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Sumak Kawsay In Situ (SKIS), which roughly translated means “good living in the natural/
original place,” is a center for environmental information, research, and ecotourism.
humid tropical forest,
Ecuador- Pastaza Province, Mera County
Altitude: 1475 meters (4840 ft) above sea level
The main building at SKIS is a three story, open sided structure that accommodates tent and hammock camping on the top two levels. The bottom level is used for dining, instructional courses, field training, processing field samples and general work space. The main building also hosts two showers, two bathrooms, the kitchen, and staff housing. Three meals a day are provided. Food consists of typical Ecuadorian cuisine- soup, rice, eggs, salad, beans, chicken and beef, and occasionally fish.
We Hope to have a volunteer cabin, with bunk beds, work space, and internet. We are also developing plans for an outpost the base of the Llanganates mountains for researchers and overnight trips to the primary forest of the upper Río Anzu. The shelter will have a dirt floor, tin roof, and a raised firepit for cooking.
Don't get lost!
Know where you're going before you arrive
At Sumak Kawsay In Situ our main goal is to connect people to the outdoors, deepen their appreciation for and understanding of the
natural world, inspire personal growth, and conserve our surrounding environment through sustainable practices, land preservation, and education. Whether you’re a primary investigator exploring options for a field site, a student fresh out of college trying to figure out what’s next, or a nine-to-fiver just looking to get escape the office for a week, SKIS offers an immersive and affordable setting for your next big adventure.
Flora & Fauna
Learn more about the people, places, and things
Around Sumak Kawsay In Situ!
Located in the Pastaza province of Ecuador, in the upper Amazon at the foothills of the Andes, SKIS and the surrounding area hosts a unique mix of upland and lowland ecosystems, flora, and fauna, as well as a unique limestone geology. The region, much of which is remote and unexplored, supports the greatest biodiversity on earth, and is home to countless species yet to be discovered.
With the Amazonian forest as our classroom and snow-capped volcanoes as our amphitheater, you’ll walk down the mountain at the end of your stay feeling rejuvenated, impassioned, and fulfilled in a way like never before.
Augmenting scientific understanding is a huge focus of ours at Sumak Kawsay In Situ. The upper Río Anzu region is one of the last relatively unexplored regions of the world, and over the past 30 years we’ve been working to form a deeper and more integrated understanding of the region through scientific investigations.
A wide range of research projects, from botanical surveying and mammal camera trap monitoring to studies of Pitviper habitat selection and geological characterization, have been carried out at SKIS and in the surrounding areas.
At SKIS we’ll work with you in whatever capacity you you'd like to make sure you’re able to collect the data you need.
Investigation of subterranean macroinvertebrates
If you have a developed project in place, we’ll provide you with the essentials - an established workplace and basic facilities, maps, breakfast, dinner, and a pack-out lunch. If you have a project in mind, but haven’t planned it out yet, come to SKIS and, together with our research director, Alex, and research associates, we’ll work with you to develop a viable project plan.
Sumak has a large base of scientific gear, from compasses to collection containers, thermometers, test tubes and more. Planning a research trip? Contact Alex to discuss what you’ll need and what we have!
Ongoing camera trap study of mammal spacial ecology and activity
-Panthera onca - Jaguar
LlanganateS-Sangay Ecological corridor
SKIS sits at the feet of Ecuador’s fourth largest National Park, Llanganates; and just To the south lies Sangay National Park. We are situated in the Rio Anzu watershed of the eco-corridor, a unique region that received one of the World Wildlife Foundation's premier distinctions, "regalo de la tierra," in the year 2000. With large expanses of unexplored territory, an unmatched level of biodiversity, and a uncommon degree of habitat connectivity, The Llanganates-Sangay Ecological Corridor is an area that warrants further investigation in a diversity of different studies.
Read more about the local development and conservation of the Llanganates-Sangay Ecological Corridor
Soon to be under construction is a canopy bridge. This addition will allow for comparative investigations into one of the last terrestrial frontiers!
Base- facilities & meals
Caving with guide
Overnight (with guide)
$15 per day
*The use of some equipment, such as GPS devices & camera traps, will include daily costs.
Ecotourism is not simply visiting a natural area, rather it involves an integrated experience with sustainable, low-impact living, environmental education, and support of local communities.
Ecotourism is a rapidly growing trend among curious adventurers and nature lovers of all ages.
click on a package to learn more,
or order yours
At SKIS we provide a flexible and customizable platform for creating your own ecotourism experience.
We also provide customizable packages for those who want a more diverse experience
Join us in the jungle, and contribute to something greater. You'll be Working with other volunteers from all over the world on 12+ different projects ranging from sustainable agriculture development to herpetology research. contribute to something Bigger than yourself, and leave having achieved a great deal of personal growth.
Are you ready to leave a lasting impact on the environment, people, and culture around you? Join a community developed through a common vision for conservation, education, and environmental formation!
How it Works
18+ years of age
You MUST speak either Spanish or English, and you must have a basic understanding of Spanish.