WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
Ecuador is a very poor country and fluctuating oil prices, the 1990s Asia crisis, and the effects of the El Niño climate phenomena, which cause considerable damage to the infrastructure and harvests have led to a decline in living standards for much of the population. In 1999, according to the World Bank, 69% of the population live below the poverty line, of these 34% in absolute poverty.
The Frontier-Ecuador Ecuador Project aims to build skills in poor rural and urban communities throughout the country, giving them better chances to succeed in the future. It also aims to foster environmental regeneration by improving facilities for ecotourism.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
You will work and learn on an organic farm and reforestation project in the northern Andes. The cultivation of thousands of native trees provides the means for the communities to undertake essential reforestation activities, as well as develop sustainable agriculture projects as alternatives to environmentally destructive agriculture and industrial practices. Reforestation projects assist in the control of erosion, improving water supply and soil quality, and bring important biodiversity back to the region. The reforested areas have the capacity to neutralise or absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases contributing to global warming and climate change. This project also operates as an organic farm, cultivating fruit and vegetable and livestock, and testing out and employing methods of sustainable agriculture.
Volunteers are essential to the success of this project. Volunteers assist by working in the organic fruit and vegetable gardens, taking care and managing animals and working in the tree nursery and with the reforestation projects. Whilst undertaking this work, volunteers learn about organic agriculture, agro-forestry, animal management (cows, pigs, llamas, guinea pigs etc.) and the conservation of native forests.