Dream center

In Intag Ecuador

general overview

Be inspired by how-to live in harmony with nature and empowerment of women. Your support can make a big impact in yourself and this community!

The cooperative of women El Rosal in the Intag Valley was founded in 2004 with the objective to use the available natural resources of the region in a sustainable way and to generate an alternative revenue for the families of the community.

Title Address Description
Costa Rica
Intag, Ecuador

INTAG VALLEY

MINIMUM 2 WEEKS

social project

1°TIME VOLUNTEER

basic SPANISH NEEDED

+18 YEARS OLD

Dream center
In intag, ecuador

The cooperative makes cosmetics from a base of Aloe Vera plants with the addition of papaya, stinging nettles, lemon grass and the dragon tree resin. All herbal components of the cosmetics are from plants, which are cultivated in their our own family run farms.

Another alternative to mining is the production of coffee. With a focus on sustainability the coffee producers work organically and re- use their resources as much as possible. Their vision is to reach a sustainable and equitable business model that provides high quality natural products and contributes to the protection of the environment and human well-being.

Intag is also known for its history of environmental defense. For more than 20 years community opposition to the creation of an open pit copper mine has been ongoing in order to protect not only the land and the livelihoods of the people, but also the ecological beauty and sustainability of the region as a whole. One result of the environmental conflict is that Intag’s communities have organized a remarkable variety of economic alternatives that support their fragile ecosystem as well as their rural livelihood. Visitors can experience the result by visiting coffee farms, artisan groups, natural soap makers, agricultural co-ops,and community-run reserves. The region sits at the edge of the Cotacachi-Cayapas Biological reserve and has some spectacular examples of pristine cloud forest, where visitors can go birding, hiking and swim in waterfalls.

What is included?

    • Project donation
    • Orientation meeting
    • Local support volunteer coordinator
    • 13 nights Accommodation in a homestay
    • 3 meals per day (special diets on request)

 

What is NOT included?

  • Snacks and personal expenses
  • Transport to Intag Valley
  • Medical insurance (mandatory to confirm the reservation)

 

What to consider…

  • Projects starts on Mondays.  
  • Available all year round
  • Longer stays are possible
  • Poor WiFi
  • Basic Spanish is needed
  • Maximum of 10 volunteers
  • There is no ATM at the village, so bring some cash
  • Volunteers need to be disciplined, responsible, self-motivated, hardworking, flexible, patient, pro-active

VOLUNTEER  ACTIVITIES

Coffee farm:
May to September
• Collecting beans
• Washing and fermenting process
• Drying, selection & production of coffee (Coffee tea & Organic coffee supplies)

October to April
• Maintenance of coffee
• Fertilizer
• Pruning
• Preparation of organic fertilizers

Organic cosmetic products:
• Collecting Aloe de Vera
• Cutting, mixing and boiling the ingredients
• Preparation and packaging of organic products such as soaps, creams, shampoo, etc.

Other activities:
• Cleaning and cooking
• Harvest of fruits and vegetables is available all year, depending on the plants
• Tilapia care

A TYPICAL SCHEDULE
AS A VOLUNTEER

On the first day, you will head from the homestay, with the Project Coordinator to the project center. Your coordinator is a Spanish speaker and can only speak a little bit of English.

Here you will have an orientation meeting where general information about the culture, the community and the activities during the following days will be given. We will also talk about expectations and how your talents and passion can contribute to the project and a positive impact both on you and the project.

Now is time to work… understand that not all the days will be the same and your activities will be defined depending on the season and the daily needs. We count on your flexibility.

During the week you will be working from 8am to 5pm from Monday to Friday. At midday, we will break for lunch served at the project. This is a great opportunity for you to get to know the people of the community.
In the afternoon, you will continue with your duties until around 5pm.

Your coordinator will indicate you where you will be most needed.

Weekends are free and for you to enjoy the incredible natural surroundings.

WHAT TO DO IN
YOUR FREE TIME

Bogota offers a lot of things to do. For one Bogota is known because of its incredible food and restaurants. There are fun neighborhoods to explore, an endless list of museums and other cultural activities. Bogota has a really nice infrastructure set up for biking and Sundays many neighborhoods are car free.

Close to Bogota you will find a lot of nature; cascading waterfalls, emerald mines, lush tropical forests and Andean peaks to climb. There is a lot to do for the explorers.

The ACCOMMODATION

The accommodation is at the house of the project’s coordinator. There are three shared rooms for volunteers to stay with a shared bathroom with warm water (can be mixed gender or not depending on the volunteer desire). Every day you are provided with three prepared meals directly with community products. A variety of grains, fruits, legumes, meats, etc. In case this is fully booked other local families will be more than happy to receive our volunteers.

There are also shared social areas and limited Wi-Fi.

about intag valley

About 17,000 people live in Intag in communities that are sparsely scattered among cloud forest and agricultural lands. Many live from small scale agriculture and farm the surrounding lands. Because of the area’s great altitudinal range, they are able to grow an impressive number of agricultural products, including: tropical fruits, coffee, cacao, corn, beans , potatoes, tree tomatoes, sugar cane, bananas and naranjillas, in addition to raising cows, pigs, chickens and guinea pigs.

Intag borders the Cotacatchi Cayapas Ecological Reserve, internationally recognized for its ecological importance.

Intag is located north of Quito and west from Otavalo. It takes about 5 to 6 hours in a bus to reach Intag from Quito. Temperatures range from 23°C to 30°C in a mild tropical climate. Summer months run from June to September.

more experiences in Ecuador

Looking for more inspiration? Have a look at the experiences below:

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