Where: In the Andean highlands outside of Otavalo, Ecuador. Lodging will be at a lovely inn with great food, free wi-fi service and friendly staff. Ecuador is in the Eastern time zone and uses U.S. dollars. The weather should be in the 70’s during the day and quite cool at night.
Who: Anyone with an interest in gardening, volunteering, Ecuador, cross cultural learning, and having fun! And you must be able to walk comfortably on uneven terrain and be in good physical condition so you can participate in our activities.
Why: To help 23 communities who have joined together and created an operating nursery to raise native trees to plant in their watersheds and protect their water supplies. We will be collecting seedlings, weeding, planting trees, etc. The nursery is run by a dedicated plant-lover, Matias Perugachi. You can see a video of him on our blog. We will also help children with their school garden. And, we will learn about another culture and biome.
2933 LOWER BELLBROOK RD, SPRING VALLEY, OH 45370, US
To empower individuals of various cultural backgrounds with an increased awareness of the world, other cultures, and themselves, and with an expanded sense of their possibilities;
To promote positive, caring interactions between people of different backgrounds and encourage consideration and lessening of global inequalities;
To promote respect and responsibility toward one's self, all people, and the Earth.
he Tandana Foundation is a non-profit organization that offers cross-cultural volunteer opportunities, scholarships, and support for small community projects in highland Ecuador and Mali's Dogon Country. Tandana coordinates service projects and volunteer vacations that offer visitors to Ecuador or Mali the unique opportunity to be guests rather than tourists, to form cross-cultural friendships, to experience a rich indigenous culture, and to make a difference in the lives of new friends. Its scholarship program allows rural Ecuadorian students to continue their secondary and higher education. Its community projects help villagers in Mali and Ecuador realize their dreams of improving their communities.
The Tandana Foundation is not about "helping the poor unfortunates" or imposing a developmentalist worldview or any particular religion. Rather, our goal is to create and nurture real and responsible relationships among people of different cultures. Giving and receiving are inherent parts of those relationships, and contributing to community projects is a great way to make friends. Any foreigner who has worked in an Ecuadorian minga (community work day) knows how that works on the ground! We come to learn and to share.
Tandana comes from a Kichwa root meaning "to gather together" or "to unite" and represents the spirit of our work.