JORGE: It was all very promising to travel to Ecuador in the beginning of 2018 to volunteer in a permaculture/edible forest community, coming all the way from Mexico, and meeting with my partner Sylvie in person for the first time. But as it turned out, and although this Fruit Forest project has a lot of potential, it did not provide the sense of community and shared joyful work amongst the residents and other participants there. It was a welcomed experience for me though, involving very intense physical activities with machete in one hand and preparing our own meals with the other. I feel content of both contributing with my best effort towards the culmination of this project, and also about all the learned lessons and hands-on veganic permaculture new knowledge.
SYLVIE: We both moved to Ecuador in the beginning of 2018 to volunteer in a permaculture/edible forest community. It was exciting quitting my “regular” live in Belgium as a project manager of a large European conservation project to do work exchange together with my partner and making this our new home. This Fruit Forest project looked very promising and it has potential, but we did not find the sense of community and joyful work shared amongst the residents and other participants there. The work exchange was very physical and included weeding, mulching, seeding and taking care of the plant nursery, planting and pruning trees, clearing land with machete for planting purposes, processing humanure, but also some maintenance work on the property as well as house keeping. I enjoyed very much planting and maintaining fruit and companion trees, learning about humanure, exotic fruit trees, local nitrogen fixing and companion plants, harvesting fruit, seeds and some vegetables, roots and herbs as well as the planning involved to grow such a fruit forest. I was also inspired to see that the project was trying to reforest in an area surrounded by cattle farms. However, it was sad to realize that mining and the pollution/contamination that comes with it has reached this part of the jungle and poses a risk to the clean water supply.
1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY IN ECUADOR
We are currently on our 1 year anniversary of living in Ecuador. We have been working on different proyects in the Amazon, Andes and Coast. Right now we are relocating and focused on finding our home and tribe. More about this after the following short but sweet “profile” section below.
I, Jorge, am from Mexico. Sylvie is from Germany. Online dating via Skype for 4 months prior to meeting in person in Ecuador. Guess we can tell you more about us when we meet you?
We have been residents of Ecuador since July 2018 and can stay here until mid-2020 with our current visa. We both moved to Ecuador in the beginning of 2018 to volunteer in a permaculture/edible forest community, lived in Cuenca for a couple of months, housesitted a property at the coast for 3 weeks, volunteered in a retreat center in the outskirts of the Andes mountains for 5 months, and in the rain forest for a month. We also lived and house/pet sitter in the cloud forest for a couple of months and we have been doing the same on and off in Quito.
FUN FACTS ABOUT US
Jorge has been a laughter yoga teacher and participated in a photo shoot of over 20,000 naked people in downtown Mexico City at sunrise!
Sylvie did environmental assessments of dive centers in the Philippines and participated and organized beach and underwater clean-ups. After a few years in scientific research and then conservation in several countries she quit her regular life to move to Ecuador to live in a permaculture/edible forest community.
Right now we are living in the jungle and bugs, spiders, snakes and small critters are in our backyard. We both like animals but do not feel the need to possess any as “pets”.
But we do enjoy our ocasional house and pet sitting arrengements. We consider these pets both part of the family of the house we are sitting on, and as our temporary dependent “house/flat mates”. TrustedHouseSitters is a great way to travel and for “test-living” somewhere where we had always wanted to go, or perhaps never had imagined on going. If you feel up to try TrustedHousesitters and get 25% off membership, keep reading! For every one that joins, we’ll receive 2 free months. So it is a win-win for all! If you’d like, use our unique link to get your discount:
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OUR CURRENT DIET
Whole foods plant based diet (Vegan going Rawish)
Don’t do nothing because you cannot do everything.Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
Veganism is not a ceilingJorge
but a leveled ground floor.
OTHER RELEVANT EXPERIENCES
JORGE: Most of my previous experiences in growing and harvesting food have been in other people’s organic projects in Chiapas, San Miguel de Allende, Sebastopol, Tres Piedras, and Guaycuyacu. Also self-taught conducting my own research.
SYLVIE: Most recently in Reserva Guaycuyacu. Other rural living experiences involved a 4 week homestay with a young family in Uruguay, where I did work exchange end of 2016/2017, taking care of the organic / veganic garden and greenhouse as well as learning about eco-construction and working with bamboo.
Most of my previous experiences in growing food comes from local conservation projects (urban gardens) in Switzerland and Belgium as well as home gardening on my balcony and terrace. I learned a lot about gardening, permaculture and sustainable housing from my own research and online videos. Besides my work for IUCN on a large conservation project I have also been volunteering in a couple of on-the-ground conservation projects in Malaysia & Thailand (2007, marine conservation), the Philippines (2013, 2 months, marine conservation), Australia (2013, 6 weeks, rainforest conservation and wildlife sanctuaries), Switzerland & Belgium (2008-2017, park and street clean-ups, zero-waste and vegan activities).
INTERESTS AND SKILLS
- Looove preparing Whole Foods Plant Based, no oil, low salt, low sugar meals!
- I enjoy playing guitar and singing along with others.
- I am a Hasya Yoga (Laughter Yoga) Teacher with international experience in bilingual Spanish and English classes and events.
- Earthship Academy Session Graduate in Taos, NM.
- Positive Psychology Coach
- Bachelor of Arts in Communication
- English to Spanish Translator and Interpreter
- I read more non-fiction than fiction. Right now I am about to finish The Fruit Hunters.
Nutrition & wellbeing: whole-food plant based, herbalism, alternative, holistic healing methods (done lots of my own research and studies).
Enjoy cooking, preparing and baking delicious, healthy, wholesome (no oil, salt, sugar or refined ingredients) vegan dishes.
Planting & nature: Actively home gardening during the past 10 years – growing some of my own vegetables, herbs, lettuce and fruit. Spending lots of time in nature whenever I can.
Science & research: Background as a scientist (bioengineering) with over 8 years of research experience
Conservation: project manager for a big European Overseas conservation project with 10 project partners around the globe.
Sports & movement: competitive swimmer for 10 years, rock climbing for over 12 years, cycling, Scuba diving, hiking, yoga, mindful movement.
Sustainable living: (close to) “zero waste” and minimalist lifestyle over the past 4 years (incl. while traveling) and would be interested to offer guidance or develop outreach activities on reducing waste to local communities.
Other skills & interests: I like to organise and structure work. I am good in writing & proof-reading and translating (e.g. English/French < – > German).
Why do we want to be involved in starting or joining an edible fruit forest community?
JORGE: Personally, I am intrigued about the possibilities of freeing human thought capacity by living surrounded of a lush edible fruit forest. Without having to worry where my next meal is going to come from, and just go for a walk to “graze” and munch around whenever I feel hungry.
SYLVIE: I love fruit but choices in my home country Germany are limited and imported tropical fruit are not really available in the best quality. Therefore during my travels and living abroad stays I have always tasted all the local tropical fruit and could pretty much live of them, especially when I was living in Singapore, the Philippines and partially Australia. I tried living raw vegan in Europe for a couple of times but found it not sustainable beyond the summer months. However, I still feel best when eating mostly ripe fruit and some vegetables and would like for other people to have this experience and improve their quality of life. However, I don’t think that current global agriculture with monocultures and animal input as fertilizer is a sustainable model and can provide this except for a privileged minority.
Jointly, Sylvie and Jorge believe in propagating and conserving edible fruit forests as the best practice available to ensure human and planetary flourishing.
Please contact us asking about the options we have found in Ecuador to invest and/or join in upcoming Edible Fruit Forests grown by Noble Peace Tribes using Veganic Permaculture. And also consider donating to this noble cause.
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