Bee and Organic Farm

  • organic agriculture in the Andes for agricultural volunteers
  • Ugshapamba farm in the Ecuadorian Andes for agricultural interns and volunteers
  • products of Ugshapamba farm for sale - a volunteer option in Ecuador
  • volunteer in agriculture or intern with Ugshapamba farm in the Andes of Ecuador

Ugshapamba - Andes


The Hacienda is located at the foothills of the mountain El Corazon. This is a perfect location for volunteers interested in hiking and mountain climbing because you can arrange weekend trips to climb the many surrounding mountains and volcanoes. This will help you get acclimatized to eventually climb Cotopaxi with little trouble!

The first project, Bosque Protector, is located in the heart of the Ecuadorian sierra where a majority of the forests have been cut down for agriculture and cow farming, and only a very small section of native Andean Forest remains, a section that is a critical water source to the local people and is a forest full of native birds. Although the Ministry of the Environment named it a Protected Forest, they do little to actually protect it, and local people continue to deforest the land because of lack of education and lack of another alternative to an income.

The second project is on the Hacienda of the Foundation with a focus on sustainable agriculture.

Range of tasks:
  • Beekeeping is one of the primary activities of the farm so volunteers can lend a hand with all aspects of the apiary
  • A reforestation project with Ecuadorian university students to rebuild what has been damaged
  • Education and workshops with the local community about the environmental damage of burning the forest and burning of trash, and themes in composting and disposal of garbage.
  • Education about alternatives for income, such as promotion and preservation of the forest as a tourist location. This would include making trails, signs and toilets in the forest, as well training the local people about how to turn this beautiful place into a tourist attraction.
  • Work in the local school to teach English, physical education, or other subjects needed
  • Volunteers can help with the daily activities of the Hacienda, such as taking care of the animals (horses, cows and pigs), fixing the fencings, and milking the cows
  • The borders of the Hacienda had been previously planted with eucalyptus trees, which are notoriously bad for the soil and use large amounts of water. Volunteers could help replant this area with local plants and trees to attract beneficial insects that help control plagues
  • The Foundation runs a workshop that invites local farmers to learn about sustainable farming. They grow potatoes in two separate gardens—one in the “conventional” way that uses pesticides and no protection of the crop, and the other with “Integrated Pest Management”, such as very low use of pesticides and only when necessary, protection and sustainable techniques. After 6 months, the two crops grow equally and the integrated crop is healthier and costs less to cultivate. Volunteers can help with education of sustainable farming.
  • Volunteers could conduct investigations of the local plants and insects, using techniques in monitoring and evaluating the land, as well as use this space for one’s own investigations
Time commitment:
Two weeks minimum, longer preferred
spanish level:
Basic to low intermediate at least
Work schedule:
They do not want a rigid volunteer schedule and are flexible to volunteers taking time off to rest or explore the area. Work is divided by task as opposed  to mandating certain work hours. Volunteers, do, however, tend to work more on Thursday-Sunday, when there are more visiters. Monday, Tuesday and Wendsday are more relaxed. Tasks are rotated among volunteers, which include creating forest trails, working with the bees (harvesting honey in the summer), cleaning up the gardens and serving/cooking food for guests.
Accommodation:
Accommodation is available in shared volunteer lodgings and the cost depends upon length of stay.
Skills required:
 
Accepted donations:
Registration of $40.
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Quotation from a former volunteer - will be added soon - we are updating these pages so please be patient!!!

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