Despite its sleepy town look, there is a lot happening in San Pedro de Vilcabamba.
For example, we invite you to take a look at the Colinas Verde web site of which
we publish a few excerpts below.
Colinas Verde manages many projects in San Pedro: from water supply, coffee growing,
honey production to paper recycling. It definitely contributes to what makes this
part of Vilcabamba unique and so wonderful to be part of.
The Colinas Verdes Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO)
formed in 1993 by a group of local environmental activists from the San Pedro de
Vilcabamba area. This organization united for the same universal causes, to support
the conservation of Podocarpus National Park and and to promote sustainable practices
to help improve the standard of living for the local farming community. After a
year of planning and organizing, Colinas Verdes was awarded their legal status from
the Ministry of Agriculture. It is now recognized as an organization with the rights
to give educational seminars, technical assistance, and project planning for the
conservation of natural resources and the protection of the environment.
In June of 1995, the Colinas Verdes Foundation was awarded financing for their first
project and in the years since, they have undertaken and completed countless endeavors
which have all been based on the theme of improving the quality or life for the
local communities while conserving the environment.
Projects in Progress:
Organic Horticulture Gardens for 5 schools (2008-2009)
The idea of this project is to donate vegetable seeds, materials and micro-pressure
irrigation accessories to five schools in the San Pedro de Vilcabamba area. Students,
teachers, and mothers are being trained in nutrition, in preparing recipes from
the products grown, and in the process of organic fertilization from the usually
discarded organic material from homes and gardens. The five gardens created in this
project were seen to have a direct impact on the 300 children and families. Economic
help for this project came from the German Embassy with coordination from the San
Pedro de Vilcabamba local government. If you would like to offer support or volunteer
in this project please email the Colinas Verdes Foundation from our Contact Us page.
Improvement and Diversification of Agri-forestal Systems (2008-2010)
This project is designed to help with the recoupment, propagation and planting of
many different types of agri-forestal species. The idea is to enrich the farms of
over 80 families by diversifying their crops, and then to train these families on
environmental conservation, and the implementation of community nurseries. The project
will also help to train these families on the rewards of the creation of additional
infrastructure that will benefit the local coffee growers, and the construction
of large open sheds to house birds and guinea pigs. The economic support of this
project was generously donated through small endowments from the World Environment
Fund. If you would like to offer support or volunteer in this project please email
the Colinas Verdes Foundation from our Contact Us page.
Community Center for the Production of Plants in San Pedro de Vilcabamba (August
With the help of the US based service organization, The Peace Corps, the goal is
to have a small area for raising many different plant species and to conduct trainings
on organic techniques and environmental conservation. It is the plan of both The
Colinas Verdes Foundation and the Peace Corps to continue with the efforts of the
previous coffee projects and to raise seedlings to replace the older, less productive
coffee plants in the area. There will also be a greenhouse to raise other economically
beneficial species to help the community diversify their crops and their offerings
in local markets. Also, with this project other plant species will be raised that
are essential to the local environment but are becoming less and less common as
the area develops. This community center will be a result from the partnership between
the Colinas Verdes Foundation and the United States Peace Corps. If you would like
to offer support or volunteer in this project please email the Colinas Verdes Foundation
from our Contact Us page.
Through the completion of these projects and in the continual pursuit of our institutional
objectives, we at the Colinas Verdes Foundation are looking forward to maintaining
our efforts towards environmental conservation and the communal development of Southern
Ecuador. Our areas of expertise and interest are in strengthening organizations,
encouraging reforestation projects, educating community members about non-forest
related products such as artesenias and honey, and in supporting agro-industries
that will result in the production of achira, fruits, yucca, and sugar cane. Our
goal as an organization is to improve the local well-being of our community and
to elevate the standard of living of people living in extreme conditions of vulnerability