community, arts and crafts, education, gardening, maintenance and construction - occupy the afternoon. At 4 p.m. everyone can relax and go about their business.
Weekends are free for volunteers who work from Monday to Friday.
Possible tasks during this farm stay in Ecuador include:
- Participate in seeding, planting, watering and fertilizing plants
- Helps control weeds and pests
- Help with compost production
- Help with feeding and caring for animals
- Participation in honey production
- Participation in the harvest
- Building maintenance and construction assistance
- Help with trail and garden maintenance
- Participation in the creation of new gardens
- Participation in public relations and fundraising activities
- Social network updates
- Art projects
- Environmental school collaboration
- English courses for local residents
- Tutoring for community children
- Welcoming tourists and day guests
- Other possible tasks
Nota Bene: tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as the number of volunteers, time, season, current project needs and personal motivation. Each volunteer may not be fully involved in all tasks.
- All year round from 2 weeks (allow one day for arrival in Quito)
- Program start : Arrival at the project is always on Monday. Prior to this, there is a compulsory orientation session in Quito. Please allow at least one night in Quito. Reception at Quito airport and overnight stay(s) in Quito are included in the program.
- Application fee: €150
- Program cost: €730 (for a minimum 2-week stay)
- Additional week: €160
Note: Full weeks are always charged for the Monday to Sunday project. Please always add one night in Quito for the introductory meeting.
Included in price
- Shared room in the Maison des Volontaires
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner
- Professional advice in English
- Translation of your application documents
- Volunteer internship in Ecuador
- English-speaking support in the country
- Manual on Ecuador
- Intercultural guide
- 24/7 emergency number
- Information on suitable travel insurance
- Certificate of participation
Not included in fees
- Airline tickets
- Travel insurance
Volunteers live in shared rooms in the volunteer house with shared bathrooms. The volunteer house is a rustic, airy, wooden building, like the rest of the farm, but it's also very comfortable. Composting toilets are used and solar energy is used to heat the shower water, so a hot shower is only possible when the sun is out. There's no need to bring sheets or towels - they're provided.
Full board is provided. The farm's garden provides most of the food the team consumes. You may even pick up your own breakfast one morning. Dinner is served at 6 p.m. and lunch at 12 p.m., according to the farm's working hours.
Please use only biodegradable shampoo and detergent, as the farm uses filtered rainwater and its own water treatment system. You can also have your clothes washed for a small fee and buy eco-friendly shampoo on site.
The farm has Internet access outside working hours.
The farm is located around 380 kilometers (km) west of Quito, the capital of Ecuador. The bus journey between Quito and Canoa takes between seven and nine hours, due to the region's rural location and poor road conditions.
- Throughout your stay, you'll discover rural Ecuadorian life as it really is. A life where distances are greater, time passes more slowly and priorities diverge considerably from those of contemporary cities, whether in Europe, the USA or South America.
- As the farm is only a few kilometers from the Pacific coast hinterland, during your free days you can take surfing lessons, relax on the beach or swim in the Pacific Ocean. Bars and salsa clubs also offer nightlife on weekends.
- Bahia de Caraquez, the nearest town, lies 37 kilometers south of Canoa, on the Pacific coast. A modern vacation destination, Bahia de Caraquez is very popular with tourists from the city. It boasts a beautiful beach, excellent infrastructure and surrounding forests.
- Numerous walks are possible up from the farm or to Canoa via the mountains (2 routes), as well as to other nearby towns and beaches. Canoa offers courses in paragliding, horseback riding on the beach, cycling and surfing. Serene sunsets and sumptuous seafood cuisine are special features.
Le partenaire is an intercultural agency founded in 2003 by Marion, a German living in Chile. Marion specializes in organizing solidarity and participatory trips, ecovolunteer programs, language stays and educational programs throughout Latin America. This agency offers missions in Chile, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Ecuador... Whether you're a student, professional or retired, its trips are designed for those who want to experience Latin America in a different way from that of a simple tourist. All stays with South America Inside