Planet Drum Ecuador

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Basic Information

Address: 304 Calle Riofrio y Calle Montufar Bahia de Caraquez, Manabi Ecuador
Phone Number: (593) 97164151
Director: Clay Plager-Unger

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Additional Information

Days of Service: One to three months (or longer)
Program Highlights:

Projects in Bahia de Caraquez:

Planet Drum Foundation founder and director Peter Berg arrived to Bahia de Caraquez in the wake of El Niño floods and a 7.2 earthquake which destroyed a large part of the Ecuadorian coastal city of Bahia de Caraquez in 1998. Inspired by the wild natural systems of the Estuary, Pacific Ocean and Dry Tropical Forest, and the movement of local groups to promote urban sustainability and ecological tourism, Peter decided to put Bahia de Caraquez in Planet Drum's spotlight of Bioregionalism.

Over the years, and with the help of countless volunteers, Planet Drum has developed ecosystem restoration techniques that are unique to the challenges presented by working in an urban/semi-urban environment, alongside Third World development plans, and in a country with a poverty rate of roughly 60%.

True to the principles of Bioregionalism, Planet Drum's projects in Ecuador are focused on ecosystem restoration and education. Due to the nature of being a low-budget not-for-profit organization, local methods of remanufacturing, reuse and recycling are present throughout our work.

Revegetation: Through an agreement with a local university, Planet Drum was given the space to construct and operate a greenhouse which now produces thousands of native Dry Tropical Forest saplings representing numerous species each year. Local land owners are recruited, and sometimes even seek us out, to participate in the program. In exchange for providing the hillsides for our sites and a promise to protect the trees in the mid- to long-term, Planet Drum and its force of volunteers design, prepare, plant and maintain revegetation sites on their land.

Since this project's beginning, Planet Drum has planted over 30 revegetation sites on approximately 60 hectares of land. The highlight of the program is 'El Bosque en Medio de las Ruinas' (The Forest Amidst the Ruins), where 6 hectares of a destroyed neighborhood have been completely revegetated with native species, only 3 blocks from the city center. For detailed information about the progress of the revegetation program, read 2009 Field Reports found here.

Education: The Bioregional Education Program began in 2004 with the help of a previous volunteer, Valentina, who returned to Bahia to develop a plan for teaching local kids about Bioregionalism. Since then, the program has grown into a 12-week education program with bi-weekly classes, run by local school teacher Ramon Cedeño. A 40-page booklet and set of worksheets were created that teach kids about the local ecosystems and sustainable living practices specific to the Bahia de Caraquez environment. One 12-week session begins in May and a second in September. Depending on funding, between 15 and 45 students benefit from this program annually. 2009 Bioregional Education progress reports are available here.

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Additional Information:

Contact us for information about volunteering or attending the Bioregional Sustainability Institute