Make a payment

Menu

Our Projects

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.

Learn more

Travel Info

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. 

Learn more
What we’ve achieved

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 Ashley who have been exceptional team leaders for 2019

Group 1

SARDINAS COMMUNITY

XAVIER – Construction Projects

A splendid group that taught me a lot, it was fun to walk every day and go singing along the way. This is always a very nice experience. The attitude and experience of some volunteers in construction was extraordinary.

  • dug three and a half holes
  • moved blocks
  • loaded gravel for two different parts that they needed. This was a challenge because it was a very long way
  • served sand and moved to different places
  • made the floor of the bathroom in three places and the base of three septic tanks
  • made the walls of a septic tank

SARDINAS COMMUNITY - ESCUELA CECIB VICENTE LEÓN

MARIA-JOSE - Education

We started again the season at Sardinas Community, the education program its been very important in the project because they don’t have English teachers at school. We have been teaching the topics they really need to learn because in few months they will continue studying in secondary school.

I really love to work in VESA at the school, the children are always interested to learn and they are super smart too. The group were great teachers, thank you also for the gifts you bring to the children at the community and also to Kelly to bring all the dog food for some of the dogs around.

The team spent some hours cleaning our classroom before to start teaching at the school and taking out some frogs he he! There are 43 students, so what we normally do is to separate in three groups according the ages, which is more easy to work.

10-12 years old Children can answer and ask very well questions like name, age, favourite colour, they also can spell in English any word, they know numbers from 1-100. We teach also some greetings they can use every morning with volunteers.

6-9 years old Children can answer and ask super well questions like name, favourite colour. We practice a lot with songs and games.

4-5 years old We start first with the colours of the flag, they learnt super fast. Also we include games, songs and colouring to make always our classes super fun. Painting three toilets were ready to paint, we will give the second coat with the second group : )

 

Jungle Experience

ASHLEY - guide

Our time in the jungle with the groups went very well. Everyone of them seemed to absolutely love it (some of them asked jokingly if they could sneak in the other group to come back in the jungle!!)

We learnt about a variety of plants, insects, local foods and drinks. The volunteers love it and asked a lot of questions.

  • attended a ceremony from the local Shaman
  • visited the nearby community of Santa Barbara where they were shown how Chicha is made
  • went tubing (twice)
  • were taught how to make bracelets
  • learned about insects, medicinal plants and local crops during a short trek
  • were taught how to make fresh chocolate -went on a night canoe ride to look for animals -made a bonfire
  • learned how to use blow guns
  • visited the Amazoonico animal rescue center -attended a ceramic demonstration

Group 2

SARDINAS COMMUNITY

XAVIER – Construction Projects

We started the second group and it seemed that everything was still normal, but a little friend was waiting for us at the entrance of the hotel – a small snake that was passing – a baby boa that was very beautiful and went free.

Well we put this aside and we continued. It was raining and so we started the adventure and began our work determined volunteers and cheerful optimists and willing to help.

Everything is like being part of a big family – playing with children and working -playing and progressing. So good with an excellent atmosphere and being with such a good group it feels so wonderful to be part of this great family.

  • dug five holes and finished the hole from the previous group
  • extracted gravel and loaded to the places we need
  • moved blocks and sand to the places we need
  • made four bases of the septic tank, also three bathroom floors
  • made walls and filled the sides of two septic tanks, they also made the covers

SARDINAS COMMUNITY - ESCUELA CECIB VICENTE LEÓN

MARIA-JOSE – Education

I feel super happy to work in the education program because we can give  help to the children from the community at the school with the English language. Thank you very much guys for being part of this adventure in these two weeks.

We helped preparing the children for their future. As I told you before the group with the older students will continue secondary school super soon, and I feel very satisfied because with your help we were able to make them to improve their English every time with the most important topics they need to know before to continue secondary school. Thank you guys everyone for being great teachers, I’m sure they touched your hearts : )

  • The first days we always do a review with the students about the past topics they learnt.
  • The team have the job of teach step by step each topic in English, also the basic questions according the topic like name, age, colour, greetings, numbers.
  • We also focus in the parts of the body plus tests, songs and games.
  • We had also the opportunity to visit the little kids 4-5 years old. We were able to work with they with songs, games, painting and also cleaning the school (collecting the garbage around the school).

Jungle Experience

ASHLEY - guide

Our jungle adventure was great. The group learnt a lot about the communities from the jungle and the way they use simple things from the jungle as sustainable options (roofs that can last up to ten years or even aluminium foil paper made from banana leafs).

We also learnt about different beliefs of some tribes. For example, volcanoes are believed to represent men and women, which is why a lot of them have Mama of Papa in their name. And that the tribes believe an eruption is caused by a conflict between the. We all loved learning about the culture and different beliefs.

  • attended a ceremony from the local Shaman  and visited the nearby community of Santa Barbara where we were shown how Chicha is made –
  • went tubing (twice) –
  • learned how to make bracelets –
  • learned about insects, medicinal plants and local crops during a short trek –
  • a night canoe right to look for nocturnal animals -were taught how to make fresh chocolate
  • learned how to use blow guns  and attended a ceramic demonstration
  • visited the Amazoonico animal rescue center –
  • participated in mini Spanish lessons everyday
  • night trek to see nocturnal insects
  • wrote something on a piece of paper that we would like to promise to the environment which we put it in the bonfire as a little ritual

Group 3

SARDINAS COMMUNITY

XAVIER – Construction Projects

One more day, the radiant sun and everyone ready to fulfill the mission is so exciting to see how everyone is willing to not give up.

It was very hard but this makes one proud to be part of this great project as we pushed forward to providing bathrooms to the last of the village homes. Our reward was going to the waterfalls because it is so refreshing and we played a lot jumping and feeling the water so fresh, it was our prize! In the daily walk we do to go to the community it is so nice to go singing and it is very fun.

  • moved many blocks to the houses they needed
  • constructed four floors of bathroom and four bases in the septic tank. For this they loaded a lot of gravel to the houses they needed
  • extracted sand and then moved to the houses they needed
  • built the walls of three septic tanks
  • made a septic tank lid

SARDINAS COMMUNITY - ESCUELA CECIB VICENTE LEÓN

MARIA-JOSE – Education

We worked   at the community every day to give all the best in the classrooms teaching English to the students.

We always feel so happy every morning to arrive to the community and the children are waiting for us and call our names and hold our hands meanwhile we walk. I’m pretty sure the children stole your heart during the whole time you guys spent at the community.

Thank you all you guys to give a fantastic time to the kids at the school. How important is the education program for the students, you saw how interested were the children to learn some English and be able to interact with you. Thank you very much each one of you and also to Jordan to work with one of my favourite student at the school, he is super shy it was the first time that I saw a beautiful smile in our little Michael : )

We concentrate to practice a lot all the topics we have tough especially to 7th grade because it was also the last week of school for all the students in Ecuador.

I feel proud because I’m pretty sure our students will put in practice all the knowledge they got with us when they start secondary school. Is going to be more easy for them and they will be at the same level of knowledge with the rest of the students at the schools of the city, as I told you the first day to continue secondary school they will have to travel every day to Misahualli.

Jungle Experience

ASHLEY - guide

While in the jungle, the group trekked to the lodge and then attended a ceremony from the local Shaman  then visited the nearby community of Santa Barbara where they were shown how Chicha is made.

We were all part of a little ritual  where we make a promise to mother earth  and  then participated in the “love tunnel activity”, where each person walks through the “tunnel” with their eyes closed and the others tell that person a compliment

  • tubing
  • taught how to make bracelets –
  • learned about insects, medicinal plants and local crops during a short trek
  • went on a night canoe ride to look for nocturnal animals
  • Learnt how to make fresh chocolate
  • learned how to use blow guns
  • visited the Amazoonico animal rescue center

Group 4

SARDINAS COMMUNITY

XAVIER – Construction Projects

The season is almost end, many mixed feelings, because we had a lot of work ahead because we had a goal in mind that was to finish the work in the sardine community, but everything was so excellent because it seemed that the universe joined with all its energy To help us with this great goal, then this group of warriors arrived, a group that mostly fulfilled its duty.

The sunny days were intense but we did it – every day was a challenge and fun. See the progress was the most exciting, and as always the weather has a great influence, which seems that the universe was in our favor, because at night it rained and the day was sunny, so we could work and reach our goal. And as I said earlier mixed feelings because we were happy to finish the work in the community, but sad to say goodbye. Chao Community of Sardines.

For this achievement we had to extract a lot of gravel and many times, move the gravel to the houses that needed it, extract lots of sand and move to the houses that needed it and  load the block to all the houses they needed,

  • fill the sides of the septic tanks that they needed
  • mix concrete for four septic tanks
  • made the floor of 5 bathrooms
  • build walls of the septic tanks

In total we were able to finish 4 bathrooms completely in 5 days, it was a very hard work.

SARDINAS COMMUNITY - ESCUELA CECIB VICENTE LEÓN

MARIA-JOSE – Education

With our fourth group of the season we organized an English course for vacations because the children already finished the scholar year.

I was happy because all the students came every day to the school to work with us. We had happy mornings with all the children from the community. I felt so proud for all the knowledge the students got  in the classrooms. Thank you very much each one of you guys to give all the beautiful smiles to the children, for all the games and songs you sang with the children and also for being so cute with they.

We’ve spent three seasons working in Sardinas community and to say good bye everyone was hard for me. I’m pretty sure they will never forget us and the friendship will last forever.

We worked all together in one classroom and taught the topics according the age of the student.

Children can ask and answer in English the questions like:

What is your name, How old are you, What is your favorite color, What is your favorite animal. Also they know the alphabet (they can spell in English any word),

  • Colors
  • Numbers 1-100 (additions, subtractions, multiplies),
  • Parts of the body (songs),
  • Animals (we made cubes and draw the animals to make easier to learn for the student.

We teach also some greetings, many songs and games to practice all the topics in English. Also children could practice their English with class participation (100% speaking) and a lots of class works and homeworks! 🙂

Jungle Experience

ASHLEY - guide

After a hard week on the project, with intense sun almost every single day, everyone was very excited to head to the jungle.

The trek went smoothly for everyone. It rained a lot the night prior to our trek, so we had to modify the trek a little, avoiding rivers because the levels were high. Our four days in the jungle were amazing! Everyone seemed happy with the activities they participated in and the things they learned. We learnt about sharing beliefs from different tribes and historical legends from the Andes.

We attended a ceremony from the local Shaman and visited the nearby community of Santa Barbara where we were shown how Chicha is made. We were taught how to make bracelets, learned about insects, medicinal plants and local crops during a short trek

We also enjoyed

  • Salsa competition
  • Make your own traditional outfit competition
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Trivia night
  • Mini Spanish lessons