Volunteer Experience – week 12 – Rebecca

Personal experience (lasts weeks)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I Rebeca Gaona, I’m doing my internship on the Yantza PermaTree Farm in Ecuador. Now I’m on week 12, almost ending my internship. I had to end my internship on december 20, but I have some health problems, so I’m going to have surgery on Tuesday, december 3, and the weeks between december 3 and december 20 I will work virtually with blogs, publications and information.

Jackfruit seedlings

I’ve been working in different things in the farm and I have learned new things. Some of the activities I have done are for example to plant seedlings from a jackfruit. At first we only used one jackfruit. After 1 and a half month approximately we obtained 102 plants, but 16 died.  Now we are waiting to see the other seedlings of 2 more jackfruits.

We transplanted new plants where some other plants did not survive. We used fruit plants and some native timber plants, and in some places we put some flowers, so the insects/bees and birds will have food and a place to stay. Enhancing biodiversity. 

In this time we harvested some ripe soursop fruits and we have made a lot of soursop-ice-cream. The biggest soursop that I saw, was one of 8 kg and we obtained almost 57 ice creams. 

Here rains a lot, and sometimes we have problems with the water. It can go under the earth and the landscape changes because the water is moving the earth. Erosion. Once we went up the mountain because the rain and mud covered the mouth of the main water tank. Which is used for the house, so we had to clean it and be sure that the water was arriving to the house. 

The farm dogs

I’ve always liked animals, and here on the farm there are four dogs. They are very friendly. The boss is Pulga (Flea), she is not the biggest, but she rules among the dogs. Then Toby goes, he is the biggest, Pica Pica is the youngest and the sister of Pulga (Flea). Mango, it’s a bit awkward, but he loves to receive affection and attention.

Other activity we made is to prune the bamboo, because it gives more strength to the plant and because of that it grows faster. We have to cut the new buds of the plant and the big ones. 

Sometimes we have to work on virtually because there is tropical rainfall. And sometimes we do not work outside because of the sun. Tropical climate.

Another important thing is that, after watching the farm and knowing how it works, the farm obtained the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification, given by the Agriculture Ministry. It’s important to say that it’s the very first farm in the Zamora-Chinchipe province that obtained this certification.

With the help of Conservation International, there will be a big conservation area linked with a biological corridor, so the native fauna will recover some of the natural habitat and they can have food and shelter there. Enhancing biodiversity.  

Currently, there is a project of building a small fabric to give local tropical fruits and vegetables added value. For example, the plant will produce dehydrated fruit, some different teas, natural oils and coffee. The coffee shop will be here on the farm and will work as a showroom for the added value products. For this we had to clean all the area where the construction will be, so the architects and the people of the construction could get a better look at the terrain.  

Farm Field Work

I have worked with “Don Ray” and Cunanchi, they are the workers of the farm. I really have fun with them because they are always fighting and saying nicknames between them. I work with them cleaning the perennial peanut (forage) and the soursop plants, reforesting some areas, making some steps on the terraces, relocating some perennial peanut to make soil  cover. 

Sometimes I go to eat with them, because it’s easier to eat there and then keep working than coming here to the main farm house and cook, eat and go down there again. 

I have learned, more than anything, about how life is, how hard things can get in a farm, how to work with other people and to organize my time and the activities that I have to do. This experience opened my mind to new projects and new way to manage a farm. Another important goal for me is that now I have more contact with people that can be helpful in the future, for new projects.

Making Home Made Bread in the Adobe Oven

I learned to make bread too, and I really like it. It’s something that I never thought I will learn but I’m glad i made it.

healthy food

I know to cook healthier things, and I’m reducing the quantity of meat that I eat. This is good because, even though people don’t know that, the meat production and cattle raising are destroying thousands of productive areas and are deforesting a big part of the Amazonian Rain Forest. 

Nature Surrounds the Farm

I think that now, I see more value in the natural resources, like flowers, plant, water, natural coverages and all the animals that complete this system, not only economic value, I mean, the importance that these resources have in our environment and to understand that all these elements work together and create a balance in the nature.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *