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About Us

We are a growing team of local Ecuadorians and collaborators from around the world, brought together through a shared vision to create a meaningful, prosperous and sustainable life. Find out more about who we are and why we're on a mission to use cultural exchange in the Ecuadorian Andes.

The Team

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Joshua Holmes
Founder (England)

Joshua fell in love with Ecuadorian culture while backpacking in 2013. He founded El Terreno after 15+ year’s experience in creative facilitation, eco-living, renewable startups, international leadership and event management. 


He lives with his son and partner, Karina, working alongside volunteers and the local community to create something socially innovative and environmentally impactful.


“It’s a privilege to work with a skilled team and welcoming community. I'm grateful to call Atandahua home and build a life here.”

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Wilson Morales
Langauge Coordinator (Ecuador)

Wilson is a teacher, entrepreneur from the coastal region of Ecuador and has worked for many years in marketing, culture, linguistics and tourism, promoting projects in Ecuador that involve local communities with volunteers in education and intercultural activities.


“I am passionate about new cultures, languages and nature. I love to work in the areas where I can explore, teach and learn about my culture and from others.”

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Tania Celi
Volunteer Coordinator (Ecuador)

Tania is a professional ‘social communicator’ and former university professor from Guaranda. She oversees the 'Terreno' Volunteering programme, involving the day-to-day tasks both out on the land and in the kitchen, bringing continuity to a sometimes transient volunteer programme.


“I like to share our country’s way of life with volunteers, to reach the hearts of the people who visit us. I want them to know that Ecuador is a welcoming country full of traditions, customs and immense biodiverse beauty”

The Communities

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El Terreno is based in the province of Bolívar, which is one of Ecuador's smallest, most diverse and least poorest. It has a huge amount of cultural and natural capital but has largely been ignored in national development and international tourism.

Atandahua, the community where El Terreno is based, is based in a peri-rural area 20 minutes outside the provincial capital of Guaranda. There's a population of around 100 families that mainly rely on conventional agriculture and livestock. The people are warm and always keen to engage with the visitors who come to this unknown corner of the world.

 

The road that runs through Atandahua is also a gateway to reach over a dozen other communities - which are much more rural, much poorer and of 90% indigenous decent. These communities in particular suffer from low education, health, economic and living standards which become very difficult to move out of. 

But these communities also have a long history of their indigenous culture, native languages and regular festivals. El Terreno aims to create opportunities locals to build pride and economic opportunity through sharing their culture to visitors from around the world, while learning sustainable ways to develop that improves their lives without replacing their heritage.

Support the Communities