Bamboo Service Learning Workshop

(pdf version: Bamboo Service Learning)
(pdf poster: Bamboo Service Learning Poster)

WHEN
Duration: 2 weeks
Dates*: July 2-15, 2017

*Also available on demand for groups of four or more (availability of dates permitting, contact us directly at learn@arajunoroadproject.org)

WHERE
The Upper Amazon Basin in eastern Ecuador. The workshop and the applied service project are located in the province of Pastaza. The workshop is based on a former farm that has been restored from pastures back to forest; accommodation is on site; all structures on site are constructed from either reclaimed woods (recycled from old buildings) or bamboo (guadua).

guest house

The back view of the farm’s guest house. Accommodation has been constructed with reclaimed wood.

Gathering area at the farm built by course facilitators.

WHO
Participants: Builders or aspiring builders of all ages and backgrounds who have a passion for bamboo and sustainable construction. There is a minimum of two people required for a workshop to be offered and a maximum of eight people may enroll. If you represent a group of four or more, please contact us directly (learn@arajunoroadproject.org).

Course facilitators: The course is created and led by Yankuam Escobar and Sergio Hualinga; together they have created a new example in the provincial capital, Puyo, of sustainable construction with bamboo. An example of their work is EscoBar Café. The Arajuno Road Project (ARP)/Ruta del Arajuno collaborates to provide administrative support for the workshop as part of its mission to promote healthy communities and a healthy environment. A workshop assistant(s) may be assigned to help facilitate the course.

bamboo storage

Guadua (bamboo) staging area.

WHY
Our built environment is often not in balance with the natural environment. When sustainability is not taken into account, few places have more to lose than the megadiverse Ecuadorian Amazon. Bamboo species have a great potential to promote sustainability and provide creative, low-cost building solutions.  

bamboo construction

Arming the structure for a custom guadua (bamboo) house on the farm.

WHAT
After receiving a general orientation and tour of the “farm,” the workshop will cover topics such as the characteristics of bamboo species (focusing on guadua), growth and harvest, processing, construction design, tools, building techniques, and structure maintenance. The workshop will culminate with a service learning project that will use bamboo to provide helpful infrastructure for a social benefit. The workshop will run weekday mornings and early afternoons; participants will have late afternoons, evenings and weekends free to explore the region.

bamboo building

The custom guadua (bamboo) house advancing with roof and flooring.

Week 1: You should arrive in Quito on or before Sunday. Unless your travel plans dictate otherwise, you will be picked up from the airport and transferred to a Quito hotel for the night. Monday morning, participants will be picked up from the hotel and driven by a professional transport company to the province of Pastaza. You will be welcomed at the farm Monday afternoon and be provided with a general orientation. The following days you will learn about the steps involved in working with bamboo, from plant to construction-ready material. By the end of the week, you will be introduced to the service learning project. Saturday and Sunday you will be free to explore the region and/or hang out at the farm (local adventures include rivers, waterfalls, nature parks, extreme sports and more).

bamboo house

The inside of the house takes on more definition.

Week 2: You will learn about building techniques, and you will apply these skills directly to the service learning project. By the end of the week, your service learning project will be armed to provide socially-beneficial infrastructure; workshop leaders will select the best suited project (for example, a public bus stop to protect from downpours and equatorial sun, or a covered activity area for a community center). Saturday morning will allow for packing and farewells and Saturday afternoon participants will be transported back to Quito and provided an additional night in a Quito hotel. You should plan on flying out of Quito (and will be transferred from the hotel to the airport in this case), or other onward travel, Sunday.

EscoBar Cafe built by course facilitators.

COST
$1500

Included: Course expenses, in-country transport, food and accommodation

Participant expenses: Flights, insurance, free time activities, travel expenses unrelated to the program, and personal spending (personal care items, soda, beer or extra snacks outside of what are provided)

 

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