pacific coast and galapagos

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.

We have also worked for the past few years in collaboration with Hacienda Tranquila in the Galapagos Islands, sending individual volunteers and groups of volunteers to help in conservation efforts and to work with the local community.

Here are links to pages with information about our previous work in the Cabo San Francisco area and the Galapagos:

Projects Estero An overview of our work
EdeP Agriculture Agriculture - cacao and other crops in Estero de Plátano
EdeP Education Work with the local elementary school
EdeP Health Supporting a local health clinic in Estero de Plátano
EdeP Scholarships Scholarships for children to study in high school to raise the educational level of the village
Estero de Platano An overview of the village of Estero de Plátano
EdeP Economics Economic development projects in the village
Caimito Volunteer projects and community development in Caimito
Galapagos Islands Volunteer conservation projects and community involvement in the Galapagos Islands


Yanapuma Foundation
Our work is founded on the belief that the processes of globalization are inevitable. Without help indigenous cultures and communities most often end up losing control of or destroying their resource base. They lose their traditional cultural values and relationships to their environment. Thus they are drawn into a system in which they are ill-equipped to compete and are destined to remain at the bottom of the economic ladder, with under-developed infrastructure, and poor prospects for future generations. We believe that such communities have the right to maintain control of their resources and to live dignified and sustainable lives. With the right help they can develop suitable strategies and work towards a fulfilling future. But their responses need to be coordinated across all axes in order to achieve truly sustainable lives. Thus we believe it is important to support sustainable practices on multiple levels in order to present viable and holistic options.