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Ecuador: Put your green thumb to use on a volunteer vacation

Ecuador: Put your green thumb to use on a volunteer vacation
Tandana volunteers and Ecuadorian students plant vegetable seeds in a school garden. (Tandana Foundation)

Like to garden and want to put that green thumb to good use? The Tandana Foundation is sponsoring a volunteer vacation this fall in the northern highlands of Ecuador.

Volunteers will help at a tree nursery in the community of Achuapallas, including planting, pruning and pulling weeds.

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The nursery was built by UCINQUI, an organization that sells the trees in order to raise funds to help 23 indigenous villages with education, health and other projects. The trees are also used in reforestation projects and to protect water resources.

The group will also teach gardening lessons to students at an elementary school and will work alongside them in the school garden.

When not digging in the dirt, the group will be able to enjoy the local culture, including visits to the Otavalo market and Cuicocha, a volcanic lake; participate in a cooking class in a local restaurant; and enjoy a weaving demonstration.

Volunteers must be in good physical condition and comfortable walking on uneven terrain.

The Ohio-based Tandana Foundation offers cross-cultural volunteer opportunities and scholarships in Ecuador and Mali.

Dates: Oct. 10-17
Price: $1,200; $1,300 for a single. Includes food, lodging, transportation and activities. International airfare not included.
Info: Tandana Foundation, (937) 848-2993

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