Shuar Amazon Community
Yampinkia is Shuar community located in the high altitude amazon an hour outside of the town Sucua.
Yampinkia, ¨jaguar¨ in Shuar, is named after the jaguar that is known to have roamed the hill to where the project is located. The projects mission is to maintain and define 500 hectares of protected virgin amazon jungle. It’s focus is based on conservation, safeguarding the Shuar culture, and to create a sustainable community.
Yampinkia hopes to be a model community for other Shuar communities who have deforested their lands for timber (for construction), cattle ranching, mining, and cultivation of sugar cane fields. These four activities contribute the high rate of deforestation in the provice of Morona Santiago.
Proyecto Yampinkia highly values their visitors, as much as their visitors value the project. At Yampinkia, they share the value of respect where no one will feel scammed or abuse of any kind. Yampinkia offers a safe place where volunteers can share a cultural exchange with a Shuar community.
All volunteer activities can be organized and planned before the volunteer arrives. It is important to communicate with the volunteer coordinator and director Patricio in case any ceretain type of materials need to be prepared in advance to carry out volunteer activities.
Phase 1 – Permaculture Project
Yampinkia invites any permaculture specialist to help create a permaculture plan that will mainly focus on the construction of an ecologically friendly reserve. We will need assistance in mapping, zoning, and construction.
- Construction of ecologically friendly cabins for volunteers, researchers, and other visitors
- Construction of a tree house for bird and animal watching
- Construction of dry toilets
- Implementation of portable, clean, and a sustainable water system
- Research of renewable energy
Phase 2 – Reforestation Project
Volunteers will work closely with the Shuar community to learn about native plant species
- Assist in collecting native seeds in the jungle
- Assist in creating a plant and tree nursery for reforestation
- When plants are ready to be planted, volunteers will assist in reforestation of the jungle
- Assist in registering any flora, fauna and animal in the reserve Yampinkia
- Label all plant and tree species located in the ecological pathways to help educate lost knowledge in the surrounding Shuar communities
- Assist in maintaining ecological pathways where visitors learn about plants, animals, and trees
All Phases – Research
Any biologist, ethnobotanist, anthropologist, or permaculture experts and students are welcome to come research at Yampinkia. We welcome anyone who is working on their thesis, school project, or research project. Yampinkia is open to any help researching the Shuar culture, flora, fauna and animals that live in the reserve.
All Phases – Workshops
Volunteers, students and experts are invited to give the following workshops to the Shuar community. (Must be prepared in Spanish). Yampinkia is located an hour outside of the city where education is very limited. Workshops will help the Shuar empower themselves to create their own projects and initiatives for the future.
- English for guiding and students (This is the only workshop that can be given in English)
- Scientific Investigations (Teach community how to do their own scientific research)
- Human Rights (Territory, health, environment)
- Holistic health
- Eco -tourism / Hospitality
- Art (music, paint, theatre etc)
All Phases – Cultural Exchange
Volunteers, students and researchers will partake in a cultural exchange where they will learn about the living Shuar culture and how their ancestors used to live. This is a very important piece to the Yampinkia project to ensure the safeguarding of the Shuar culture. All visitors are welcome to document through photos, video, documentary, etc., to celebrate and maintain the Shuar cultural heritage.
Living Shuar Culture
- Gastronomy of the Amazon
- Medicinal plants
- Natural dyes for face paint
- Amazon handicrafts (jewelry, basket weaving, ancestral instruments)
Ancestral knowledge and past
- Shuar legends
- Typical shuar clothing
- Is passionate about the environment and community relations.
- Has a positive and open mind
- Able to live in rustic conditions (No electricity)
- Able to be self sufficient and open to communicate
- Able to cook their own food over a fire (volunteers must bring their own food)
- Volunteers arrival on Sunday morning in Sucua.
- Yampinkia director Patricio will meet volunteers in Sucua to bring them to the community
- Work Monday to Friday (weekends are free to travel)
- Rustic living space (tents are welcome)
- Transportation from Sucua to Yampinkia
- Running water
The volunteer contribution helps hosting the volunteer in the community and goes directly towards materials needed for project activities.
Volunteers, students or researchers looking to stay more 3 months or more are considered long term volunteers and will only have to pay the 1 month collaboration
$265 USD per month
$210 USD three weeks
$150 USD two weeks
$85 USD one week
Volunteer placement deposit
A $200 deposit will be made to EEV in advanced so we can confirm your volunteer placement.
- 24/7 emergency contact and support from EEV staff, administration costs, communication costs with volunteers and travel costs for program inspection
- Airport pickup and first nights accommodation in Quito
- Orientation in Quito
- Work Reference / Volunteer Certificate
Price Does Not Include
- Meals, however food is relatively cheap to buy in the local market in Sucua
For any questions or interest in volunteerig, please fill out the contact form with your information!