2011 was a very tough year but the challenges made it all the more rewarding and we have grown and learned a lot not only as a company but as individuals as well. Here are some achievements and milestones we are most proud of from last year:
Achievements and Milestones for 2011
– We moved out of the office we shared with another company to save on rent and moved into our very own office in a much better location on Riobambas main avenida. The new office is smaller but its nice and intimate as well and since its ours we have complete creative control over the decoration and interior design. We are paying more for rent but to subsidize that cost we are selling high-quality camping and trekking equipment.
– One of our fantastic volunteers from Austin Texas redesigned the logos and banners for Ecuador Eco Volunteer and Ecuador Eco Adventure. Logos and branding are very important in todays cutthroat world of tourism even for a social enterprise like us and these new logos make us look much more professional than before.
Over $20,000 was invested into our various volunteer programs in 2011 thanks to our volunteers. This money helps keep programs like the Animal Rescue Center running and increases the quality of life
We also created Volunteer Transparency Graphs and will be updating it every quarter or 3 months in 2012 to increase accountability to our volunteers.
– We have started up a new volunteer program in a Shiwiar Amazon Tribe in a very remote region of the Ecuadorian Amazon. This new program will help the tribe receive an alternative source of income so they do not have to rely on illegal timber loggers and oil companies that wish to extract the rich resources from their land.
What Needs Improvement
As we have grown this year organizing and communicating between the various volunteer programs we run and our volunteers has become more difficult and complex. This has at times led to a breakdown in communication in certain cases.
To resolve this issue in 2012 Jeniffer from Chicago has been visiting all of our volunteer programs around Ecuador to see what works and what needs to be changed to improve the volunteer experience for both the volunteer and the host.
In 2012 Jeniffer will now be working as our Volunteer Supervisor to help make our volunteers time in Ecuador as comfortable as possible. Jennifer will be available to support all our volunteers with any questions or preoccupations they have while traveling in Ecuador from topics as diverse as travel advice to issues with health.
To track our progress from the year before last check out the post I wrote on Ecuador Eco Volunteer Review for 2010
Thankyou for helping us make the Ecuador Eco Volunteer project possible!
Jake, Wlady, Jennifer, and Mauri