Greetings from Friends of Ecuador 2024

Dear Friends of Ecuador Members,

It’s been a minute since we produced a new newsletter. We, Ecuador, and the world have been through a globe-altering pandemic. Peace Corps Volunteers were evacuated from posts all around the world and only recently returned to countries in March of 2022.

As many of you know, Ecuador experienced severe impacts of COVID in 2020, and it has more recently been beset by violence because of the rising presence of drug gangs. The new Ecuadorian president Noboa has his work cut out for him.

Amidst this, Peace Corps has returned to Ecuador and is sending volunteers back to posts. Friends of Ecuador continues to support projects in Ecuador. There are also some new short-term volunteer opportunities with Peace Corps Response in Ecuador that some of you may be interested in. They are in the climate and conservation space, one of them being in the Galápagos.

We are especially proud of our on-going partnership with Conciencia Amazónica and the various projects of RPCV David Goucher. Our newsletter features a story from him on their incredible work, and our newly rebuilt webpage features photos from some of their important conservation and sustainable agriculture work in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

We are also looking for a new treasurer (see the story in our newsletter) and get in touch if you are interested.

Josh Busby
President, Friends of Ecuador

Greetings from Friends of Ecuador 2024 Read More »

New Project Support – Conciencia Amazónica

Apologies for the radio silence from Friends of Ecuador. We’ve been using our Facebook page for regular news updates, and the coronavirus has made it challenging for us to be as active.

We have a new project to support from RPCV David Goucher, who served in Omnibus 94. Conciencia Amazónica is a new organization Dave is working with in the province of Morona Santiago to support an “Eco-Club.” You can donate on the link below and use the dropdown menu to specify Conciencia Amazónica. Your donations are tax deductible as FOE is a 501c3.

Conciencia Amazónica
Conciencia Amazónica was inaugurated on February 29, 2020, with the mission of working with local institutions to promote scientific education and artistic development across the Ecuadorian Amazon region.  While a Peace Corps Volunteer, the current president founded the EcoClub Siete Iglesias, which led to the establishment of Eco-tourism trails, scholarships for local valedictorians, and gave the necessary momentum to local authorities to establish a municipal ecological reserve.  Scholarship recipients have since graduated from national Universities, and now are professional biologists, schoolteachers, and play an active role as the new generation of community leaders and role models.

As a team comprised of a biologist, an environmental engineer, a cultural promoter, and a Dance Studio manager and expressive artist, Conciencia Amazónica now wants to promote the “Jungle as a Classroom” in the local schools and rural communities across the Ecuadorian Amazon, exploring the rich biodiversity with national and international scientists and artists, involving local leaders and school children alike, to educate environmental awareness and protection. 

We aim to empower local youth with knowledge of their surroundings, exploring from the microscopic level to the interaction of species across the ecosystem, providing unique opportunities for learning and artistic expression.  The flora and fauna from the rain forest will be the inspiration for painting, sculpture, theater, dance, and photography and other artistic means to teach the importance of conservation.  Promoting such activities will lead to income generating activities such as guided tours, eco-designs and artisan development, as well as employment in all ecotourism related activities, activating a new environmental consciousness, while respecting local traditions and customs.

Their Need

New Project Support – Conciencia Amazónica Read More »

Lucinda Duy Quishpilema’s report on her Mexico Amaranth trip

This is a guest post from Lucinda Duy Quishpilema on her trip to Mexico supported by FOE. More details in English from our last post from Alan Adams.



Informe: Participación Primer Congreso Mundial de Amaranto

Proyecto: “Niños saludables Futuro saludable”

Beneficiaria: Lucinda Duy Quishpilema

Pueblo: Kichwa Cañari Región sur del Ecuador

Organización: Asociación de Productores de Semillas y Alimentos Nutricionales Andinos Mushuk Yuyay

Financiamiento: Friends of Ecuador

Lugar del evento: Puebla-Mexico

Fecha: 10, 11, 12 de octubre de 2018

Cañar 05 de noviembre de 2018

CAÑAR-ECUADORI. Introducción

En la región sur de Ecuador, los que habitan en el territorio del pueblo kichwa cañari y cañarense, según los investigadores de la ciencia andina y occidental consideran que culturalmente fueron y aún siguen siendo graneros, es decir el sistema de producción y/o la agricultura familiar cañari en cada ecosistema fue y aún practican la asociación, rotación y la diversificación de la producción tomando muy en cuenta el tiempo y el espacio.

Lucinda Duy Quishpilema’s report on her Mexico Amaranth trip Read More »

FOE Support for Mushak Yuyay Participation in Amaranth Congress pt. 1

This is a guest post from Alan Adams on FOE Support for Lucinda Duy Quishpilema’s participation in an amaranth conference in Mexico. The next post will have Lucinda’s report. 

What Lucinda learned in Mexico she is already putting into practice. Last week she harvested 7 quintales of her own amaranth with her family. They separated about 50 lbs of the best for seed. Now Lucinda is preparing the products she learned about in Mexico. This is just the beginning. Before the Congreso opened, Mushuk Yuyay received a gift of 3 varieties of amaranth seed from Oaxaca, Mexico and 4 varieties from Guatemala. This will probably be planted next month, weather permitting.

Getting Lucinda to Mexico for the Primer Congreso Munial de Amaranto was a coordinated group effort on very short notice. We were not going to let this wonderful opportunity slip by. Besides the contribution from Friends of Ecuador, others gave to cover bus fare and other transportation costs, meals, and more expenses. Alana Mockler, mentioned in the report, is a former Global Citizen Year participant who was hosted by Lucinda and her family while she served in Ecuador. She helped raise money. When Lucinda arrived in Mexico DF, she was met by Slyler Narotsky, another former Global Citizen volunteer and member of Mushuk Yuyay, and by Juana Chuma who is a member of the the Cañari community. Both are students in Mexico City. They put Lucinda on the bus to Puebla.

FOE Support for Mushak Yuyay Participation in Amaranth Congress pt. 1 Read More »

Hey Cotopaxi is active again!

In August, Cotopaxi started jetting smoke and ash for the first time in 70 years, leading the country to declare a state of emergency, with the possible evacuation of hundreds of thousands.

Here is what it’s like living nearby in Latacunga, which was destroyed in a mudflow in the last major eruption in the 1870s.

“The city just went crazy,” Mauricio says. “We kicked opened our doors and we took what we could and we just ran. We were not prepared with masks or first aid kits. It was mayhem.”

And sadly, it looks like a lot of people have left the area:

“A fifth of the community has left,” claims Mauricio. “Some forever, some temporarily. The little tourism we had is gone because most people come to see or climb Cotopaxi and the national park is closed. And now because people don’t know what’s going to happen, they’re holding on to their money to wait and see what happens. They’re scared.”

Here is some pre-activity before the eruption this summer

Hey Cotopaxi is active again! Read More »

RPCV Women: Participate in Malaria Study

Mary Brady has written up the details about a new study that female RPCVs have been asked to participate in.


Baylor College of Medicine is studying a possible link between the decreased risk of cancers and medications taken during Peace Corps service. Author Kara McArthur provides full details in the WorldView Summer 2014 edition of the National Peace Corps Association magazine. …

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NPCA: Next Step Travel to Thailand, Dominican Republic, and Guatemala

NPCA’s Next Step Travel program provides respectful hyper-local immersion in developing countries:  360-degree “anti-tour” itineraries that combine unparalleled local access, cultural immersion, non-extreme adventure, and hands-on volunteer opportunities that open pathways for connection with local people.

The chance to get a close-up view of volunteer service is a unique feature of Next Step Travel.  In-country staff make it a point to seek out local craftspeople, small businesses and cooperatives, so that your money goes directly into the hands of those who need it most.  Each trip (a maximum of 20 travelers) is all-inclusive, freeing you to fully experience every minute of your trip. …

NPCA: Next Step Travel to Thailand, Dominican Republic, and Guatemala Read More »

Peace Corps Connect June 19-21- Nashville

Join the National Peace Corps Association and our local hosts, the Tennessee Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, on June 19-21, 2014 in Nashville. We are very excited for you to reconnect with the Peace Corps community and re-energize your Peace Corps spirit!

Last year, hundreds of attendees came away from Peace Corps Connect – Boston energized and renewed. This year’s program is even bigger and better, with lots of networking and inspiring presenters (maybe even you…?).

Come tell your story, learn from others and have fun!

Learn more and register! Special rates for NPCA members, seniors, and recently returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

Early bird registration ends on April 21, 2014. Register today!

Peace Corps Connect June 19-21- Nashville Read More »

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