Found a property in Ecuador!

After a literally long and intense exploration and research during more than 600 days (2 years)! Which we started in Paraguay back in 2014 and then went to Bolivia. From there to Colombia where we finally decided to explore Ecuador.

property exploration1 PermaTree Property Hike property exploration2 property exploration4

We are very proud and happy and thankful to announce that we finally found and bought a property in Ecuador, South America to start with our vision for PermaTree. And so exited of course! Finally!!! 🙂

Honestly the last few month have been exhausting. Property purchase negotiations have been never-ending. For the first few months in Ecuador we had no own car and where renting one or driving with the taxi around witch was a bit of struggle. It was very challenging to find some decent renting place in the region. They have attempted to break-in twice into the house we are renting. Our legal 6-Month-Tourist-VISA was running out of time. Parts of our material is still stuck in Bolivia since 11 month now. The postal service in Ecuador is rather experimental there are no postal codes in use and no street numbers … we are waiting for official documents from Switzerland since now 7 weeks and nobody knows where it is and if or when it will arrive.

Once again we very lucky to have found fantastic new friends in the local community which have been supporting us. Thank you to our friends from the coast Lida y la familia Mieles (Quinta Guadalupana), Piet Sabbe (Bosque de Bambu), Peter from Terra Frutis (vegan community not far from us in Gualaquiza) and Etelvina, Henry, Don Rey, Lorena, “los amigos” and Max (the dog) from beautiful El Pangui and Loja region.
As always: “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”

Property Facts

Our little permaculture farm in Ecuador – We where searching for min. 50 to max. 200 Has and found 76 Has matching to all the other search criteria. It takes about 3 hours to walk around the property. It starts at 800 meters above the sea level and ends at about 1300! It’s located at the edge of the Sierra (Andes mountain range which stretch 1800 kilometers from north to south, along the west coast of the continent) and the Oriente (Amazonas region) in Ecuador. So the property is part of the Andes mountain range  and part of the Amazon River Basin which covers a total covers an area of about 7,500,000 km2 or roughly 40% of the South American continent.

PermaTree overview_property_76has

There is one bigger creek and about 4 water streams (ojos de agua) which start within the property like the bigger creek. So there should be no water quality issues. There is at least one waterfall of a few meters – we need to explore this a bit better. Currently there are no roads on the property itself. The access to the property is directly from the newly build highway traveling north to south Amazon Road (E45) “Troncal Amazónica”. From Quito its about 8.5 hours straight driving in a car. There are may public buses which travel from all the directions to there but they take more time because they stop very often normally. There are daily flights from Quito to Cuenca and from Cuenca its about 3-4 hours straight without the finalized road which is still being build right now as we speak. There are also airports near Yantzaza and Gualaquiza which have flights to Puyo. Alternative would be by boat via the river Zamora but we haven’t tried that option yet.

Our Main Focus with PermaTree:

  • Researching and implementing sustainable lifestyles
  • Food forest – A permaculture forest garden mimics the architecture and beneficial relationships of a natural plant/animal community that occurs in that climate. Food forests are designed and managed ecosystems that are very rich in biodiversity and productivity
  • Seed bank – seed exchange
  • Collaborative Community – Language and sustainable living exchange
  • Conservation – All the current left over forest areas will be from now on nature reserve
  • Analog Reforestation – re-vegetating depleted soil with flora that mimic the role of original native species to bring back natural vs. anthropogenic harmony
  • Transparency  – Open information / Open source – share information

Soil Type

The property has been used for more than 10 years for almost pure growing cows from pasture. The pasture soil is degraded after years of pasture only for cows and more than enough use of agrochemical POISON (multinationals Monsanto / Syngenta) to kill all the other kinds of natural “weed” / plants etc … Currently no signs of soil erosion which is good enough other issues.

The soil type is very diverse because of all the micro climates depending of the altitude within the property.

Our focus with PermaTree is to regenerate the soil:

  • Harvesting worm compost to create new rich soil with earth worms
  • Secure water – with Bamboo reduces rain run-off and downstream flooding and retains water within the watershed

Climate: Tropical

The PermaTree property is located between Yantzaza and El Pangui in the province of Zamora-Chinchipe, Ecuador. This region has a tropical climate. There is significant rainfall. Even in the driest month there is a lot of rain. This climate is considered to be Af according to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification. The average annual temperature in Yantzaza is 22.7 °C. Precipitation here averages 1959 mm.

Climate Table Annual Temperature

Climate Graph Annual Rainfall
Source: http://en.climate-data.org/location/25493/

 

Existing Fruit Trees and Edible Plants

A good indicator of the soil is that currently there are about 25 to 50 fruit trees and edible plants on the property: Cacao, Sweet Lemon, Lemon, yellow and red Bananas, Platano, Yuca, Guayabana, Guaba, Mango, Sugarcane, Chonta palms, Papaya, Corn, Coffee and Naranjilla also called “little orange” etc.

 

Planed Food Forest

For our planned food forest we are also ready to start to plant many Coconut palms, Avocados, Orange, Lemon, Lime, Pomelo (Grapefruit), Durian, Zapote, Pineapple, Moringa, Katuk, Tobacco, Aloe, Tumeric, Ginger, Lemongrass, Laurel, Pumpkin (grow like crazy), Higo, Frijoles y Porotos (beans), wild cherry Tomatos and Babaco which is a “Mountain Papaya”, Mangosteen, Jackfruit, Snakefruit, Bolivian cherimoya, Artocarpus odoratissimus (fruta de pan), Surinam cherry, max. different Banana diversity and many many more.

🙂

Coconut Palms

We have been told by the previous owners that the property had coconut palms but did not plant any and so the existing ones just died. The neighbors have plenty of coconut palms so this will be one of the first task we are going to do is to plant about 50 coconut palms which already have a height of about 1 meter today. Back in Bolivia a landlocked country located 3000km further south we saw many coconut palm trees and since then we decided that we want to plant as many as possible on the PermaTree property.

 

Native Seed Hunt In Ecuador

One of the biggest challenges here in Ecuador is the hunt for native seeds. Believe me it’s not easy. I have been seed hunting in Gualaquiza, Cuenca, Guayaquil, Quito and Ibarra. It’s almost hilarious that the agrochemical multinationals also sell GMO seeds and those are the most common used…  🙁

Red De Guardianes De Semillas ecuador

It’s not all lost yet but you have to hunt for the local organic seeds. We discovered in Quito the very well organized Seed Saver Network (RGS – La Red de Guardianes de Semillas del Ecuador) which sells and exchanges local organic seeds. They are a Non-Profit Organization, established in November 2002. Currently there are more than 300 members in the RGS network which share their seeds. RGS also trains farmers to save seeds, providing a national platform for seed preservation, creating an effective network between campesinos and educating activists nationwide to conserve biodiversity and promote food sovereign.

Happy us. Another great source for tropical / exotical fruit seed in Ecuador is the Guaycuyacu farm of Jim West there is a great article about them here on issuu. Thanks to Piet Sabbe from Bosque de Bambu for indicating great local bamboo sources. Soon we are going with a friend to visit some different Shuar communities in the depth of the Amazonas region which could help us to find some more native seeds which the Colonos (local colonists) do not use any more.

 

Forest

There is sadly zero “primary forest” left. Primary forest refers to untouched, pristine forest that exists in its original condition. This forest has been relatively unaffected by human activities. In Ecuador there is VERY little primary forest left. On our property there is NONE left. Neither is there secondary forest. Most likely the remaining forests of the PermaTree property are third-growth. They remaining forest cover, is located mainly at inaccessible areas.

wwf_map_of_deforestation_front

WWF has drawn on projections in the Living Forests Model, a major literature survey and interviews with dozens of experts around the world to identify 11 places with major deforestation fronts, highlighted in this map. These places are where the bulk of global deforestation is projected to take take place over the two decades, from 2010 to 2030.

amazon-rainforest-map-2013

Ecuador, is a relatively small country with the total size of 270’000 km2, had historically 132’000 km2 of pure jungle. While blessed with one of the highest biodiversity indices, Ecuador also has one of the world’s highest rates of deforestation estimated at over 300’000 hectares (3%) per year. 

yago deforestation ecuador

Only about 5% remain of the rich forests of the coastal region, most of which have been destroyed in the last 50 years by mining, logging, agroindustrial monocultures (banana, cacao, coffee, African palm) and colonization. According to Ecuador’s Environmental Ministry, 65’880 hectares of land are deforested in the country each year. The country’s illegal timber trade is worth around 100 million dollars, and represents up to 70% of wood transported out Ecuador’s remaining rainforest.

btina deforestation ecuador

According to satellite imagery analyzed by the watchdog group IMAZON, Amazon deforestation in 2014 and into the beginning of 2015 had more than doubled compared with the same time period a year earlier.

A interesting historical detail here is that the single largest contributor to deforestation in Ecuador were the Agrarian Reform Laws (1964, 1972) which promoted the colonization of “vacant” (forest) land as the solution to relieve social pressures caused by inequitable (feudal) land distribution, while expanding the agricultural frontier and subsidizing the growth of export-oriented industrial agriculture. The “Green Revolution” (GR) was included in the Agrarian Reform package which the U.S. government sponsored throughout Latin America as part of the “Alliance for Progress” in the 1960’s.
Source: Causes and consequences of deforestation in Ecuador

 

Wildlife / Biodiversity

Ecuador is a country with a varied terrain resulting in a variety of habitats for animal life. Ecuador’s birdwatching is legendary. In the entire country of Ecuador, there are an estimated 1600 species of birds. In the Ecuadorian Amazon region, you will find: 800 species of fish, including three sorts of piranhas, 350 Species of reptiles, including anacondas and iguanas, more than 300 species of mammals, including monkeys and jaguars. Thousands of species of plants and trees. Thousands of species of insects: one acre of rainforest may be home to 70,000 species of insect!

Although in theory Ecuador has one of the highest biodiversity indices in reality so far we saw a one white rabbit! And many types of birds of which some are yellow and blue and other Eagle / mice buzzards. Many insects apart from the Mosquitoes, Ants, Worms, Dasypus “armadillo”. We need to explore much more the existing wildlife.

One explication for this situation is that Ecuador has been buildings lots of excellent roads even into the amazon basin. The building of oil roads into the Amazon has led to unsustainable indigenous hunting, fed an illegal bushmeat market, possibly facilitated the pet trade, and is emptying rainforests of wildlife.
Source: mongabay

 

Water

“Water is the new oil” quote T. Boone Pickens. The Global Economic Forum identifies water crises as the third most serious risk the world faces in 2014. In just a few years from now in 2025, 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity, and 2/3 of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions!

projected water scarcity in 2025
Source: FEW

Multinationals like Nestle (Switzerland) and Coca Cola (USA) know this since a while and have been buying up all water sources on the entire globe. So don’t forget if possible to boycott companies like Nestlé and Coca-Cola! It’s the best thing you can do for yourself anyway. You health and your teeth will improve shorty after stopping to consume that kind of commercial poison.

yago water ecuador

Knowing that water is today and even more in future a serious key factor for survival we have had a strong focus on having enough water but not too much. This may sounds funny but we have been in places where there was no water and in other places where there was so much water that almost nothing grew because of to much water. So here again it’s all about finding a harmony.

waterfall btina 2016 ecuador

This is why we focused our search in Ecuador and specifically in the province of Zamora-Chinchipe. The climate is almost perfect; not to fresh during night, good sun during the day but also clouds and some hours of rain (check the climate info). So a little of everything it’s hot but not to hot like in Paraguay with 49 degrees Celsius. It’s fresh but not so fresh like in Bogota where after every visit I have a slight cold.  There are also less inhabitants in Zamora-Chinchipe. No serious worries compared to the coastal region of Ecuador where the food is great but there is increasing insecurity and locals tend to move to other regions if they can which is a good indicator.

 

Bamboo

There is already some yellow bamboo by the stream. We plan to plant a lot of different bamboo types along the river on a total distance of about 1000 meters or more.

Green Bamboo Leafs

Most varieties grow about 5 cm a day, and will reach their full height within one growing season. Certain species of bamboo can grow 90 cm within one day, at a rate of 3 cm/h!

Did you know that Bamboo produces 35% more Oxygen than Trees?

Unlike most tree species, harvesting bamboo does not kill the plant, so topsoil erosion and other adverse effects of tree-felling are kept to a minimum.

 

 

 

 

Struggling With Parasites In Latin America

In Latin America, I continuously struggle with bacteria’s. While traveling now almost two years, I mostly struggled with amoebas – the bad ones! The thing is, here, the water is often contaminated mostly of cows poo or other fecal sources. Local people often told me, that the tap water is drinkable but in fact, it’s not! Only in big cities where drinking water is purified… But still, the amoeba, for example, does not die from purifying the water with chlorine. For short-time travelers you can use a water filters but still you’re not 100% on the safe side, because the water you use for washing you’re dishes, for example is still contaminated. This was my first mistake, which I wasn’t thinking about in the beginning. So I do now heat up the water (it has to boil! Electric water heater is not a option!) and use it to lay my dishes in there for a minute, to be sure I am killing all of the bad bacteria’s!

Prevent!

Wash your foods with clean water, when preparing them. Avoid eating refined flour and sugar, don’t feed you’re bad bacteria’s. Avoid contact with dirt, because bacterial eggs can be found there. Having a diet based on meat, is easy to come in contact with parasites. Prevention for family members; cut you’re nails short so they stay clean and wash you’re hands often, especially before preparing food and after petting animals. Use separate towels and wash clothes in hot water. Oh by the way, here, in Latin America, laundry usually washes you’re cloth with cold water and dry them afterwords in the dryer. Hand washing clothes is common. If they use hot water when it’s heated up by gas.

Disease

How ever, luckily there are some people which never struggle from bacterial disease but it’s not proofed that they don’t have any! So, I probably went through all diseases you can ever expect from bacteria’s! Also mood wise I was a other person! I was quickly annoyed and I lost all my patience. No joke, this was a hard time for me. I couldn’t stand myself! And I was always hungry – Arrg! With my, almost pregnant looking, blown belly.

Antibiotics

antibiotics_amobeas

Colufase antibioticum

Here, in Latin America, they only know antibiotics. The bad thing about that is, they do not only kill the “bad” they also kill the good bacteria’s. So, often after a antibiotic treatment I was struggling with a other disease which is called candida a fungal. We all have candida in our bodies, like bacteria’s as well, but if they take over it can be unpleasant. After my experiences with antibiotics which, depending on the doctor and country, can completely drain you. Which means, awful long sitting on the toilet for minimum one day! But do not lose your mind, like I did, it will stop and go away. Just drink a lot of water I recommend coconut water to stabilize the important things you’re body needs while this process.

 

Master Tonic

master_tonic

Master Tonic

I started researching and found the promising Master Tonic a natural treatment. The first problem was to find apple cider, because in Latin America it’s damn hard to find it! I mostly failed because of not finding the needed ingredients! Meanwhile I luckily found a organic, alternative vinegar and started my Master Tonic. I followed the instruction, it’s a awful “juice” but I stayed strong! A few weeks later things didn’t changed at all and I went to the doctor again! Recipe here

 

 

 

Neem Leaves

deworming-medicine-2

Neem leaves

I then, by coincidence, met a guy who told me about the Neem leaves. Which he made a brew out of it and it sounded really promising, while he told me, that the Neem brew healed all of his tourists disease. I also found interesting facts about Neem on the internet and I was convinced. But back in the town, where I lived back then, was no Neem to find… So again I failed. Here a wonderful indian recipe, which I will try as soon as I get my own Neem tree in our food forest.

 

 

 

Noni Fruit

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Noni del Quindío. Extracto natural de Noni.

Noni is a really special fruit! Actually it does not really taste like a pictured tropical yummy fruit rather bitter and awkward, but if it helps for medical reason – I am in! Noni has the ability to defend you’re body from cancer or if you have cancer it can help stop growing it. Which sounds awesome! They say: Noni contains components that can help human body to regenerate cells and to increase the defenses of it, naturally. Also tumors, sunburns, allergies, arthritis, asthma, better circulation, colds, cough, depression, diabetes and it has an remarkable effect, against 7 different kinds of harmful bacteria, effective against fungi and parasites. Our friend in Colombia Quindío makes this powerful Noni extract! Source

 

Fermented Food

kimchi

Kimchi a Korean fermented dish

Then people told me to eat or drink fermented food to beat up you’re gut and fight against the bad bacteria’s. I was animated to try it. From Kombucha to fermented vegetables like Sauerkraut. But luck wasn’t on my site because the fermentation always rotted. I didn’t used the right jar and the whole fermentation was totally new to me. So I gave up and was disappointed. More about fermented food here. On the other side, if you’re struggling with candida don’t eat any fermented food, because you’re candida will love it and grow even more, because of the sugar amount in fermented foods. By the way, don’t eat anything with sugar even fruits. Only vegetables, I tell you! More about a candida diet here

 

Propolis

propolis

Propolis from bees

I heard, the first time, about Propolis in Bolivia, where they mad soap out of it, but actually there is a lot more potential! Propolis or bee glue is a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. Propolis has a wide range of antibacterial properties. It also has anti-fungal and anti-viral powers. Health benefits here. Instructions: Take 3 drops per kilo or 3 capsules half an hour before each meal. Recommended are cycles of 7 days with an interval of 7 days after treatment. Times to ensure a repetition of 3-5 for complete elimination of parasites or bacteria. instruction source

 

 

Think Local

Actually there are tons of natural treatments and recommendations out there but I couldn’t really find one person who guided my though a proper instruction which was really helping against my problem. So I had to search for local medicine plants and also ask local people. Encountered so far:

Supports by: Rheumatism, arthritis, cancer, wounds, gastric ulcers and intestinal complaints, chronic pain, improve immunity, colitis, viral and fungal infections, such as herpes and candida. Source

The latex of this tree is used for: Bacteriostatic, bactericide, fungicide; is also traditionally used to treat influenza, tonsillitis, herpes, uta, burns, acne, colds, diseases of tonsils, gingivitis, cervicitis, lose weight, control bleeding. Source

  • “Jergon Sancha” o “Oro verde”, Araceae Dracontium, (South America)

Helps against: Snakebite, asthma, menstrual disorders, chlorosis, and whooping cough, natural remedy supposedly for HIV/AIDS, cancerous tumors, gastrointestinal problems, hernias. Uña de gato and Sacha jergon together can be used in the treatment of AIDS. Source

  • Copaiba, Fabaceae Copaifera (South America)

Beneficial effects of Copaiba are due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-tetanus, antiseptic and anti-hemorrhagic properties. Copaiba oil or resin is used by indigenous tribes for skin sores, psoriasis and other minor skin problems. Other actions; increases expels worms, kills fungi, bacteria and germs, reduces acid. Internal: 5-15 drops, 2-3 times daily.

Is a species of flowering plant. The alkaloid cryptolepine is a potent antimalarial. The plant also has potential for treating Type II diabetes and is considered a powerful systemic antibiotic. It contains the antibacterial alkaloids cryptolepine, quindoline, and neocryptolepine.  The roots are also used as a yellow dye. More infos here

More about medical plants: plantas medicinales, plantas medicinales selva

Easy DIY recipe

  1. South American traditional remedy; 3 very small teeth garlic, into a cup. Pour very hot water over them. Let it sit all night and drink the water on an empty stomach in the morning. (Although there are regions where people bits of garlic also swallow).
  2. Eat these foods daily in salads or desserts: onion, avocado and pumpkin seeds and papaya. Or for tuff situations; eat a whole day salad with garlic and walnuts. Drink a cup of horchata in the morning and immediately afterwards ten pumpkin seeds.
  3. Boil ½ teaspoon thyme, ½ teaspoon of gentian root, chamomile bitter ½ teaspoon and ½ cup of water for 10 minutes. turn off the heat and it stand for another 10 minutes. Take it for nine days for children in between 9 and 12 years. Double dose for adults and halve for baby’s.
  4. Boil a bunch of mint in a liter of water for a few minutes. Drink it on an empty stomach (2 tablespoons), 2 crushed garlic and 1/4 (small) glass of milk or water.
  5. Mix 2 tablespoons dried pumpkin seeds and ground, half a glass, with warm water and taken on an empty stomach.
  6. 1/4 cup coconut milk with 4 pumpkin seeds.
  7. 1/4 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons papaya seeds (mixed) and 2 tablespoons of olive oil which helps to eliminate parasites.
  8. Take 2 tablespoons of honey with water of a orange peel.
  9. 40 Pumpkin seeds for a jar of one Liter, a medium papaya with skin and seeds, liquefies all, the original recipe goes with milk but can be added with coconut milk instead or water. Strain all three ingredients. Take this juice 3 times a day. In the last one give 2 tablespoons olive oil
  10. Eat on a empty stomach a coin big peace of a papaya leave. The bitterness of the leaves helps to paralyses the parasites and expels them.

Source

Easy solution with Piperazin

For now, I go with Piperazin, which I found as pills, in a herbal shop. Piperazin is an organic compound. Their mode of action is generally by paralyzing parasites, which allows the host body to easily remove or expel the invading organism, likewise what Pumpkin seeds does. Piperazin exist since the 50ties but I never heard about it before and It worked well so far! After a package, 6 days, take an interval of 7 days and repeat then the treatment to be sure.

Ecuador

Nature: Flora and Fauna of Ecuador

Ecuador has 10% of all of earth’s plants.

This country has more species of plants per area unit than any other country in South America. 18% of the total discovered birds in world, 1655 birds, are found in Ecuador. The 382 mammal species that exist in this country, comprise 7% of the 5,490 species registered in the world. It is, in summary, a rich tropical region, with wetlands, due to its privileged geographic location in the Neotropics, which makes it form part of this privileged list of biodiversity.

Ecuador Landscape

Like many visitors, we where surprised that the country is not only tropical but is also home to so many microclimates, including the snow capping the highest of the Avenue of Volcanoes’ 55 peaks (of which 14 are active). Another interesting detail is that the Chimborazo in Ecuador has an altitude of 6310 meters (20,703 feet). Mount Everest has a higher altitude, and Mauna Kea is “taller.” However, Chimborazo in Ecuador has the distinction of being the “highest mountain above Earth’s center.”

The climatic extremes are amazing, but it’s how fast it changes that is so startling. Yet, this, more than anything, illustrates how the tiny nation of Ecuador nurtures one of just 17 biological megadiversity hot spots on the planet.The numbers are staggering: 1600 – 15% of the world’s – bird species on the mainland alone and another 38% that are endemic to the Galapagos; 3500 orchid species, the most on Earth; 4500 or more butterflies; more than 16000 plant species, 106 reptiles and 138 amphibians native to the country, and so on.

BioDiversity Ecuador

Drive 20 minutes and everything changes, in this South American country that’s just smaller than Italy: the topography, climate, plants and animals – even the culture and language.

 

Threats from modernization

Unfortunately, Ecuador’s natural wealth is continuously challenged by unsustainable economic development from sectors such as oil and gas, fisheries, logging, mining and infrastructure. Coupled with rapid population growth, historically high deforestation rates, and an economy highly dependent on exporting raw materials rather than refined products.

Market in Quito Ecuador

Iconic species such as jaguars, great green macaws and brown-headed spider monkeys are all in jeopardy from the rampant habitat loss. Being one of the world “hot spots” of biodiversity – from dry tropical forest (less than 2% remaining in Ecuador), coastal humid tropical forest and coastal wet tropical forest (currently only 0.8% remaining)…

deforestation in ecuador 2016

The deforestation figure in all of coastal Ecuador is 98%. The Pacific Equatorial Forest, which has suffered an estimated loss of 75% of its native forest, has thus fared somewhat better than the rest of the region owing to its limited access and more challenging topography. However, the construction of a new coastal highway through the region threatens to facilitate the deforestation of the last remnants of Pacific Equatorial Forest. Sadly the vast majority of the Pacific Equatorial Forest remains unprotected and continue to be logged and cleared for agriculture and cattle ranching. More than 60’000 hectares of  forest are lost every year! In 2009 the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment launched its Socio Bosque (Forest Partners) program, which provides forest owners with an annual conservation subsidy of $30 per hectare ($12/acre), has had some traction in the region but the long-term efficacy is still uncertain.

 

Pachamama in Ecuador?

Pachamama is a goddess revered by the indigenous people of the Andes. She is also known as the earth mother.

Is there a alternative sustainable agricultural model?

The spread of organic agriculture is a multi-faceted process that includes a tension between economic and social factors. Nationally, public institutions like the Ministry of Agriculture serve as the central nodes of the network, but their initiatives to promote organic agriculture are less developed than those of both foreign and domestic NGOs. Key actors are more successful in spreading organic agriculture if they are perceived as legitimate and capable leaders. The spread of modern organic agriculture appears to follow the top-down diffusion model. However, a growing grassroots agroecology movement follows a more decentralized approach. (Source: Return to pachamama?  The diffusion of organic agriculture in Ecuador by Sophie Fuchs, 2011)

 

Permaculture movement and communities

Ecuador permaculture movement is alive and well, but not exactly comparable to for example Costa Rica which is located much nearer physically to the United States. Costa Rica “Pura Vida” marketing-lifestyle-expression is definitely very different. 🙂 While exploring Costa Rica in 2014 for 4 weeks we did enjoy our stay and visited many so called Eco Villages, Green Resorts, beautiful Nature reserves and so picturesque Caribbean sand beaches. Here we got our inspiration to start to explore for a place for our own project PermaTree. In Ecuador there are various so called international communities and or Permaculture Farms, Private Reserves some of them which we have been able to visit. So far we have noticed that most projects are still in a phase of growth and there is much potential in working together for sure. The permaculture “idea” does help for sure. We have been avoiding places with too many expats at the beginning and did explore a few after a while like mountain village of Mindo and the city Cuenca later. Networking with similar minded people never hurts. In theory the idea behind “permaculture” should not be anything new for the remaining native and indigenous peoples, who have retained a balanced way of interacting with green living things for thousands of years. But reality is different than theory. In Ecuador many indigenous peoples such as the Shuar and the Achuar have a rather difficult time “adapting” to the so called modern world  “work & consume”. Most local people here in Ecuador have never heard of the term “Permaculture” and if they live from agriculture then from pastureland and growing cows. It’s the same situation in Paraguay, Bolivia, Colombia, and Ecuador. No big difference here. Ecuador has a very privileged geographic location and much less climatic issues than most countries we explored in South America.

The movement of sustainable communities in Ecuador reflects a bit the fact that it sits on the halfway mark of the Earth: it’s neither invisible nor well defined, though small, it has many projects, although they are not necessarily part of a functional network (Quote: Leti y Ryan – http://www.comuntierra.org)

The biodiversity is Ecuador’s main attraction, however there are is also a surprisingly diverse ecological movement with some very interesting and peculiar projects.

Permaculture inspired Farms in Ecuador:

 

Seed Savers Network – RGS

Another very interesting network in Ecuador are the Seed Saving Network (Red de Guardianes de Semillas de Ecuador) which is a Non-Profit Organization, established in November 2002. Currently there are more than 300 members in the RGS network which share their seeds. RGS also trains farmers to save seeds, providing a national platform for seed preservation, creating an effective network between campesinos and educating activists nationwide to conserve biodiversity and promote food sovereignty in country. Source: https://www.facebook.com/guardianesdesemillas/

Welcome: Lobo and Oso

Yesterday we visited the “RESCATE ANIMAL CUENCA” A Non-Profit Organization located in the colonial center of ‪‎Cuenca‬.

We now are proud daddies to two adopted local abandoned and rescued street dogs from Cuenca.

Very long travel yesterday for the dogs and us from Cuenca to El Pangui‬ but now the dogs are well and happy and chilling. OSO 11 month old male and LOBO is a 18th month old male which deserve to explore and discover nature now with us and our project reforestation food forest PermaTree which will start very soon now. We are very thankful and believe that dog adoption is the better solution than “buying” puppies.

Btina Lobo Oso 2016 jardin Lobo transporte Oso transporte Lobo y Oso jardin Lobo y Oso 2016