Awaken

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Awaken is an organization that coordinates and facilitates travel itineraries for international visitors to Ecuador. We plan trips with a focus on the natural environment, Ecuador’s cultural heritage, and immersion in the local communities we visit. We also create unique experiences to inspire connection, personal growth, and unforgettable moments. Our ethos is to create travel itineraries with purpose. Our mission is provide transformative experiences that lead to personal growth. We also focus on sustainability as a fundamental pillar in the development of our programs. Our clients explore many destinations around Ecuador amidst volcanoes, mountains, rivers, beaches and rain forests, while learning about new cultures and traditions and developing ecological consciousness.
Member since: 26 Feb 2020

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

Awaken funds the Awaken Foundation. Our mission is to work with young children of
parents who are currently or were formerly in juvenile detention, as well as the parents
themselves in order to effectively reinsert each member of the family into society and
become productive citizens.
? All lodging for Awaken trips is run and operated by the local communities we visit. Our
suppliers are local entrepreneurs and we support their up and coming business initiatives.
? All meals are planned ahead for restaurants owned by community members.

Environmental responsibility

The destinations we visit on Awaken trips are controlled by the Ecuadorian Ministry of the
Environment, meaning that all guides in these areas have specific rules they must follow
in order to reduce their environmental impact.
? Awaken also works with ecology/animal reserves instead of larger foreign owned
organizations.
? Every program Awaken offers has a constant national guide throughout the entirety of
the trip as well as a local guide in each new community visited along the trip.
? Filtered water is provided while at the Awaken house to encourage participants to refill
their water bottles instead of buying single use plastic bottles.
? No plastic used on the trip, all meals are served on dinnerware
? Awaken is 100% paper free, all marketing and internal documents are online or in a
digital format
? Awaken uses local or shared transportation. Public transportation in Ecuador is easily
accessible and affordable which is why we incentivise our employees and encourage
our interns to use public transportation, we also have bicycles that we provide to our
staff members.
We enforce “leave no trace” rules and encourage our participants to use natural
products (mosquito repellent, sunscreen, etc.) which cause less impact on the animals
and the environment and are sourced and sold by the local community.

Social responsibility

Awaken foundation: We work with youth of parents who are currently or were formerly in
juvenile detention, as well as the parents themselves in order to effectively reinsert each
member of the family into society and become productive citizens. We support each
participant’s physical, psychological, behavioural, educational, and professional development while cultivating a better quality of life. Finally, we work with society at
large to raise awareness about a culture of compassion and social support.
? Awaken hosts three medical trips per year to communities that do not have readily
available access to health services and offers free care to patients of all ages and
health conditions.
? Once on the trip, our clients are debriefed each time we approach new communities
on local customs and ways of life that the participants will be exposed to.
All travellers have a skype call set up before departure so they can be aware of what to
expect with the trip itinerary. This included the country’s social, political and economic
situation. This is a time for our guides to address any questions or concerns regarding the
trip and to set expectations.

Community Projects Supported by Awaken
In every region we visit in Ecuador, we support local community projects, below we highlight
three examples, one from each part of Ecuador.
? Northern Highlands: San Clemente in Ibarra City is a project that allows for the cultural
exchange of ideas and educates trip members on how locals care for the environment.
This project was designed to directly involve each family of the community.
? Coastal Region: Rio Muchacho is a national geographic endorsed social enterprise that
involves the local community. This organic farm is dedicated to regenerative solutions in
agriculture, sustainability, education and responsible tourism.
? Amazon Jungle: Sinchi Warmi is an entrepreneurship project started by 11 Kichwa
women eager to have a better life style and give a better future to their children. They
work mainly by sharing their traditions, ancestral customs, and their respectful way to
coexist with Mother Nature.

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