Ongoing Projects

Social and Economic Development Programs

Model of sustainable development at La Hesperia

Considering that, within the region in which the Foundation operates, there are no projects that embody every component of successful sustainable development, and that it is imperative that the local people observe such models in practice; it has become apparent that a site is needed for continual experimentation of sustainable methods.  We believe the ideal location for this continued research to be at La Hesperia biological station.  These sustainable methods could be replicated, especially, at the Toachi Pilatón Protected Forest and at the 200 private reserves throughout Ecuador.

La Hesperia Education

We believe education to be a vital component of sustainable development and environmental conservation. Regardless of social status and location, every child from any family deserves the right to have access to quality education. Therefore, we felt the need to create a primary school in the rural area of the Foundation´s operating region. The La Hesperia School opened its doors in May 2010 and operated as a primary school until February of 2014 when it was forced to close due to changes in the country's education laws. The majority of the children of the school came from underprivileged families with limited resources and the school was part of the RED ERA (Alternative Rural Education Network). The aim in the future is operate the school as a community learning center with informal classes.

Environmental Preservation

Phenology  in progress


La Hesperia has a number of hardwood trees within its boundaries which are important for both cloud forest ecology and sustainable wood production, some of which have been nearly driven to extinction in Ecuador.

Phenology is the scientific study of periodic biological phenomena, such as flowering, breeding and migration in relation to climate conditions, or the relationship between a periodic biological phenomenon and climatic conditions.

The aim of this study is to increase the knowledge about the ecology and reproductive cycle of the chosen species to increase future collection of seeds and reforestation of these species.


The three main objectives of the study are:

  1. To increase the knowledge of the flowering and fruiting period of certain hardwoods at La Hesperia.

  2. To identify all hardwoods important for the collection of fruits and seeds.

  3. To obtain additional information on the ecology of these species.

In La Hesperia we have two phenology trails (Phenology of Hardwoods and Phenology of hardwood Tangaré trees).

 

Environmental Preservation and Social Development

Eco-construction; new classroom for the school  in progress


A big problem in rural areas in Ecuador is the waste, because a recycling system of any type does not exist and it 's causing environmental pollution. Therefore we are building a new classroom with PET bottles in our ?La Hesperia Cloud Forest School?. Parents, teachers and volunteers are collecting the plastic bottles and fill them with sand and soil. The filled bottles will be used as part of the wall.

 

Recycling Craft Workshop in preparation


The aim of our project is to develop a Recycling Crafts Workshop to ensure the financial sustainability of La Hesperia Cloud Forest School, in order to be independent of donations.

At the Recycling Crafts Workshop, staff, children, parents and volunteers will create items using recycled glass and plastic bottles that will be sold in the local and city markets. The funds will contribute to the financial sustainability of the school, allowing local children to have access to a good quality of education, to become leaders in their communities with a strong environmental conscience. In addition, the project will contribute to resolve the pollution problem due to waste.

 

Project Updates

More updates about our projects in progress you can find here