Our project is an permaculture site in the Valle de las Luciérnagas (valley of the fireflies), at the edge of the amazonas region of Ecuador, South America.
The farm is approximately 76 hectares or 180 acres and located about 3h north of Loja and 15h from Guayaquil or Quito, in Southern Ecuador. The lowest part is 800 to 1300 meters over the sea level which means we have a high variation of micro climates. It was not so long ago a dense tropical jungle with huge trees and later in the 60s half of the property was made pasture land for cows...
The fruit orchard is very diverse: papayas, bananas, oranges, plantains, cacao, mangoes, bananas, lemons, white zapotes, lulo, guayabas, ice cream bean, passion fruit, sugar cane, and tons of other edibles.
We currently do not receive any income from the farm, so we ask volunteers to cover some of the cost of buying and transporting food which is 5$ per day per person so that we can continue to offer opportunities to volunteers.
We need a talented photographer and videographer who can capture daily life at the finca with the amazing beauty of the panoramic scenery and the vivid natural colors of all the tropical / exotic fruits. We are a holistic permaculture farm in Ecuador - focusing on a sustainable lifestyle by growing and cooking our own organic foods :) . Here all grows like: Coconuts to Cocoa/cacao, Soursop, Jackfruit, Babaco, Breadfruit, Passion-fruit, etc.
The day starts at 06:00 AM and ends at 06:00 PM.
We use shared facilities: Living room, kitchen; shower, compost toilet, laundry area, and we take turns with daily chores such as cleaning.
Food example: a big bowl of seasonal tropical fruit (Banana, Papaya and maybe Mango) with oatmeal and fruit juice for breakfast. Lunch could be rice with peanut butter, salad and carrots, lentils with shredded coconut meat. Dinner may be lighter like Papaya or just some rice with eggs.
We focus on seasonal, partly organic and local produce we purchase at the market and harvest as much of our own food from the Finca as we can.
Collaboration & knowledge
PermaTree is a place where people come together and create mutual enrichment. Participate as a volunteer and teach/learn from people who share their knowledge. On the other hand, we are always looking for mentors to teach the respective topics which match the specific sub-project. Or visit the farm to get a taste of permaculture in the green. Here we stress collaboration. We are about mutual enrichment and working together. There is no room for people who think they know everything.
Questions You Have To Ask Yourself
Are you ready and willing to adapt to our rhythm of life in the tropics on our fruit farm? Are you ready for a new different reality to what you are most likely used to? Can you adapt your habits? Are you a fast learner? Be sure to agree to all living agreements BEFORE arriving.
Paradise: We will share our daily family farm life here in paradise with you and for most people it will be harder than what they are used to. Are you ready for the challenge?
Are you about eco or ego? Do you care about all and everybody (adults, kids, babies, cats, dogs, chickens, insects, plants, soil, water, air, sun, moon and stars) as much as yourself? Or do you focus more about you and yourself. How do you tend to interact with new people? Do you wait for others to ask questions or are you proactive also in conversations?
Please think well about your answers and don't fool yourself. At the end we want happy and committed volunteers and you want to have the experience of your lifetime.
Keep In Mind: The most helpful, effective, and happy participants are self-motivated, interested, responsible, and accountable.
If you are looking for a place to chill or to party or plan the next steps of your trip or listen podcasts all day or take long hot showers or eat vegan or eat diary, then here is definitively the wrong place. For us all of the daily meals are literally highlights of the day with many tasty and healthy fresh local dishes where we share and exchange our thoughts together.
You can also chill (a bit)
- Explore the property (3 hours hiking) visit the waterfall
- Enjoy the magical twilight landscape
- Challenge the Ecuadorians to an afternoon game of beach volleyball
- Relax, watching the night sky with all the stars
- Take a swim in one of the natural swimming pools
- Walk to the next village: “Los Encuentros” 2km and explore life there
- Take a bus to the next city: “Yantzaza” 15km about 20 Min. drive.
- Take a long weekend to explore the city of Loja / Cuenca 3-4 hours away
- Go to one of the main tourist attractions of Ecuador: Banos, about 6 hours away