Inti Sisa, what signifies ‘sunflower’ in Kichwa, is a community project, located in one of the most traditional regions in Ecuador: 95% of the people here are indigenous (the original population). From the demand for better and more practical education, the educational project Inti Sisa was founded in 1999. What started with some motorbikes to go to teach in the local mountain communities has grown into a thriving educational centre in Guamote village, where we teach computer, sewing, music and English. Where we receive every day 40 toddlers and where we help the children from the neighborhood with their homework. And where we since 2004 have opened our door for tourists who want to experience some of the real Ecuador.
“Inti Sisa is an inter-cultural, inter-national and inter-etnical project, a place where people from all nationalities, all ages, all backgrounds and all religions can meet. It is a unique project in a unique village with unique people!”
History of the foundation
The first volunteers who came from Belgium to Guamote, went with motorbikes to the different communities to help the local teachers. Thanks to the huge efforts of Greta and Philip De Bruyne (the two godfathers of the project) enough money was collected to build an educational center in Guamote itself, where we teach sewing, computer, English and music and where we also have a kindergarten. Early 2001, the first bricks of the new educational center and the guesthouse were laid down. This guesthouse was founded with the goal of funding the educational project.
On top of that, this way more jobs were created (in a village that has few job opportunities to offer). Today, 15 people work for Inti Sisa Art Guesthouse and Inti Sisa foundation (cooks, guides, teachers) who all get paid an honest wage, have social security and whose children, husbands and wives also have found a second home in Inti Sisa.
And we managed to get together a great team!
Want to help?
One way you can help the Inti Sisa foundation and community, is by filling some empty space in your suitcase or backpack with things that are very welcome in Guamote! For example, gifts for the children could include: colouring crayons and pencils, colouring books, English story books for small children, wooden jigsaw puzzles, kids clothing, balloons, pens, jumping rope, crayons for on the sidewalk, handicraft materials, stamps, glue, etc.
Gifts for the adults are also welcome, like clothes, sweaters (everything maximum in a size Medium as the people in Guamote are not so tall…), shoes (maximum size 38 for women and 40 for men), underwear, socks.
And while you’re at it, you can make Tom very happy with a bottle of Belgian Duvel beer… And Eva with some real chocolate spread!
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Our volunteers’ task is supporting our local personnel in the different workshops and the guesthouse. Since the early years, nearly twenty different volunteers have dedicated their time longterm to the Inti Sisa foundation and Inti Sisa Art Guesthouse.
Guamote is a region where socio-economic circumstances do not make life easy, nor for the local population, nor for our volunteers who leave their European luxury life behind in order to live an unique experience, solely driven by their idealism and feeling of justice.
Interested in volunteering…? Please read the following: our low budget way of working does not permit us to offer more commodities to our volunteers. Profit and gifts are used in the first place to pay an honest wage to our local personnel.
Are you still interested? Please contact Eva Gielis on firstname.lastname@example.org or Inti Sisa Art Guesthous on www.intisisa.com.
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