FarmingMost farms in Intag are small-holdings with a mixture of animals and crops. The climate ranges from temperate to sub-tropical, and there are a range of fruits and vegetables, some for sale, and others for home consumption.
We ask people interested in volunteering to spend at least one day at Ned and Patricia's farm, so that we can introduce you to the area and help you choose the host family that best matches with your preferences and interests. We don't usually offer volunteer placements on our farm for longer than this introductory few days, as we think that the best way we can serve local farming families is to connect them with people interested in volunteering, and to use our local knowledto find a good fit for both volunteer and host.
The responsibilities and activities of a farm help volunteer in Intag vary quite a bit depending on the time of year, and here are some examples.
- Milking and cheese making and caring for dairy cattle.
- Caring for poultry latin- american style
- Soil preparation, sowing, aftercare, harvesting - andean and sub-tropical fruit and vegetables, using traditional techniques
- use of horses to carry people and goods.
- The cultivation of cane sugar, again the traditional way.
- Sisal fibre extraction for rope-making and craftwork
- Preparation and cooking of produce in the traditional Intag way.
The beauty of a farming placement in Intag has less to do with agricultural techniques and more to do with spending time with friendly and independent people in a beautiful, remote part of the world. Ned actually spent 2 years in exactly this kind of work with host families in different parts of South America, and one of the things that grabbed his attention is the sheer variety of tasks that confront a smallholder farmer in the Andes - no two days are alike. A farming placement is also a great chance for those interested in ecological issues to understand some of the problems and solutions related to balancing food production with nature conservation. It's an insight into real life conservation and ecology that cannot be conveyed by text-books.
It is not necessary to be especially strong to succeed in a farming volunteer placement in Intag. Placements are open to all. It is maybe helpful to consider that a way of life sometimes markedly different from a western lifestyle can nonetheless be both healthy and fun, and can build your self-confidence and ability to enjoy life under a wide range of circumstances. Some people would call this an "off-the-grid experience", and if this might be a good fit for your expectations, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We ask applications to be made through the Omprakash Foundation, a wonderful and free volunteer resource. Our profile on their website is at https://www.omprakash.org/global/ccsp-ecuador
What is expected of you?
Hours are approximately 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, and we ask that you work for at least 5 hours per day. Most of the work is outdoors, and involves physical activity. Since these are tasks that would probably be unfamiliar to you, you are not necessarily expected to be especially productive, and this is a placement that would suit people who enjoy learning new tasks and seeing how other people live close to nature.
Other opportunities in farm work:
For those interested in a jungle experience, farming in a tropical/sub-tropical climate, we recommend a stay with Mariana and Nelson Quinchiguango, who live about 50 kilometres further down the Intag valleys in the parish of Cielo Verde. Here bananas, pineapples, pitahayas, papayas and cattle are the mainstays. Nelson is an unusual man, gifted with extraordinary energy, and a stay with him and his family (Sra. Mariana, daughter Milena aged about 12 and son Santiago aged about 8) would suit someone who is interested in teaching at the local school, and/or in learning about sub-tropical agriculture and forests in Latin America.
Though you can reach us directly at email@example.com. , we recommend that you apply through our trusted volunteer partner, www.omprakash.org, where we are listed under cloudforest community service projects. OurTelephone (including national and international codes) is ## 593 6 3017543