Community Immersion Program: Ecuadorean Jungle
Lago Agrio / Cofanes

Sunday - Friday
+ option to extend

Arrive in Lago Agrio Monday around 10 a.m., either by plane (Tame) or overnight bus. Lago Agrio is a jungle city about half an hour from the border of Colombia where many people earn a living from petroleum. Nearby, indigenous people including the Cofanes patrol and guard the primary jungle to try to ensure that animals and plants are protected from hunting and contamination. People in these communities continue to live off of wild plants and animals - no Cofanes work "outsider" jobs unrelated to Cofanes, and almost all marry only within their small but growing community of about 500 people.

Monday: (Click here to download Full Itinerary (PDF))
- Catch and fry fish at local fish farm
- Tour Petro Ecuador, one of the main oil companies in and around Lago Agrio
- Travel to nearby Cofan indigenous community in time for dinner

Tuesday through Friday:
- Wake up early
- Breakfast
- Hands-on activity, side-by-side with members of the Cofan community
  • picking plants to make thread fiber and jewelry
  • teaching English to local kids
  • taking notes on plants and animals during jungle "patrol walks"
  • feeding animals in an animal sanctuary
  • cutting and cleaning jungle paths, and more...
- Lunch: sometimes cooked for you, sometimes you cook food you have just caught using local recipes
- Afternoon activity until about 4:30 pm:
  • Community representatives along with bilingual guide will explain about Cofan traditions in marriage and working, why jungle patrols were initiated, damage to wildlife from petroleum pools left by Texaco and other oil companies, and projects to rehabilitate animals indigenous to the area, including 5,000 cachama fish...
- Evening cena with local family
- Hang out, give feedback on the day, sleep

If you like the community, you may consider staying on as a volunteer in the community in a position that suits both you and the community.

Cost: $295 for to cover food, lodging, activities, bilingual (English-Spanish) guide, transportation and optional Spanish lessons.
2011 Dates: Sunday - Friday every week.

Questions? Contact Us.

Tien-Shun Lee, Community Coordinator
Phone: +1-716-228-7861 (USA)

Alejandro Proaño, Community Guide
Phone: +593-8-450-6518 (Ecuador)