The Yunguilla project, spanning nearly 30 years exemplifies the concept of "Responsible Management of Natural Resources." This initiative, agreed upon by a small community situated at 2650 meters above sea level. Transitioning from a subsistence economy, the approximately 250 residents have, since 1995, successfully halted deforestation and, alongside reforestation and environmental measures, transformed their area into an attractive ecotourism destination within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve "Chocó Andino de Pichincha."

Located in a cloud forest region of the Andes at the top of a scenic valley near Quito, Yunguilla is surrounded by a biodiverse 8000-hectare forest, home to orchids, hummingbirds, and occasionally spectacled bears. Visitors can enjoy day excursions on historic Inca trails, guided cloud forest tours, and multi-day programs. These activities offer insights into the community’s sustainable lifestyle and deep respect for nature. The homestay program is central to this experience, allowing guests to live with local families, partake in shared meals, and understand their daily life and sustainable practices, like cheese making, jam production, and farming, all within the context of genuine hospitality.

Award Rationale

Rolando Collaguazo
Comunidad Yunguilla
170310 Calicali-Yunguilla #004, Ecuador
Tel.: +593 979 721 09, e-mail:, Web: