Current Projects

Current Project work for Yanapuma Foundation.

In July of 2017 we finished the project that was co-funded by the Inter American Foundation with the Tsa’chila culture of Santo Domingo. This 4-year project involved
- Sustainable cacao production
- Reforestation and conservation, including the creation of trial plots for an “edible forest”.
- Nutrition and health education for local families
- Creation of vegetable gardens
At the start of the project we employed an agricultural specialist, a community-development specialist, and a coordinator to manage the processes. By the end of the project we had succeeded in replacing these persons with Tsa’chila counterparts, capable of managing all the processes themselves.
At first it was a struggle as the Tsa’chila beneficiaries themselves lacked confidence in others of their own culture to be able to impart the knowledge and maintain the processes. But once they realized that their fellow Tsa’chila were indeed properly prepared to carry on the project it in fact became easier, as they were able to communicate in both Spanish and their native language – Tsa’fiki, and were able to create a more durable bond with the beneficiaries.
During the course of the project the contribution of the Inter American Foundation was $211,350. A matching sum of $101,400 was provided by Fundación Yanapuma from our own self-generated funds from our Spanish schools and volunteer activities.
At the end of 2017 we helped the field team to prepare a new funding application that will be for them directly. As of February 2018 we are waiting for them to put in place the necessary legal requirements with their own organization that can open a bank account and receive external funding for a new project. For Yanapuma this is a major step towards making the Tsa’chila self sufficient, and being able to generate the confidence to receive funding for their self-directed development projects.
Yanapuma will still be in the background, to be able to assure would-be sponsors that funds will be well used and to provide any support that the field team requires to be able to solve problems and carry out the project successfully.
Meanwhile, we continue to seek resources and contacts for the Tsa’chila culture to help them face the challenges of living in a globalized context.
Our other major focus has been on the provision of scholarships for youth to study at high school. This began in the coastal community of Estero de Plátano around 9 years ago when mothers there complained that it was hard for the community to get ahead when they have no education. The great majority of children there finish elementary school barely able to read and write as the level of primary education is still lamentably low. So we began searching for funds to sponsor deserving youth to continue studying through high school. Most of the cost goes to the bus fares to get to the nearest town with a high school.
The program of scholarships spread to the Tsa’chila community of Bua with the additional help of funds from Colége Edouard Montpetit of Canada and later from Sotogrande International School of Spain. In addition we began to support a Tsa’chila teacher to gain his teaching qualification to be able to teach at secondary school level. The government created a new school in Bua that includes all levels of secondary education, but all the secondary teachers are non-Tsa’chila which means that they cannot offer the bilingual education that will help to protect and maintain their traditional culture alongside the modern secondary education.
And more recently we have begun to support an elementary school called Yachay Wasi in the south of Quito where the teachers are working to combine traditional Kichwa values and cosmology with the modern education system. As it is semi-private they have to charge a monthly fee which many parents cannot afford.
In the first months of 2018 we are busy with the above projects, as well as working to protect our income sources by developing new areas of our business to generate funding potential. In reality the latter takes precedence as changes in the market have affected the number of Spanish students traveling to Ecuador and we are forced to seek new lines of income to compensate. But these processes are under way and we are confident that we will be able to continue supporting development projects with a combination of self-generated funds and additional external funding.