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 highlands and in the Amazon basin as you engage in discussions of food sovereignty, fair trade, intellectual property 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 and leaders as you uncover the alternatives to “free trade”, and learn about movements for integration of South America.
Visit the Municipality of Cotacachi, a United Nations (UNESCO) award-winning township dedicated to sustainability and communal governance.
* 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.
Single Room Upgrade
Available for $200 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.
Two meals a day
To all program activities
To organizations, speakers, communities we visit
Visa and passport fees
Items of personal nature
Tips to guides, drivers, hotel staff, wait staff
Times and events subject to change
December 28th, Quito
7:00 AM: Breakfast at the hotel
8:00 AM: Orientation (1hr)
– Reading and discussion of the document: “Tools to be a socially Conscious & Culturally Sensitive and Respectful Participant”
– Cultural aspects
– Review of itinerary
9:00 AM: Presentation by an indigenous leader of CONAIE (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador) and Vice President of COICA, Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin of the entire South America, organizations from Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Suriname, Guyana and the French Guyana. He also was recently at the UN climate action summit representing The International Indigenous People’s Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC), a caucus of indigenous rights advocates who, for years, have been working towards more robust participation and inclusion at the UN level in response to the climate crisis.
10:30 AM: Travel to , a good example of community organizing around self sustainability, and the protectors of the cloud forest. This community is an hour and a half away from Quito and half an hour from the “Mitad del Mundo” Monument marking the so-called Middle of the World.
11:30 AM: Brief stop at the monument of the Mitad del Mundo/ Middle of the World (optional).
12:30 PM: Yunguilla – presentation by the young Community leader about their projects.
1:30 PM: Lunch and prepare by the tourist community enterprise. Then short walks and visit to the different projects
5:30 PM: Back to Quito
7:00 PM: Welcome Dinner on the top of a hill with a beautiful sight of the colonial center of the city.
A 5 hour bus trip with a brief stop in the nice little tourist city of Baños
7:00 AM: Breakfast at hotel
8:00 AM: Departure to Puyo
Full day of meeting with indigenous Leaders in the city of Puyo and other cultural activities.
7:00 PM: Dinner at the hotel El Jardin
Overnight at El Jardin
7:00 AM: Breakfast at Hotel El Jardin
1:00 PM: Lunch in Sarayacu
3:00 – 5:00 PM: Program in Sarayacu. Sarayacu is the birth place of many national and international Indigenous leaders who will be celebrating New Year’s eve in their community and we will celebrate with them. Among them are:
an indigenous environmental leader that recently attended the Rome Amazon synod with Pope Francisco among many international events where she has been the voice of the indigenous people who are fighting to preserve their territories from natural resource extraction who are destroying the Amazon rainforest.
Doña Corina Montalvo a human library of the different traditions and costumes of her community.
Don Sabino Gualinga a very important spiritual leader of the community.
12 Midnight: A traditional celebration of New Year’s Eve with the Sarayacu community and in the Sarayacu Community.
8:00 or 9:00 AM: Breakfast
The day will be spent speaking with local leaders and going on small hikes and visits to the different beautiful places in the middle of the rainforest.
1:00 PM: Lunch
2:00 PM: Program Continues
7:00 PM : Dinner
Overnight at the Community Ecotourism Ecolodge Facilities
The program in Sarayacu continues which in includes small hikes, cultural activities and speaking with local indigenous leaders about the struggles they are facing and the amazing organizing they are doing to save their lands.
7:00 PM: Dinner
7:00 AM: Breakfast
9:00 AM: Take a plane back to Shell and then to Quito
12 Noon: A brief stop in Baños for lunch
The rest of the day free and then farewell dinner.
7:00 AM: Breakfast at hotel
8:00 AM: Trip to the Province of Cotopaxi. Visit to a highland indigenous community in the province of Cotopaxi and meeting with Leonidas Iza, President of the Indigenous and Peasant communities of Cotopaxi
5:00 PM: Return to Quito
7:30 PM: Farewell Dinner