Directly impacted families:
Situated against the stunning backdrop of Ecuador’s Andes just north of Quito, Yunguilla is a village that has wholeheartedly embraced community-based tourism. Here, nearly the whole village is involved in the community project in one way or another, either by providing accommodation to tourists or by manufacturing foodstuffs, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and Chigualcan jams, which benefit not only travelers enjoying meals at the community restaurant but also locals – reducing their dependency on imports from Quito and making the village both sustainable and self-sufficient.
Travelers who visit Yunguilla can stay at a variety of homes and enjoy traditional, local foods and enjoy nature walks along old smugglers’ trails, with the possibility of spotting hummingbirds as well as migrating tapirs, big cats and Andean bears in the cloud forests of the Yunguilla Nature Reserve. Once home to the now extinct Yumbos people, the region around Yunguilla continues to preserve its indigenous heritage and this homestay experience is an opportunity for cultural exchange.
Involvement of V Social
Working with Yunguilla since February 2018, the VSocial Foundation continues to support the community through training and workshops as well as helping to develop additional social projects and tourism services and by bringing international travelers to Yunguilla.
Directly impacted families:
Support for Yunguilla
EUR 2,400 - Participation in first V Social Encounter
Lisbeth, young leader at Yunguilla, participated in the inaugural annual gathering of projects funded by V Social in Colombia in November. During this event, 16 projects hailing from various corners of Latin America convened in person to engage in discussions about lessons learned and to strategize for the upcoming year, 2024. Our primary goal is to empower the beneficiaries with a more influential role in decision-making within V Social, allowing them to shape the organization's priorities and focus areas. This approach places a greater emphasis on the voices of those we serve. Notably, for many participants, this event marks their first opportunity to travel outside their home country, adding an extra layer of significance to this transformative gathering. The allocated amount for this support is an estimate derived from the total costs incurred in organizing the gathering.
The community-based tourism project at Yunguilla directly benefits more than 60 families, with another 40 families benefiting indirectly, and more and more families becoming involved through additional social projects. The community’s infrastructure has greatly improved through the provision of electricity, water and high-quality homestay accommodation, as well as by continuing to develop a network of subsidiary projects that has proved a model for other local community organizations.