Making my own story in Otavalo

Participating in volunteer trips to different countries enables live encounters with diverse cultures and communities. During one of the Tandana Foundation’s recent Health Care Volunteer Ventures trips, a young participant learned first hand how these personal experiences can broaden a person’s understanding of the world beyond what they may be used to. She shares her unique story of volunteering in Otavalo, Ecuador, in the following blog post. Continue reading “Making my own story in Otavalo”

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Tandana is unity

The Tandana Foundation is a network of diverse people and communities across the world. It is the strength of this network working together that allows Tandana and its partners to achieve community goals, while fostering caring intercultural relationships based on mutual respect and responsibility. On the last day of a recent Gardening Volunteer Venture trip to Padre Chupa, Ecuador, Teresa Marrinan reflected upon her understanding of who Tandana is. In the following blog post, Teresa describes all the people whom she encountered and learned from as a gardening volunteer with Tandana, including its founder Anna Taft, and how she now feels forever a part of this extended network and Tandana itself. Continue reading “Tandana is unity”

Kindness and generosity in Ecuador

The following post was written by Chloe Willeford, a high school student who recently returned from a volunteer trip with the Tandana Foundation in Ecuador. 

One month ago, my group of eight other students, three leaders, and I touched down in Quito, Ecuador, to begin a three-week service trip helping Agualongo de Quichinche, a community outside of Otavalo. Little did I know that the trip would teach me and help me grow just as much, if not more, as it helped Agualongo.

Continue reading “Kindness and generosity in Ecuador”

Language barriers and Tandana

My name is Joseph White and I’m a student going into my fourth year at the University of Cincinnati. I’m majoring in Psychology and minoring in Africana Studies and Sociology. I’m the first in my family to attend college, so a lot of my time at the university has been spent building a network of people that are already doing the things that I want to do. My success begins on a small scale. A college education is not the standard in my family. Continue reading “Language barriers and Tandana”

Learning while working alongside nature’s caretaker

Matias on the left and Hope on the right.

Many of the Tandana Foundation volunteers, who have come to Ecuador on Gardening Volunteer Ventures since 2013 as well as other programs, have worked alongside Matias Perugachi and learned how to grow plants, raise crops and nurture trees in our joint efforts to make the area more productive and sustainable. We have planted trees on hillsides to break the wind and along community streets to add greenery and purify the air. We have planted gardens at the community’s health center and schools to improve nutrition, and we have worked in the fields to plant and tend crops to provide food. Continue reading “Learning while working alongside nature’s caretaker”

Motilón Chupa: a diverse community based on collaboration

Members of the Tandana Foundation, along with volunteers from the Ohio Master Gardener program and from several U.S. universities have recently traveled to Motilón Chupa, Ecuador, to collaborate with community members on several projects. These projects included installing a water tank to improve the community’s irrigation system and planting a garden near the school. The following is a story written by Motilón Chupa’s president about the history of the community, its diverse people, and how Tandana’s staff and volunteer support helps them achieve the residents’ long-term goals. Continue reading “Motilón Chupa: a diverse community based on collaboration”

Planting seeds, growing friendships

You won’t find Motilón Chupa on Google Maps. This indigenous Kichwa community high in the Andes in the far reaches of Imbabura Province of Ecuador is literally and figuratively at the end of the road. The community is a tight-knit group of people, living in isolated small houses on steep hillsides with no public buildings other than the elementary school. Continue reading “Planting seeds, growing friendships”

Becoming family in Ecuador

I quickly grew attached to my host family while living in Ecuador as a volunteer for the Tandana Foundation. My host sister, who is eight years old, was a very easy first connection to make. She loves to play games and is extremely bright, and within a few hours of my arrival we were already “muy amigas.” Continue reading “Becoming family in Ecuador”