Llullu Llama Community Initiatives
HELPING TO IMPROVE LIVING CONDITIONS AND EDUCATION IN OUR VILLAGE
We do a number of things to benefit the community of Isinlivi and surrounding indigenous people. We operate a buy-local policy to stimulate local economy and produce, we provide jobs to local people, contribute to traditional festivities and manage funds for their benefit. We believe that tourism can have a positive impact on our population.
Under the premise of “think globally, act locally”, Llullu Llama Mountain Lodge has implemented a buy-local policy. We do this by choosing consciously to buy locally produced goods and services, over those produced further away. We buy at local farmer’s markets, from local shops or vendors and even from our own neighbors.
We buy our guest soap from the Mama Quilla project, milk from our neighbors and cheese from the Isinlivi cheese factory. We buy grains and flour from a small local shop, and eggs from a vendor in Sigchos. When possible we buy seasonal fruits and vegetables from our neighbors. Our marmalade, granola, yogurt, and bread is all homemade!
Create jobs for locals
Where possible we contract locals for the running of our Mountain Lodge. We currently have 6 fixed staff members, of which 80% is from within the community of Isinlivi. They all receive a fair wage and social security. Besides this, we try to offer them additional training courses, for example in preparation of certain dishes, in fire prevention and customer service.
Over the past years, we’ve also been able to create a network of local drivers and guides. For horseback riding, we work with a local family in Guangomalag who has taken on the job to guide tourists by horse very seriously and are doing a fantastic job! For construction and seasonal maintenance, we also contract workers from the area.
The Mommaluv Project
Since 2015 Eva has been active in the Momma Luv Foundation. This is a Dutch non-profit organization that helps pregnant women in the area by donating a special birth package when their baby is born. Through the Momma Luv Foundation, pregnant women in the Netherlands are matched with pregnant women in Ecuador and instead of receiving presents from family and friends at birth, they ask for funds to help an Ecuadorian mother.
On voluntary basis, Eva is constantly on the lookout for pregnant women, coordinating funds for them and regularly visiting mothers with their new born baby’s to hand over packages with food, diapers, baby clothes, and blankets.
Creating tours & activities with the people
There is so much more to do and explore in the mountains! We have hidden caves, rivers, and even natural hot springs! Llullu Mountain Lodge is committed to creating more activities and tours together with different communities. We want to create opportunities for the locals, while giving our guests a chance on a unique experience!
We work together with families who own horses, people who know the mountains and hidden secrets, with community leaders and local artisans in creating great activities – 100% of the profits of these activities goes directly to the community.
Christmas is the most important celebration in the Parrish of Isinlivi and is greatly celebrated with traditional processions adoring the sacred Niño Manuelito, “novenas” on nine successive days before Christmas, masses at the local church, music and dance. This is the very best time to visit Isinlivi and let yourself immerse in local traditions and village life!
Dance on the rhythm of the typical Banda de Pueblo, admire the Chagras, and walk together with the villagers in a procession. For Llullu Llama Mountain Lodge, it’s important that these traditions are kept alive, and therefore we donate money, materials, or prizes to the party committee every year.
Promotion of the Quilotoa Loop as a tourist destination
Tourism in the area of the Quilotoa Loop is still very new. Little by little the area is receiving more attention from national and international tourists due to its beautiful natural surroundings and authentic culture. Llullu Llama Mountain Lodge is committed in helping put the Quilotoa Loop on the tourist map!
Lack of tourist information is one of the main problems. We are currently creating the website Quilotoaloop.com, which is a free and very complete travel guide of the Quilotoa Loop with lots of useful information & tips. The travel guide includes info about bus times, activities, tours. Other hostels on the loop receive a free listing on the site.