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About VESA

VESA’s humanitarian and conservation projects aim to provide direct action support to communities in parts of the world overlooked by traditional charities and aid organisations.

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From the minute you book your trip we provide you with everything you need to know, so you get the most out of your VESA experience. 

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What we’ve achieved

South America 2019 - 2020

Amazonas Explored

THANK YOU

Read about our community infrastructure and village school education project in Ecuador and the achievements of both our VESA staff and all the wonderful people who have assisted during the season. And a special thank you to Maria Jose, Xavier and Shauna who have been exceptional team leaders for 2019 - 2020

Group 1

RUMI URCU COMMUNITY

XAVIER – Construction Projects

We started the season in a new community and were very excited to meet everyone there. The children and the people were very happy that VESA is there, so the adventure of helping begins.

Rumi Urcu, the name of the new community, means mountain of rocks, and all of us realized why it was named like this when digging. Most of the 25 families live on the top on the mountain, so carrying gravel, bricks and sand was fun!

Days of sun, intense hard work and very hot and sometimes after feeling the extreme heat entering the river it was so refreshing, and it was a challenge to find the places to extract the material and very beautiful sight.

  • dug three septic tanks (and it was very hard because we found a lot of stones)
  • extracted a lot of gravel and sand and then loaded the canoe and then to the mountain
  • loaded cement boards, iron, block, (it was so hard because the sun didn’t He gave truce)
  • mixed concrete for two bath floors and the septic tank base
  • made the walls and sides of the septic tank, filled the sides of the septic tank, and also the cover of the septic tank, and the walls of the other bathroom,

THE FIRST BATHROOM IS COMPLETELY FINISHED!!!!!!!

RUMI URCU COMMUNITY - CENTRO EDUCATIVO ALBERTO CHIMBO

MARIA-JOSE - Education

New games were introduced to play at  CENTRO EDUCATIVO ALBERTO CHIMBO and there were memorable times to meet for the very first time all the students at the school and the teachers too.

We loved to see how exited the children were every morning when we were arriving at school. They are smart and are ready to learn a lot of English lessons.

We worked with 22 students who were separate by age. Our first job was to make friends and our volunteers were a great help with so many ideas to play with the kids, games and songs, we had a great time.

Before the classes we provided some supplies to each student thanks to Kayla B : ) so they were ready to have their English classes.

Basic words like: HELLO, GOOD MORNING, HOW ARE YOU, WHAT IS YOUR NAME AND THE ALPHABET. We worked every day with games and songs. We made Christmas trees together for the students to decorate their rooms at home.

JUNGLE EXPERIENCE

Shauna - Guide

The jungle trek was as amazing as always.

On the 6-hour trek to the jungle lodge, we learnt so much about all the plant life and their medicinal purposes within the communities in the Amazon! Everyone loved learning all about the Quechua communities and their customs and traditions, which are so different to what we are used to. The jungle lodge where we stay is was an amazing experience, living without electricity for 4 days was a big change for everyone, however the volunteers took it in their strides and enjoyed being cut off from the world. We played games and told stories every evening to keep ourselves entertained.

 

  • Witnessed a Shamen performing a traditional cleansing
  • Visited Santa Barbara, a nearby community and were shown how Chicha is made, played soccer with the children and made chocolate from scratch
  • Went tubing twice
  • Used a plant to paint traditional Quechua symbols and markings on our faces
  • A navigational canoe trip at night in hopes of seeing nocturnal animals such as Caymen
  • Attended a ceramic making demonstration and learnt how to use a blow dart 
  • Visited Amazoonico, the animal rescue centre
  • Visited family plantations where they grow cocoa beans, coffee beans and bananas

Group 2

RUMI URCU COMMUNITY

XAVIER – Construction Projects

How good it felt to be part of this program! New group and with all the desire to move forward in our work.

We started in the best way with the group excited to do a good job, the sun was very intense, but the determination of the group was great.

The children of the community as they always are, were our angels and they helped us in what they can and they are always very fun, and after the strenuous work, jumping into the river to cool down feels so good!

We played soccer and it was so fun to bet XD moisturizing drinks. Strong groups like this make me proud to belong to this great family of VESA

  • The group dug two septic tanks, which was difficult because under the area we work we found groundwater or aquifer and therefore the volunteers dug again until they found the right place
  • We also moved many blocks from the hotel to the boat, also cement and iron
  • In the community we went up to the houses on the mountain, they also extracted a lot of gravel and a lot of sand and then we loaded in sacks towards the boat and then to the mountain
  • In total we could complete two bathrooms and one in process because two days it rained and progress delayed us

We also completed  and painted the last four bathrooms that were in process at the last community.

RUMI URCU COMMUNITY - CENTRO EDUCATIVO ALBERTO CHIMBO

MARIA-JOSE – Education

We finished the season with a great group of volunteers.

Despite the heat and humidity we worked like a team and helped each other to make the job easier. We had a great time at school with the children and we were able to see all the smiles, happiness and a warm welcome from the children every morning when we arrived at school. I am pretty sure they will never forget you!

  • We could work interacting with basic questions in English asking the name how you, basic greetings and colours for the moment
  • We always took time to have a review with all the information they learnt at the past. But the children are smart, and they love to learn
  • The songs and games we shared with them made the classes more fun
  • We also helped the teacher and students to clean the garden of the school. 🙂

JUNGLE EXPERIENCE

Shauna – guide

The jungle treks were absolutely brilliant as always. The volunteers learned all about the Quechua community and their customs and traditions and got to meet many Quechua people and even learned some Quechua words.
We learned how to live simply and sustainably and hope that our volunteers will use these lessons in their everyday lives.

  • six-hour trek deep into the jungle
  • tubing
  • learned how to make chocolate from scratch
  • went on a navigational canoe trip at night in hopes of seeing crocs
  • visited many plantations and learned how the Quechua people live solely off the land
  • watched a demonstration on how to make Chicha
  • learned how to use a blow dart
  • watched the village Shaman perform a traditional healing ceremony
  • learned about many trees and plants and their medicinal purposes
  • discovered many new insects and learned about their part in our eco system
  • visited Amazoonico rescue centre and learned about the animals
  • attended a ceramics demonstration