August 1 - 12, 2023 Pickup: Airport


Similar to other countries in South America, Ecuador has traditionally suffered from the so-called “resource curse,” poverty and inequality in a land of plentiful natural resources. Despite this fact, Ecuador serves as a model for some of the most far-reaching efforts to provide an ecologically and socially-sustainable economic model. 
On a Global Exchange delegation to Ecuador you will meet with local organizations, politicians, journalists, farm workers, and Indigenous communities to speak about the local, regional, and global effects of corporate globalization. These affiliates will introduce you to some of the most successful local and international efforts to bring environmental justice to the Andes and the Amazon. You will explore the diversity of political challenges and successes of Ecuadorians in the Amazon basin as you engage in discussions of rights of nature, food sovereignty, fair trade, intellectual property rights, Indigenous rights and Indigenous healing methods.
In the northern Amazon region, you will look at the damaging effects of oil and other extractive industries while you experience the breathtaking diversity and beauty of the Amazon rainforest. You will learn about the historic ongoing court-battle against Chevron and its toxic legacy of oil exploitation. You will meet with Indigenous leaders and healers, and visit ecotourism projects that provide alternatives to extractive industries like oil and logging.
Back in Quito, you will discuss environmental, social, and economic rights with activists, explore the beautiful city, explore the local cuisine and visit the Mitad del Mundo, the Center of the Earth. 
* This trip is not confirmed until the minimum group size is met. Please do not purchase airfare until you receive confirmation from the Global Exchange coordinator.
* The first and last days of the tour are dedicated primarily to arrivals and departures – please schedule your arriving and departing flights on these days. If you prefer to arrive before or depart after the listed tour dates, we can still arrange airport transportation but keep in mind there will be an extra charge, as drivers are hired per day.

What’s Included

Doble Rooms
Single Room Upgrade

Available for $130 extra

In country transport

Includes airport pick-up and drop-off

Preparatory Reading materials
Local Ecuadorian Expert Trip leader

Yury Guerra, educator and activist from Ecuador, leading Global Exchanges’s delegations for over 15 years.

2-3 meals a day
Admission fees

To all program activities


To organizations, speakers, communities we visit

What’s excluded

International airfare

Visa and passport fees

Items of personal nature

Tips to guides, drivers, hotel staff, wait staff


Times and events subject to change

Arrive in Quito and transfer to hotel
Dinner and Introductions 
Overnight at Hotel Ikala
7:00 AM  Breakfast at the hotel
8:00 AM  Orientation (1hr)
–        Presentations
–        Reading and discussion of the document: “Tools to be a socially Conscious & Culturally Sensitive and Respectful Participant”
–        Cultural aspects
–        Briefing on the socio-political, cultural and historical aspects of Ecuador
–        Safety protocol
–        Review of itinerary
9:30 AM  Transer to Mitad del Mundo or The Middle of the Earth. Visit the museum of Mitad del Mundo and presentation on Ecuador’s indigenous heritage. 
12:00 PM: Travel to Yunguilla, a community in the Andean Cloud Forest committed to the sustainable development and ecotourism to learn about this example of community organizing around Educational Community Eco-Tourism, Eco-farming and Fair-trade.
1:00 PM Introduction by a Community leader and Lunch in Yunguilla followed by a welcome lunch at a community run restaurant. All meals in Yunguilla are organic with ingredients locally produced!
2:00 PM Presentation by a community leader.
– Meet with Yanguillla based community leader German Collaguazo
to learn about community projects
– Visit the community projects.
– Visit to Yunguilla’s fresh cheese factory and artisanal jam factory to learn about cooperatives and a worker led economy
4:00 PM Transfer to Quito
5:00 PM Arrival to the Hotel
7:00 PM Dinner
Overnight at Hotel Ikala
10:30 AM  Meeting with the president of CEDENMA (the Ecuadorian Coordinator of Organizations for the Defense of Nature and the Environment) on Rights of Nature in Ecuador.  
1:00 PM Lunch
3:00 PM Meeting at Accion Ecologica. 
– Presentation with Esperanza Martinez, an environmental activist and former General Secretariat of Oilwatch. Esperanza worked as an assistant to former Constituent Assembly President Alberto Acosta, and was one of the main forces to succeed in the struggle to make Nature one of the main axis of the Ecuadorian Constitution. Because of his work, Ecuador became the first country in the world to give Rights to Nature in its Constitution. 
5:00 PM Meeting with a community leader and a lawyer for the plaintiffs in the
case against Chevron.
– An introduction to the Toxic Tour which we will be participating in tomorrow. 
7:30 PM Dinner
Overnight at Hotel Ikala
6:20 AM Breakfast at the hotel
7:30 AM Leave the hotel for the airport
9:20 AM Fly to Lago Agrio in the Ecuadorian Amazon Region
10:10 AM Arrival to the city of Coca, Francisco de Orellana
10:30 AM Start of the Toxic Tour lead by Donald Moncayo a long time grass roots activist, Coordinator of the UDAPT Union of the People Affected by Texaco’s Oil Operations. The UDAPT Union of the People Affected by Texaco’s Oil Operations (Chevron/Texaco), was originally formed to “fight Texaco now Chevron in the worst case of oil pollution on the Planet” and to make Chevron-Texaco accountable to the communities that have suffered years of contamination. “The company left a region three times the size of Manhattan polluted with more than 600 open toxic waste pits. To this day, the outdated and unlined dumps continue to leak into the water table, polluting rivers and streams used by more than 30,000 people for drinking water, cooking, bathing and fishing.”
2:00 PM Lunch at hotel Bambu in Sacha 
3:00 PM Continuation of the Toxic Tour
6:00 PM Arrival to Coca and check in at hotel Ciudad Canela.
7:00 PM Dinner at Hotel Ciudad Canela
Overnight @ Hotel Ciudad Canela
7:00 AM Breakfast at the hotel Ciudad Canela
8:45 AM Transfer to the Airport in Coca
11:10 AM Arrival to Quito
1:00 PM Lunch
3:00 PM Meeting to introduce the next part of the trip and Q&A session
4:00 PM Presentation of the Movie Helena From Sarayacu by Film Maker Eriberto Gualinga (Traya Muscuy) also from Sarayacu. 
5:30 PM Discussion and Q and A session
6:00 PM Presentation about the Sarayacu struggle against Oil.
7:00 PM Dinner
Overnight at Ikala
7:00 AM Breakfast at Hotel Ikala
7:30 AM Transfer to Puyo
12:30 PM Arrival to Hotel El Jardin in Puyo
1:00 PM Lunch
2:30 PM Visit to La Casa de la Mujer Amazónica and a presentation by Patricia
Gualinga a Sarayacu leader
PM In Puyo meet with Sarayacu community members and learn about their
struggle, their daily life and their spirituality.
All the events in Sarayacu depend on the availability of leaders and the socio-
cultural-political events that are happening at the time in the community. The Sarayacu community has community lead tourism project but they do not want Sarayacu to become a tourist spot. Instead they want to share their struggle and offer their hospitality and knowledge of the rainforest for visitors to learn and enjoy, so please keep this always in mind. During the next few days you will have tours of the community, hikes in the forest, visit to a chakra to learn about food staples and food production and engage in community dialogues. There will be plenty of time to dialogue in Spanish with our guides, host family at the lodge and in the community.
7:00 AM Breakfast at the hotel in Puyo
8:00 AM Departure to Sarayacu in a 3 or 5 passenger plane. (It is a 25 minute flight). Welcome by community leaders.
1:00 PM Lunch
PM Walk in the rainforest with community members
5:00 PM Rest
7:00 PM Dinner
Overnight at the eco lodge in the Sarayacu
**Our program in Sarayacu is run by the community lead tourism project and the Sarayacu’s international relations committee.  
7:30 AM Breakfast
8:30 AM Sarayacu Program: This includes meetings with political and spiritual
leaders, conversations with people from the community, visits to representatives of the different  projects to address natural resources extraction, sharing of daily life activities with the community, walks through the rainforest etc. The talks, presentations, conversations or personal exchanges will be
around Sarayacu resistance to oil activities in their territory and their defense of the Sumac Causay (The Beautiful life) and La Selva Viviente (The Living Jungle).
1:00 PM Lunch.
2:30 PM Continuation of the program in Sarayacu.
4-5:00 PM A presentation by the community film maker Eriberto Gualinga. HIs films have won several national and international awards.
7:00 PM Dinner
Overnight In Sarayacu at the eco lodge. 
4:00 AM (Optional) A Wayusa ceremony. Wayusa is a traditional energizing drink that is sipped while the elders share their stories and everybody prepares themselves for a day of work. An oral history tradition that keeps the memory alive.
5:30 AM Back to bed
7:30 AM Breakfast
8:30 AM Starting of Activities. The program will include meetings with political and spiritual leaders, conversations with people from the community, visits to representatives of the different alternative projects to address natural resource extraction, sharing of daily life activities with the community, walks through the rainforest etc.
1:00 PM Lunch.
2:30 PM Continuation of the program in Sarayacu.
Overnight in Sarayacu eco lodge
7:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM – Noon Departure depending on weather conditions
Noon – 1:00 PM Arrival to Puyo
2:00 PM Lunch in Baños
3:30 PM Departure to Quito
6:30 PM Arrival to the Ikala Hotel
7:30 PM Dinner
7:00 AM Breakfast at the hotel
8:00 AM Wrap up meeting
9:00 AM Visit to the Guayasamin Museum Capilla del Hombre
1:00 PM Lunch
2:00 PM Afternoon free
6:30 PM Goodbye dinner 
Overnight at Hotel Ikala

Breakfast at hotel and then departures.






Do not hesitate to call us. We will be happy to help you with any questions.

Covid vaccination is required for all Reality Tour participants.

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Do you want to Customize a Reality Tour? We can send groups of 4 or more!