Pacific Coast and Galapagos

The Pacific Coast and Galapagos Islands

Yanapuma began to work on the Pacific coast, in the region of Cabo San Francisco in Esmeraldas province in 2007 in the village of Estero de Plátano. This idyllic village of fisherman and small farmers who farm plots among the remaining rainforest is an ideal spot for tourist development, and Yanapuma has worked to give the population the tools to develop sustainably without losing control of their local resources.

Lacking extensive resources as a foundation, the scope of our work has been limited. But we have developed a successful scholarship program that provides high-school education for local children so that they can better help their communities to develop. We have also collaborated with the local school, building a dining area, library, installing a drinking water system, and carrying out workshops with youth in sexual and reproductive health and rights. In addition we have worked with a group of women would-be entreprenneurs to develop tourism related businesses, and the local council to encourage organizational skills.

In addition, we began to work in the nearby village of Caimito in 2009, and Quingue in 2012. In Caimito we have worked with a local biologist, George Fletcher, sending groups of volunteers to build new classrooms and infrastructure for the school, work with local farmers on compost bins, planting and pruning cacao, and other environmental work.

Our long-term plan as a foundation is to begin working more in the Cabo San Francisco area, as it is an area of immense biological importance that is under increasing threat from illegal logging and the spread of farms for cattle and other crops.

Yanapuma's work in Bua can be split into the following program areas:

Sustainable Agriculture and Environment

Yanapuma is working together with other small communities along this stretch of coast and partner organizations to demonstrate the importance of working collaboratively with the local environment to its inhabitants. This extremely complex and diverse environmental region must be conserved for future generations to enjoy and learn from. The unique and rich diversity of the coastal rainforest is matched by an equally rich marine environment that has recently been declared a marine reserve.

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Health and Well-being

Recognizing the importance of sexual and reproductive education as well as improving nutritional intake to create sustainable solutions and break the cycle of ill-health and poverty, the foundation will work to improve dietary habits as well as provide a space for dialogue about sexuality, gender rights and pregnancy. Clean drinking water is another priority.

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Education and Capacity Building

With scarce educational and human resources at the local school and the lack of organization on the part of communities in the region, Yanapuma facilitates the formation of community action groups to improve the infrastructure and resource base both in the school and the region. We also work to increase the number of students able to go to high school through a scholarship program as well as working with the local schools to integrate environmental education into the curriculum and prepare students for the realities of a globalizing world

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Sustainable Economies

This region's precious biological diversity and stunningly beautiful environment, both at sea and in the forests and rivers, creates a critical need to balance the level and form of agriculture, fishing and tourism with the natural resources available to ensure that these are protected for future generations, while at the same time providing sustainable sources of income for local residents. We work with community groups interested in sustainable tourism development and crafts production from local materials.

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