ABOUT OUR RESERVE
Nearly 30 years ago we founded this small reserve at the confluence of the Guayllabamba and Guaycuyacu rivers, in northwestern Pichincha Province. Despite the changes that have come over time - including the effects of the coming of roads and the Manduriacu Hydroelectric Project (PHM) – we maintain a simple lifestyle. This focuses primarily on our two passions: the cultivation of more than 600 species of tropical fruits - a unique collection in the country that sustains us spiritually and economically; and the conservation of native forests, watershed, and biodiversity.
The house and guest house are built of wood and bamboo; with composting toilets. Drinking water comes from natural springs, and we cook with firewood. In addition to fruit orchards, we maintain plantings of vegetables, herbs, and medicinal and ornamental plants. We prepare tempeh, bread, jam, chocolate and other dishes with ingredients from the farm. We have electricity, with solar panel back-up support. A secondary road passes through the property, and the PHM and its buffer zone flank us to the north and west.
The Guaycuyacu river harbors a rich biological, geological and cultural environment: 207 species of birds; among the mammals: agoutis, ocelots, pumas, kinkajous, sloths, and white-fronted capuchin monkeys; a fascinating assortment of insects and plants; lizards of all sizes and colors, turtles, and the odd snake. In the rivers, fish - even 2 migratory species - share the environment with otters, invertebrates, and amphibians – and rare crystal frogs. Pambil (a stilt palm) and Chapil predominate among the palms of the forest, with majestic trees like copal, sande, rubber, moral, chípero, chanul, kapok, and motilón (among others) which are often embedded with epiphytes, fungi and lichens; all interlaced by vines. In winter the rivers swell and sometimes damage roads, isolating the site. In summer the waters of the Guaycuyacu river come down crystalline from the forest, forming waterfalls and pools that invite exploration. The place inspires a sense of tranquility and harmony with nature. And offers up archaeological evidence of ancient Yumbo and Cotocollao cultures that were here centuries earlier.