Huasquila Ecolodge is the result of years of work by people from the community, foreign volunteers, and the owners to reforest reserve land. The project is located within the Sumaco Biosphere Reserve, only 3 hours from Quito, Ecuador's capital. The Huasquila property has 115 hectares—65 hectares are secondary forest, and the rest is still primary forest. Six years ago, they started reforesting an area of 20 hectares with native trees and medicinal plants, with the long-term goal to replant an ecological corridor that will connect the Cotundo area with the nearby protected area of the Antisana reserve.
Ecotourism in the Amazon activities vary from collecting plants in the jungle, building a plant nursery, and planting the collected trees, medicinal herbs, and flowers, to help maintaining the work that has been done before.
Since Huasquila started the volunteer program 6 years ago, numerous animals (birds, armadillos, insects, and even monkeys!) have moved to this area for protection from nearby deforested areas. This wonderful result has made us expand the volunteer work to be responsible for observing, feeding, and identifying these new animals.
The programme provides the unique opportunity to experience ecotourism at the Amazonian ecolodge; guiding tourists and gardening with this small Ecuadorian family–run company. Volunteers also work with 9 de Junio community school, teaching basic English and German to children ages 4 to 8. This has been welcomed by the close community.
Ecotourism in the Amazon Main Tasks:
Reforestation (depends on the number of volunteers working on the lodge)
- Collecting plants and seeds in the jungle
- Nursing trees
- Planting, composting, and maintaining the facility
- Gardening (bromelias, orchids, etc.)
- Research (define plants and uses, create information sheets)
Wildlife (depends on the number of volunteers working on the lodge)
- Feeding stations
- Identification plus research (define animals, create information sheets)
Community School 9 de Junio (not mandatory, optional)
- Teaching children ages 4 to 8 years basic English and German.