Reserve your trip by Clicking the DONATE button through the GWEN Network (501(c)3) DONATE

Limited spots available on a first come, first served basis. A non-refundable deposit of $2000 is required by March 1, and Final payment by March 12th.  Please email Spryte Loriano at sprytleloriano@gmail.com to confirm your reservation. If you make your deposit, and all 6 spots have been taken, we will refund your deposit in full within the normal processing time provided by payment processor.

The Waterbearers

FLOW Distribution Trip to ECUADOR – MARCH 15-23, 2016

9D/8N $3100 pp All inclusive (International Travel not included) *Optional Stay Near Quito Otavalo Extension

BENEFITS

  • Exclusive Opportunity for Team Leaders – Only 6 Spots Available
  • Join Co-Founders Spryte Loriano and Jane Brinton, along with Advisory Team Members Christian Troy (Executive Director of Waves For Water), and Erin Toppenberg
  • Be part of our FLOW Pre-World Water Day Distribution Team
  • Be part of a Global Live-Streaming Event in the Amazon Rainforest for World Water Day
  • Be in the First Waterbearer Mini-Documentary, AND receive Digital Clips highlighting you on this journey
  • Be listed on our Advisory Team page as an Angel Advisor
  • Plus, you’ll be in an intimate setting with high-level networking opportunities

LEARN, GROW, SHARE, LAUGH, CRY, BE OPEN, BE WILLING, BE PLAYFUL, BE SAFE, BE CURIOUS – AND MOST OF ALL BE YOURSELF

Trip Hosts: Spryte Loriano and Jane Brinton Co-Founders of The Waterbearers

We have created this opportunity for Women Team Leaders who have stepped up to get One Million people access to clean water.

Here is an incredible opportunity to witness first hand, and to be part of the training and transformation of delivery clean water filter systems to the remote region of the Amazon Rainforest and the Yasunî Kichwa tribe, and the Cañari indigenous culture in the Andes Highlands. The Cañari people pre-date the Incas.

During this trip we will be filming in the Amazon in time to make a live streaming event by World Water Day. We will also film in Cañar on World Water Day to continue to get our message out and to support the incredible work the Team Leaders have provided in raising money and awareness #fortheloveofwater.

ITINERARY

March 15 Arrive Quito International Airport (UIO) Ecuador

You will be met in Arrivals and taken to the Hosteria San Carlos (15 minutes from the airport)

March 16 – 19 The Amazon Rainforest (Yasuní National Park)

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The Amazon rainforest in Ecuador, also known as “el Oriente”, extends over 5.5 million square kilometers and is home to more varieties of plants and animals than any other place on earth.

In 1989 The Yasuní National Park (9,823 km) was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is believed to house the most diverse sets of species on the Planet, and is still home to two un-contacted indigenous tribes. In just 2.5 acres, it contains more living organisms than the entire European continent, a protected tract of land in which more than a third of all Amazonian mammals are found, including a staggering 60% of all New World wild cats; a tropical garden where only a handful of tress holds as many insect species as the entire United States.

It is also home to the Yasuní Kichwa Ecolodge

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This is where we will stay. The journey begins in Ecuador from Quito, over the eastern Andes to the jungle town of Coca, then travel for 2 hours in a motorized canoe to reach the Yasuní Kichwa Ecolodge in the depths of the rainforest.

Lodge features:

  • Comfortable Quad-cabins with ceiling fans and screens
  • Private bathroom
  • Individual mosquito nets
  • 24-hour electricity for bright lighting and plenty of outlets for recharging batteries (110v same plugs as US)
  • Hot water
  • Safe deposit box
  • Hammock on deck

Includes:

  • River transportation from/to Coca (2 hrs)
  • Accommodations
  • Entrance fee to Parrot clay licks and Yasuni National Park
  • Community guide-bilingual
  • All meals, and Welcome drink

What is Yasuní?

Yasuní means ‘sacred land’. It is a metaphor for the infinite nature of God’s creation; it symbolizes the abundance of life on Earth; it speaks of a world that shall never be discovered in its entirety, a miracle that shall never be completely understood.

At the Yasuní­ Kichwa Ecolodge you have a chance of meeting community members, but the experience is truly centered on creating an environment secluded from the human realm and immersed in the spectacular natural setting that thrives at Yasuní­ National Park. As the need of diversifying visitors’ experiences grew, the community at Añangu developed the idea of creating an opportunity for tourists to stay at the community and share and partake in Amazonian life and culture. The community seeks to preserve ageless traditions and the natural setting as a means of identity, sustainability and respect for life.

The Spirit of the Jungle

The Yachags are considered to be magical human beings who have been chosen directly by the power of the jungle, Sacha Samai, to contact spirits that in turn lend their wisdom and power to heal. To be a Yachag does not only mean to be chosen, it also implies hard-earned discipline and responsibility on behalf of the Kichwa community. The physical and spiritual health of the Kichwa people depends on the Yachags and their wealth of knowledge and experience.

Thanks to successful administration on behalf of the community, the Yasuní­ Kichwa Eco Lodge project was thus born and built.

March 19 – 23 Cuenca

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We leave the Amazon rainforest and fly to the City of Cuenca. In 1999, UNESCO declared the historic city center a World Heritage Site. Cuenca, or Tomebamba, as named by the Incas, is believed to date back to 500 A.D. The Spanish colonial “modern Cuenca” was founded in 1557, but much of the city’s architecture dates from the 18th century. At 8250 feet above sea level and nestled in the southern Andes highlands, Cuenca is Ecuador’s third largest city and undeniably its cultural center. With 52 churches (one for every Sunday of the year) some dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries, the city offers a huge variety of landmarks, museums, parks, art galleries, shopping, and fine restaurants. It is also home of the Panama hat industry, where 750,000 hats are still hand made and exported each year.

Hostal Posada del Angel is conveniently located within walking distance to shops, churches, parks and restaurants. Shared twin accommodations and includes breakfast.

March 20

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A full day guided tour includes a 3-hour hike in El Cajas National Park, one of the main ecosystems surrounding Cuenca, and a UNESCO Natural Heritage Site. El Cajas National Park (Parque Nacional Cajas) covers an area of approximately 29,000 hectares (284km2) and is between 3100m-4450m (14,600ft) above sea level. There are 232 lakes and ponds inside the park that provide much of Cuenca’s drinking supply. The park contains up to 125 different species of birds and unique flora. We have lunch at a local resort, trout farm, and restaurant Dos Chorreros, which is included in the tour.

March 21

The city tour of downtown (el centro), includes visits to the cathedral, the Panama hat factory and a drive to Turi, to see the overview of the city. We will have lunch in the town square before returning to the hotel to freshen up and get your bathing suit, for an afternoon of relaxation in the Padra de Aqua local thermal spa in nearby Banos. Entrance to the Spa is included. Not included Lunch, dinner and massage services.

March 22 Cañar Province

We depart Cuenca for a 2-hour drive to the Cañari community. Transportation and box lunch is provided.

We will deliver and demonstrate water filter systems to the Cañari people. Spryte, and an international delegation brought filters to this community last June, and the filters have been successful, and they have requested more to serve their entire community. We hope to demonstrate the filter system in a local school, and help educate the children of the community about the importance of clean water, and about World Water Day. We will film here to share their experience of World Water Day to the world “al mundo”.

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About the Cañari

The Cañari people were one of several indigenous tribes who inhabited the territory of the modern country of Ecuador for several centuries, before the arrival of the Inca Empire and the Spanish colonial forces. While historically the Cañari people would have been one of the most important tribes in the region, today their culture and individuality have been severely diminished, with the majority of people living in Ecuador now of a mixed race descent. Nonetheless, the Canari culture and traditions are still maintained by the small number of people who are ethnic Cañari, or have been welcomed into their culture.

Resistance to the Inca Empire and Collaboration with Spanish Colonial Forces

Before the Spanish colonial forces arrived in Peru and Ecuador, the Inca Empire was the most powerful and dominant force in the region, and the Cañari united with the Quitu and Caras tribe to fight against the armies of Tupac-Yupanqui.

Cañari People in Modern Ecuador

The Cañar territory was conquered by Spanish colonial forces, and the Cañari and other indigenous tribes in the region were incorporated into the Spanish Empire. This then led to a long period when the locals and colonial settlers coexisted, and the majority of the modern population are ‘Mestizos’, which is a term used to describe those who have a shared heritage of Spanish and native ancestry. While many people who describe themselves as Cañari also have some Spanish ancestry, these groups that maintain the traditional culture are generally located in the rural areas around the city of Cuenca.

March 23

Check out after breakfast, and fly to Quito for International flight schedules. Depending upon your flight times, we can arrange a hotel day rate close to the airport, where you can relax and enjoy the grounds, rather than sitting inside the airport for hours.

Package includes

  • All domestic travel and transportation within Ecuador
  • Accommodations
  • Meals where specified
  • Tours and entrance fees
  • Bilingual Guides

Not included

  • Gratuities for tour guides, hotels, restaurants and travel related services
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses and items not specified

*Optional Stay Near Quito – Otavalo Extension

March 23 After a short 1 hour transfer from Quito airport we stop in Cayambe to set foot on the Ecuatorial line and learn about an ancient culture that knew more about stars than we do. We continue our journey to the rural andean village of San Pablo, at the foot of Imbabura volcano and by the biggest lake of the country – lago San Pablo. Your hotel is located on a hill and gives you an amazing view over the entire valley. Check-in, meeting to schedule activities, dinner by the fire place. 

March 24 Today you get the chance to meet Christina, one of our water bearer team leaders and her amazing horses. She offers Horse guided Empowerment©, a unique and life changing method that combines horse assisted therapy/coaching and natural horsemanship. You can have an individual or group session or just learn more about the method. After lunch we visit the famous Otavalo handicraft market and/or a traditional andean chaman for a cleansing ritual. In the late afternoon you will arrive at the hotel and find the hot tub heated for a beautiful bath under the stars.  

March 25 For the active participants we offer a 2-5 hour hike around a magic crater lagoon, Lake Cuicocha, a holy place for the indigenous population. If you are struggling with the altitude you can also explore the lagoon by boat, or just relax at its shore. There is also the opportunity to shop for leather goods in the nearby town Cotacachi which is famous for its handicrafts. Back in the hotel we will have special farewell dinner and leave for the airport to catch your late night flight (midnight 25th/26th).

All tours and visits are guided. Lodging at www.sachaji.com
www.HorseguidedEmpowerment.com

Tour & shared rooms $489 per person  – Tour and single room $570 per person – Booking with emails to christina@4volcanoes.com, payment with PayPal bill or credit card. Longer, tailored extensions available. 

FAQs

Do I need a Visa to Ecuador?

You don’t need a visa to visit Ecuador, but when you arrive your passport will be stamped with a 90-day visitor permit. You do need to make sure you have a valid passport and it has at least 6 months remaining from the date you arrive in Ecuador.

How much luggage can I bring?

On domestic flights in Ecuador, there is a limit of one checked bag 50 lbs (23kg), and one carry-on bag per person. However, in the Amazon the luggage restriction is 44 lbs (20 kg). 

Is Ecuador safe?

While no country is totally safe, International airports are a prime target for pickpockets so please be aware. Keep valuables out of sight (camera, watch, necklace, etc). You will be met at Arrivals by Christina Ring (a fellow Team Leader), who will accompany you to your hotel, and journey with you to the Amazon.

Is the Water safe to drink?

If you have to ask this question, we suggest you use bottled water even to brush your teeth. We can use filtered water once we get to the Yasuní Kichwa Ecolodge.

What immunizations do I need before traveling to Ecuador?

We recommend you speak with your personal doctor before traveling, but vaccinations are NOT a requirement.

Amazon Jungle – Yellow Fever (optional, not required)

Malaria – You do not need to take malaria medication to be in Quito, Cuenca, or Guayaquil. Check the Center for Disease Control (CDC) http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/ecuador

You may want to take preventive malaria medicine, starting between 2 days and 2 weeks before you enter the jungle (depending on what type of medicine has been prescribed by your doctor). The risk of malaria while in the jungle is extremely small, even without the medicine.

What is the elevation in Cuenca?

Highest elevation of the city is 2,550m (8,370ft). The nearby Cajas National Park is 4,445 m (14,483ft) at its highest point.

Can I get altitude sickness in Cuenca?

While getting altitude sickness in Cuenca is less likely than it would be at a higher elevation, it is even less likely for people over 50. Get acclimated the first day or two, before doing anything too strenuous. Local cure Mate de Coca tea (available here); Ibuprofin, and drink lots of water.

How is the weather in the Cajas National Park?

The terrain is rugged and the weather can be unpredictable and cold or wet, so dress appropriately: Comfortable walking/hiking shoes, sweater, rain jacket/poncho, wool cap and gloves. But, don’t forget sunglasses and sunscreen protection, as the sun at high altitudes is much stronger.

Is Tipping Common?

Gratuities are an accepted part of the travel business for tour guides, drivers, hotels and restaurants, but generally locals do not tip for everyday services.

Tips are NOT included. So PLEASE be generous individually or as a group, it is welcomed and appreciated. Our guides in the Amazon should be tipped $5 to $10 per day per person – they will work hard for us and earn a small salary, as do most in Ecuador. Tip at the end of the Amazon trip in the morning before departure. Please tip nightly into the BOX for waiters and all staff to share! In the Andes please remember to bring tip money for BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER. And tip your driver and guide $10 each (from each person in group).

What to Bring?

Here is a Suggested Checklist for both the Amazon Rainforest and the Andes Highlands

 

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance that will cover unforeseen circumstances, flight cancellations, lost luggage etc., and medical coverage.

Payment Options

Payments can be made through the GWEN network, a 501c.3, under The Waterbearers DONATE See GWEN donations for payment options.

Non-refundable deposit of $2000 required by March 1 – Final payment due March 12, 2016

Cancellations

We suggest you seriously consider before cancelling your trip. Your deposit is non-refundable.