Have a question? Read first our FAQ below and our Volunteer Info Pack for more info’s.

You will be involved in all kinds of outside farming work, depending on our priorities. More about detailed work on our farm see here Volunteer Program

PermaTree is located 2 Km from the little town “Los Encuentros” which is in the Amazon region, South of Ecuador. The farm leads on the national road; “Troncal Amazónico (E45)” precisely on Kilometer 741.5. The neighborhood is called “Los Naranjos in “Los Encuentros” canton Yantzaza which is in the province of Zamora Chinchpe in Ecuador.

Quito -> Cuenca -> Gualaquiza -> Yantzaza -> Los Encuentros -> Finca Yantza
Quito -> Loja -> Yantzaza -> Los Encuentros -> Finca Yantza
by plane from Quito.
Quito Airport -> Loja Catamayo Airport -> Loja -> Yantzaza -> Los Encuentros -> Finca Yantza

68km Northwest of the city “Zamora” and 124km from the city of “Loja” (3h by Bus) on the “Troncal Amazonica (E45)” national road heading to “El Pangui” / “Gualaquiza”. If you come from Cuenca it’s the other side over “Gualaquiza” to “Los Encuentros” (6-8h by Bus).

GPS coordinates of PermaTree
Latitude -3.753239
Longitude -78.63105

Check out our map here

First, bring with you, the most important thing, a smile and a open mind. But don’t forget following items as well:

  1. Rubber boots AND slippers (for indoors)
  2. 3x Working gloves
  3. Min. 7x long sleeves and baggy working pants
  4. Personal Drinking Bottle for Water
  5. Alarm clock and watch
  6. Towel /organic Shampoo, Soap
  7. Sleeping-bag AND mosquito net
  8. Sun hat
  9. Mosquito protection AND repellent
  10. Toothbrush and paste
  11. Personal First-aid kit
  12. Special Medications (allergies or other medical conditions and organic feminine products)

Here is a list of optional items that you want to consider

  • Spanish-English dictionary
  • Sleeping sheet

If you considering support us with practical gifts, which are hard to get in Ecuador, please feel free to check out our “Wish List” at our Practical Donations Page. Let us know if there is anything you might bring with you.

We are in a humid, tropical climate whit 1-3 short, rain shower a day and in total about 1’900 mm of annual rainfall. The weather is more or less stable. Dry months from December until mid of February. The hottest month is November and the coolest month is June. Days can be hot to 30°C at night around 19°C with a humidity of 85%.

For hot, humid climate please bring y own bottle and enough cloths to change.

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry.

On arrival in the country, you’ll normally be allowed to remain in Ecuador for up to 90 days per year. If you’re planning to stay for longer, you should apply for a visa up to 180 days, which is possible in Ecuador before the 90 days expires.

If you enter Ecuador via the border with Peru or Colombia you must insist on being given an entry stamp at the border showing the date of your arrival.

Also check with your embassy of origin to be sure what you’ll need.

It can happen, that you lose or break something of our belongings. Until now, it wasn’t a big deal and we kindly ask our Volunteer to replace it. If it’s a dish or a tool please be fair and let us know when something happen, there is always a way to handle the situation.

Farming is always related to get up early which means at 06:00 a.m. when we all start preparing breakfast. Be aware, if you need more time to get awake, take a shower etc. you need to get up earlier.

Morning is the time where we feed our animals and get over the tasks so we can start with farming work at 07:00 a.m. when it’s still fresh outside. Night and sleeping time is at 9:00 p.m. For more details please read our Info Pack

Volunteers come up with their own ideas which can be implemented within finca PermaTree. Example: Food recipes, Daily hacks / improvements, Planting crops and trees, Extracting and drying seeds, Blog post about specific topic. Each project needs a time duration estimation at the start: for example 3 hours or 4 days until finalized. The goal is to finalize the Self Initiated Project during the stay of the Volunteer. Self Initiated Projects are done in the afternoon, if there is no prior work to do at the farm. 

Yes, we have mosquitoes. Especially during morning and late afternoon. That’s why we recommend (environmental friendly) mosquito spray and light, long sleeves including pants, socks and closed footwear. Also bring a mosquito net for nights, to make sure there is no mosquito bothering your sleep.

We do not have the Zica mosquito, which you can find around the Ecuadorian coast.

Living a more meaningful and resilient life  in harmony with nature as self-sufficient as possible, growing our own food and eating healthy.

We  believe in being equal with each other, in respecting the differences of others and not ruling over one another, but respecting. We are all connected one way or the other.

“We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home”.

Our long term goal is indeed to grow all at our own farm – self sustainable. But all needs time, investment, practical knowledge and creativity.

Our Food Forest or Forest gardening is a low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans.

Harvesting (depending on season)
Papayas, Bananas, Plantains, Cacao, Ice Cream Beans (Guaba), Sugarcane, Pineapples, Guavas, Lemons, Mandarins, Guayusa, Aloe Vera, Vetiver, Neem, Noni, Naranjillas, Zapotes, Hierba Luisa (Lemon Grass type), Cassava (Yuca), Wild Cherry Tomatoes, Corn, Beans, Carrots, Cucumbers, Chili Peppers, and different herbs such as Rosemary, Basil, Oregano…

Have been planting recently
Guanábanas (Soursop), Mangoes, Avocados, Oranges, Grapefruits, Chirimoyas, Coconuts, Strawberries, Maracuyas, Breadfruit, Bamboo (bamboo shoots), Macadamia, Peach Palm (Chonta), Jackfruit, Star fruit, Dragon fruit, Potatoes, Pumpkins.

You will have rare slow limited internet access from 19:00 p.m. to 20:00 p.m. but we do not want you to stay all the time online, because we think farming is living in nature and be aware of the surroundings influences. Else you can buy a personal CNT-chip $5 =300MB. The goal is to have the participating volunteers really focusing on the farm life and less on virtual things. For Volunteers which stay longer than 6 month we have different agreements.

The most important thing to know is; only drink boiled water and cooked food. 99% of every parasites disease, like Amoebas, come from contaminated water! So be careful drinking juices (they add always water from the tap) ice, ice cream ect. or eating salads! Bring natural anti-parasite medicine with you while traveling. Just to say, Imodium want help. Most Volunteer come to us, having already infected with parasites.

To be more specific; most likely you will have some issue with microbes or and parasites. Many infections may be transmitted by microbes or parasites that have previously entered the water. From directly drinking not 100% clean water or eating a fruit which was touched by another person who did not wash the hands. To stay on the secure side also drink filtered water and only eat fruit which are clean or have a skin you can peal like bananas.

You will have no trouble at our farm we filter the water from the tap or give you the possibility to drink water from the bottle. We never use tap water even if it could be drink able. Except for cooking (boiled). The only thing we see where microorganism could thrive is in our water tanks because rain brings a lot of mud and a part of this mud can stay in our water tanks.

You do not have to worry about Malaria and Yellow Fever they are extremely uncommon in our region. Dengue and Chikungunya do exist but have a very low prevalence. Also there is the human botfly, Dermatobia hominis, is one of several species of fly, the larvae of which parasites humans it’s common in central and south America.

The Ecuadorian government requires no vaccines for legal entry.

Bring your own organic soap to wash your clothes manually by hand. Volunteers can wash their clothes by hand or have their clothes washed at a “lavanderia” in Yantzaza for about $1.50 per half a kilo. If you wash your clothes by hand, use plastic bucket until we have a cement “lavanderia” / sink. After the washing, you can drain the “dirty” water in the shower. Use your own washing soap and let your clothes dry in the plant nursery on the strings. First, firmly squeeze out the remaining water before hanging the washed clothes up on the strings in the plant nursery. Use the clothespins to attach the clothes to the string. Remove the clothes after 4-5 hours, before nightfall.

The day starts at 06:00 AM and ends at 21:00 PM (normally). After breakfast, everyone starts with some of the Daily/Weekly/Monthly Tasks. Mornings we work for max. 5 hours (until lunch) on current Farm Projects and in the afternoon on Self Initiated Projects. We use shared facilities: Living room, kitchen; shower; compost toilet; laundry area, and we take turns with daily chores such as cleaning. If you go out of the farm you have to be back at the farm before 18:00. Shower before 18:00 o’clock.

Typical work week at PermaTree – example: Last Week Of March 2017 Blogpost http://www.permatree.org/ecuador/last-week-of-march-2017-at-permatree/

Daily / Weekly / Monthly Tasks (Maintenance):
There are several different daily chores such as cleaning which needs to be done at different times.

Farm Projects (Morning):
All the directly farm-related projects such as planting more fruit trees, bamboo, making stairs, digging holes, harvesting other fruits, cutting grass, etc. Farm Projects are in the morning before lunch.

Self Initiated Projects (Afternoon):
Volunteers come up with their own ideas which can be implemented within finca PermaTree. Example: Food recipes, Daily hacks / improvements, Planting crops and trees, Extracting and drying seeds, Blog post about specific topic. Each project needs a duration estimation at the start: for example 3 h or 4 days until finalized. The goal is to finalize the SIP during the stay. Ideally, one should write a DIY blog post with photos about your experience and motivation with your SIP. Self Initiated Projects are done in the afternoon.

The rules of coexistence are a set of social norms that are as important to follow for everyone, as teaching a child the alphabet or eating with cutlery … They are the norms that assure us to live in peace and harmony, avoiding discord. Good coexistence is based on teaching to understand and respect the rights of others and accept that there are obligations to fulfill, because without them, each would do what seemed most appropriate and we would fall into disharmony and respect for others.

  • If you arrive – Greet
  • If you are leaving – Say goodbye
  • If you don’t understand? – Ask
  • If someone speaks to you – Answer
  • If you get a favor – Thank for it
  • If you made a promise – Comply
  • If you offend – Apologize
  • If you have – Share
  • If you dont have – Do not envy
  • If you make a mess – Clean
  • If you think different – Respect
  • If you love – Show it
  • If you dont want to help – Dont hinder
  • If you break something – Repair it
  • If you borrow – Give it back
  • If you turn something on – Turn it off
  • If you open – Close

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