VOLUNTEER PROJECT INFORMATION – FUNDACION BRETHREN Y UNIDA
Name of the project: Work and learn on an organic farm and reforestation project, live with a local Ecuadorian family, or teach English in rural school
Location: Near to Tabacundo, 1.5 hours north of Quito in the Northern Andes
Project Description: Fundation Brethren y Unida’s (FBU) main role is as a facilitator of reforestation and sustainable agriculture projects within the surrounding community. The cultivation of thousands of native trees for sale and for reforestation projects 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. FBU also operates as an organic farm, the Hacienda Picalquí, cultivating fruit and vegetable and livestock, and training and employing methods of sustainable agriculture.
Range of volunteer tasks: Through FBU, there are four specific programs for volunteers:
• Organic Agriculture Program: for minimum one week up to a few months, Living in the fully equipped volunteer house (3 bathrooms, 2 with hot showers, kitchen/diner, sitting room with fireplace, 6 twin rooms) you can enjoy the sights and sounds of an Ecuadorian farm, in basic but comfortable accommodation. During the stay at the Hacienda Picalquí you can learn about organic agriculture, agro-forestry, animal management (cows, pigs, llamas, guinea pigs etc.), and the conservation of native forests. You will learn details of each subject through daily practical experience and conversations with staff.
• Cultural Exchange Program: This program starts with one week of the organic agriculture program on the FBU farm with activities listed above. The next three weeks are spent living with an Ecuadorian family in a rural Andes community in the region. The emphasis for the homestay is the exchange of culture and customs, so volunteers follow the daily routine of the family and learn about the traditions and daily lives of these campesino families. Some activities could include working on the land, harvesting fruits and vegetables, managing farm animals, doing community work, working in reforestation, helping teaching in the school or in construction.
• Rural Teaching Program: This program works with small schools, called "Unidocentes" meaning there is just one teacher and also those with two teachers, “Pluridocentes”. These schools have between 20 and 55 pupils whom are between 4-11 years. Volunteers will help give classes, working with the children of varying ages, on set tasks in all the subjects, as well as provide additional English and computer tutoring for the older children. Subjects taught are: mathematics, natural sciences (including environmental studies), language and communication (covering reading, grammar and writing of the Spanish language), history and social studies (covering aspects of Ecuador including geography), and physical education.
Long term volunteering: This includes a minimum of 2 months living on the hacienda and working in the organic farm. Here you will learn more in-depth about organic farming and work in projects in reforestation.
Minimum amount of time: One week for organic agriculture, one month for cultural exchange or teaching, two months for the long term agricultural program.
Minimum level of Spanish required: Beginner for organic agriculture, Intermediate for cultural exchange and high intermediate for teaching. The foundation can organize Spanish classes.
• Transportation from the airport of Quito
• Introductory tour
• Welcome dinner
• 20 hours of Spanish lessons
• Transportation to the project after class
• Transportation back to Cusco
• Accommodation in a shared apartment (Family house with bedroom, it is possible to have three meals a day for a fee of 30 euros / week during the course).
• Accommodation in a carefully selected bedroom
• Salsa lessons, cooking lessons, games during the Spanish lessons (once a week)
• Games during the language course
• Teaching materials for the course
• Support / contact person in the project
• Emergency number of the local teams are available 24 hours to 24 hours
• The support of our local staff
• A T-shirt from our organization
• The support of our coordinators of our, in advance experimented, programs during and after your trip
• Certificate of your participation in the project
• Certificate of your Spanish course
• A ride on horseback or rafting
• Administration costs
• School activities every weekend (extra charge)
• National and international flights
• Travel insurance
• Personal expenses for leisure
• Tickets to tourist sites
(Incl. spanish lessons one week)
(Incl. spanish lessons four weeks)
Extra week Spanish lessons
Extra week accommodation
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