Rebuilding the Future In Coastal Ecuador

by YACHANA Foundation
Rebuilding the Future In Coastal Ecuador
Rebuilding the Future In Coastal Ecuador
Rebuilding the Future In Coastal Ecuador
Rebuilding the Future In Coastal Ecuador
Rebuilding the Future In Coastal Ecuador
Rebuilding the Future In Coastal Ecuador
Where the earthquake occurred
Where the earthquake occurred

October 2017

Dear friends,

It has been basically a year and a half since Ecuador suffered a devastating earthquake on the coast. After the quake, the Yachana Foundation was looking for a way to help the people, but with something more meaningful then just giving them something; using the old philosophy of “teach a man to fish”. Our foundation is dedicated to education and training so we developed a training program in masonry since much of the reconstruction in the region will be in cement and blocks.

We had two training programs, each for about 20 men from the coast. They came and spent nearly three weeks with us working on various, real projects. This was a hands-on experience for them and one where they were able to learn a lot. Both sessions were very successful and some of the men still keep in touch with us. The training was successful, the sessions were expensive but worthwhile. It was a 17 hour charter bus trip from the coast to Yachana, in the Amazon. Food, lodging and other aspects to the program all added up to an expensive program. Therefore, we decided to not continue having on site trainings at Yachana but to develop appropriate technology that they could use in their homes and communities.

We have been doing this for some months now and have developed prototypes for a bicycled powered corn grinder, a simple dehusker for corn made from a 55 gallon oil drum, a water turbine to generate electricity, a chicken plucker that will pluck two chickens in 20 seconds and we are right now developing a simple ram water pump. All of these items will be available to the people in the region shortly. They are all items that can be used in the rural communities, the communities that have actually received the least support after the quake.

We were able to raise a significant amount of money for the project from a number of donors, which we greatly appreciate. GlobalGiving was also very generous with two large donations toward the cause. As a result of the training program we have good connections with people in the region and will continue to work with them for years, teaching them “to fish”.

We want to thank everyone who has been so generous in this project.

Training for reconstruction
Training for reconstruction
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Bicycle to Powered a Corn Grinder
Bicycle to Powered a Corn Grinder

In continuation of our goal to offer skills training to Ecuadorians impacted by the devastating earthquake in 2016, Yachana Foundation has conducted two training sessions at our training center in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

These classes were highly successful in adding to the skills-base of people in rural communities of Ecuador. The male students involved in these sessions clearly appreciated the experiences they gained and stated that they found it extremely valuable. In addition to the trainings in masonry, we are looking at the development of appropriate technology that the people on the coast could use to further develop these technologies in their own communities.

Unfortunately the first two training classes turned out to very expensive to conduct by a non-profit foundation. We have done an analysis of the overall costs and other factors, including the 17-hour charter bus trip from the coast to Yachana. Based on this analysis we are looking at appropriate technologies and have decided to modify our approach to save costs in the future. We know we need to find a way to offer subsidized prices to the residents; for example only charging for the materials used. We are also looking at how to get a few of the young people from the region to come to Yachana, but in this case, for a 40 day stay, to learn welding and other skills that they can take back home as skills to contribute to their communities.

The two technology projects we have developed so far are: (1) a bicycle powered corn grinder, (2) a simple, inexpensive, corn de husker. Both are completed in a prototype form and we are now working to fine tune the details. These will be ready to offer in about a month for real-use. Since many of those affected by the earthquake live in rural settings and have chickens these two machines will help them provide food for their animals using improved, automated methods. Our goal is to continue developing additional ideas that can be used to improve life in our rural communities on the cost. We will be reporting on the results in subsequent updates.

Once again, thank you for your support to the Yachana Foundation to enable us to better train those affected by the quake.

Project Prototypes
Project Prototypes
Training Projects
Training Projects
Almost Done
Almost Done
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Frist Sundial Picture
Frist Sundial Picture

The mission of the Yachana Foundation is education and training. There are many ways to achieve this and one of the most successful has been the courses for men from the coastal part of Ecuador who were impacted by the earthquake a year ago. The training was in masonry. To provide the best training we needed projects for them to actually work on; directly being involved in mixing the concrete and laying the blocks. With the help from these men, funds from donors and Global Giving we were able to complete a “crazy idea” that we have been thinking about for a long time. It was to create a sundial.

But a BIG sundial! Cristobal C. is the expert on sundials in Ecuador and the histories of the ancient cultures who relied on the sun for all of their agricultural activities. Cristobal came to Yachana with his survey equipment and laid out the exact location and orientation of what we wanted to build. All of it is built out of cement and block. It proved to be a wonderful training exercise for the men since all of the dimensions had to be very exact and the construction involved all aspects from concrete floors, foundations, analysis of the soil and the wall out of block. The sundial is 4.80 meters wide (15 feet), the floor is 6 meters long (19 feet) and the wall is 3 meters high (10 feet). There is a pipe that extends horizontally for 3 meters at the top of the wall on each side that is what actually casts the shadow on the various lines to determine time or month. It has to all be mathematically exact and oriented east/west perfectly to get the shadow to be over the equinox line on the specific dates.

In the first picture was taken 20 days after the equinox, you can see the pipe extending and the shadow on the wall. In the second picture, taken on March 20th, you will see how the shadow is exactly over the vertical line we painted in the middle of the wall and floor to indicate the equinox.

It is from the funds that we have recieved via Global Giving and concerned donators that we we able to achieve this structure and share it with you.  Thank you for your contributions and support.

Sundial Picture taken 20 March
Sundial Picture taken 20 March
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Cantilever Foundation Skills
Cantilever Foundation Skills

The Yachana Foundation has completed two very successful training sessions for people from the coast affected by the earthquake in April of last year.  The trainings are expensive and we are trying to raise enough money to continue with the next.  The first two programs were concentrated on masonry projects.  The next will focus on carpentry with some electrical and plumbing.  This is what the men from the coast are asking for.  Late last year, Global Giving had a matching grant program that we were able to take advantage of and raised $4,675 in direct grants to the foundation plus an additional amount of the same value that will be transferred in April of 2017.  Until we receive those funds, or raise money from other sources before then, we will not be able to start the next training session.  But overall, the initiative of the foundation for the trainings has been very well received.  They are practical trainings where the participants leave with skills that will help them get work.  We greatly appreciate Global Giving’s matching grant program as it is facilitating the next training.  

Concrete Reconstruction Skills
Concrete Reconstruction Skills
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2nd Graduating Class
2nd Graduating Class

SECOND EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY TRAINING COURSE AT YACHANA

The Yachana Foundation continues to provide training for people affected by the earthquake on April 16 2016. We are using the philosophy of “teach a man to fish”, providing a lasting training and not just giving “things”. Our second training course was held at the Yachana facilities in the Amazon region of Ecuador from October 9 to 26 2016. There were a total of 17 participants from two areas along the coast; Manta and Coaque. The foundation designed three different projects; the substructure of concrete for a cantilevered deck overlooking the river valley below, construction of concrete steps and the construction of a washing area for the lodge, and the beginnings of a modified walkway to some of the cabins of the lodge.These are all types of projects that will give the needed skills to help rebuild after the distruction this spring.  Of the three projects, the deck was by far the most popular and the best learning experience for the students. It involved the preparation of all of the structural rebar to put in the cement.

Manuel from Manta said that “my house in Manta was damaged too much to be able to use on that night of the 16th. My wife and three children are still living in a tent. Working on the deck structure was the most interesting for me because it showed how little additional material it took to build a beam that is anti-seismic. I can now apply this back home in the construction of my new home”!   

Jose from Coaque said that “he enjoyed building the concrete steps because when he had tried before, the last step never came out the same distance between the other steps”!

This course, as with the first, built a sense of camaraderie between the men. They enjoyed visiting the Amazon of Ecuador, it was the first time that any of them had seen the Amazon - an added bonus was to learn more about their amazing country. Another point that was very importantis that through this course they were able to work on projects that they could see the completion, apply the skills when they get home and tell family and friends about what they can now accomplish. The Yachana Foundation wants to continue with additional courses but it all depends if we can raise the necessary funds. The participants cannot pay anything toward this training and we need your help to continue to offer other students this opportunity. Future courses will deal with carpentry and electricity.Thank you for all the donations we have already recieved and It is through support from donors like you that have allow us to provide these trainings that will last a lifetime.

In Progress Results Masonry Class
In Progress Results Masonry Class
Learning the Skills
Learning the Skills
Successful Construction of Reinforced Beam
Successful Construction of Reinforced Beam

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Organization Information

YACHANA Foundation

Location: Quito - Ecuador
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Yachana_Lodge
Project Leader:
Colleen Ebken
Operations Management
Quito, Ecuador

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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