Community Project in Manabí
Ecuador / Ayuda humanitaria
This is an area located in the southern zone of the province of Manabí, containing a population of approximately 5,000 habitants.
It is in a dry tropical forest, with mostly primary vegetation. The plants from the Cactaceae (cactus) family standout, like the candelabra and the mulatto. There is also the lignum vitae, or ‘wood of life’, locust trees, and madero negro, a tropical
hardwood. All of these plants have a great commercial and medicinal value.
Among the most represented birds there are sea birds like blue-footed boobies, frigates, and petrels, and also land birds like cucubes, tangaras, and hummingbirds. Of course there is also the presence of majestic humpback whales, which is a special chapter in the fauna of the area. The whales bring in tourists from all over the world to witness the spectacle that they offer.
The marine currents determine the climate along the coast of Ecuador. From December to April, the warm current from Panama (also known as el Niño) has an average water temperature between 18 – 20ºC. In the months from June to
September, the cold current from Humboldt comes from the south. This current causes water temperatures to be 15-17°C and air temperatures to be 16-18°C during the summer months. The Humboldt Current is of great importance for the survival of many birds, mammals, and fish that find their food sources in the sea. The current drags miles of tons of food, like fish and plankton to Ecuador.
The volunteers will stay with host families from the community, which have been prepared to host volunteers with all the basic needs. The rooms have the following facilities:
- A bunk bed or 2 individual beds with their own mattress, sheets, pillow, towel and comforter.
- A closet for clothes.
- A small table and nightstand.
- Hangers for clothes.
- Mosquito net.
In most cases, the bathrooms are shared with the families and the showers have cold water. The families wash clothes by hand. In case you cannot wash your own clothes, you can coordinate with the family to have your clothes washed for a price reached by both parties. Finally, the volunteers are responsible for making their beds; cleaning is done cooperatively with the owner of the house.
Meals are based on a diet of seafood, chicken and beef, and are complemented by tropical fruits and grains. It is important that the families know if there are vegetarians in the group so that they can prepare a different menu.
Important Reminder: Participants must advise of their dietary needs (e.g. if they are vegetarian or have any allergies) prior to their departure.
Volunteers can work in different areas such as education, community development, conservation, construction and scientific survey.
The community counts with two schools and a Day Care Center
- To help by teaching English to the children at the school.
- To collaborate in the area of Sports.
- To support to the teacher in the areas of Drawing and Painting
- To give support at the Day Care Center by taking care of the children.
- To help by elaborating didactic material
The volunteers who contribute with this project can also give their support in the development of the community by carrying out different activities for the well being of the community
- To give support to the people from the community by teaching English to the members of the host families in order to increase their ability to receive tourists in the future.
- To develop the concept of eco-tourism as an alternative in order to generate economic resources.
- To contribute with the community in the elaboration of signaling to promote the tourism.
The volunteers who contribute with this project can also give their support in the area of construction by carrying out different activities.
- To help by repairing and painting the classrooms and the school desks.
- To help by painting murals at the local schools with messages related to the protection of the environment.
- To help by building and maintaining recreational games for the school.
- To help by building facilities at the school and at the community.
The volunteers who contribute with this project can also give their support in the area of conservation by carrying out different activities.
- To work at a native plants nursery.
- To work in the conservation of native species.
- To organize recycling campaigns with the population of the community, specifically with the children.
- To monitor the whales in order to contribute by collecting data.
MATERIALS AND REFERENCES
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Basic First Aid kit (treatments for insect bites, sunburn, minor cuts, stomachache, motion sickness, diarrhea, and personal medication, etc.)
- Towel (light or quick-dry)
- Biodegradable soap and shampoo
- SPF 30+ sunscreen
- Insect repellent and a strong anti-itch cream
- Other personal essentials
For Field Work
- Lightweight quick dry long-sleeve shirts
- Quick-drying (light cotton or nylon, not denim) long pants that can get dirty
- Wide brimmed hat to provide full-face protection from the Sun.
- Work gloves
- Re- usable water bottle (at least one liter, one US quart)
- Small daypack
- Flashlight (headlamp recommended) and spare batteries or rechargeable batteries;
- Good quality waterproof jacket
- Alarm clock/watch
- Multi-tool such as Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman tool, (do not pack this in your carry on luggage when flying)
NOTICE: The most important thing to bring is a sense of humor, patience and an open-minded attitude!