Roof needing repair.jpg

Adventure Details 

Project Instructors

Hakan Karlsson
Co-Founder & Volunteer Coordinator
EcuEVP – Ecuador Exchange and Volunteer Programs

Hakan is from Stockholm, Sweden where he worked in construction as an electrician. He moved to Ecuador in 2005 and along with Patricia Fernandez, established the organization, Ecuador Exchange and Volunteer Programs.

Hakan and Patricia lead volunteer groups, teaching them the skills necessary to repair historic architecture.

Project Organizers

Patricia Fernandez
Co-Founder & Project Coordinator
EcuEVP –
Ecuador Exchange and Volunteer Programs

EcuEVP is a nonprofit based in Quito, Ecuador. Their mission is to provide support to local communities by bringing volunteers from around the world to work and learn Spanish.  Volunteers are able to experience daily Ecuadorian life and share their culture with local residents. EcuEVP believes if you embrace the local culture and language there is no limit to what you can experience in Ecuador.


Week 1 – La Esperanza
Double Room: US$1590
Single Room: Additional US$300

Week 2 – Optional Tour of Galapagos Islands
Double Room: US$1950
Single Room: Additional US$300 


Join us for one adventure in preservation, and you’ll receive a 10% discount on all subsequent adventures.

Additional Cost Information

Costs are per person.

Your fee includes:

  • All ground transportation, including airport pick-up and drop-off

  • Lodging

  • All meals

  • Translator

  • Instruction

  • Excursions (Galapagos Tour is an additional fee)

All participants are responsible for:

  • Airfare to Quito, Ecuador

  • Visa if required

  • Travel health insurance, including emergency evacuation coverage. Send AiP proof of purchase.


Nuestra Senora de La Esperanza Church & Convent
La Esperanza, Ecuador

Save Ecuador’s Traditional Architecture – Explore Galapagos Islands

Work Week: August 15-23, 2020
Optional Tour of Galapagos Islands: August 23-29, 2020

Learn traditional building skills as you join conservation efforts that hold the key to economic growth through heritage tourism.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

La Esperanza is a picturesque village in northern Ecuador that sits just below the slopes of Volcán Imbabura. Although this tranquil agricultural town is off the beaten path for most tourists, it has an interesting past. Music greats such as Bob Dylan, members of Pink Floyd and Joan Baez found their way here to enjoy the local magic mushrooms. Today, the village is just as magical with most visitors coming for the amazing views as they climb the volcano.

Why Volunteer in Ecuador

Ecuador is losing its traditional built heritage. Saving the vernacular stone buildings typical of the Andean foothill region is key to energizing the economy of the villages and preserving the environment of the foothills. Traditional skills, combined with current preservation methods, are vital to maintaining these charming stone buildings, perfectly designed to deal with the Andean landscape and climate.

Photo courtesy of Keepin Hope Alive, Joes Trippin

Photo courtesy of Keepin Hope Alive, Joes Trippin

AiP jammers will help preserve historic buildings that are interwoven into the social fabric of La Esperanza. Residents have requested that their church, which is central to community activities, be addressed first to stop ongoing deterioration.

By demonstrating the beautiful results of conservation work at the site most important to the community, our goal is to pique interest in saving other vernacular architecture, from picturesque houses to small stone shops. AiP jammers will work with the community to save historic buildings and retain the visual beauty of the region’s unique cultural landscape. 

When I found Adventures in Preservation, I was so excited to see the work that you do – both the projects themselves and the educational and cultural opportunities they provide. [AiP] incorporates so many things that are important to me – the hands on experience, getting people involved in preservation, and travel beyond just tourism.
Riley Marshall 2019

Project and needs

Photo courtesy of Keepin Hope Alive, Joes Trippin

Photo courtesy of Keepin Hope Alive, Joes Trippin

The Nuestra Senora de La Esperanza church and convent is the focus of the August 2020 project. Construction of the church began in the early 1800s, but there is no record of the exact date. It was home to several religious orders, becoming increasingly important after the earthquake of 1868 that tragically killed hundreds of people. 

Church after earthquake.png

Work will include:

  • Removal of roof tiles

  • Cleaning and repainting tiles in preparation for re-use

  • Following repair of damaged beams by local craftsmen, carry tiles into position for relaying roof

  • Sand wooden elements of spiral staircase and repaint

  • Remove ceiling materials damaged by leaking roof

  • Clean and oil wooden structure under newly laid roof tiles.

If time allows, we will help with refinishing window frames.

During your adventure, you will be part of:

  • Creating a much needed change in perception about the value of historic buildings

  • Encouraging community members to join in re-learning Ecuador’s traditional building skills

  • Building a sustainable economy through heritage tourism

As an AiP jammer, you play a vital role!

Lodging and Meals

Since Esperanza is a small village, we will be staying at Hacienda Natubuela in the nearby town of Ibarra. 

Breakfast is served at the hacienda before we head to Esperanza, about 25 minutes away. Lunch is at the work site, prepared by a local family, who will make food that is typical of the region. Dinners will be at a local restaurant or in the hotel restaurant.  


On the drive from Quito to Ibarra, we will visit Cochasqui archeological ruins, where a local guide will explain this old civilization. This will be followed by a visit to the famous market in Otavalo. During the week, you will have time to explore Ibarra and La Esperanza.

Week two provides the opportunity for an Optional Tour of the amazing Galapagos Islands. We will spend four days visiting a variety of remarkable sites on the islands and a fifth day exploring Quito. You will – 

  • Explore the landscape along Tortuga Bay with its many unique plants and animals

  • Travel by boat to North Seymour, Santa Cruz and Santiago Island, with several chances to snorkel

  • Walk to the top of Bartolome for a spectacular view

A minimum of 6 people is required for this Optional Tour. Your deposit for the Galapagos tour will be fully refunded if fewer than 6 people register for this option. 

Deadline for Optional Tour registration is February 1, 2020.

Travel Details

Plan to arrive in Quito on Saturday afternoon or evening, August 15. You will be met at the airport and taken to our lodging for Saturday night. The group will travel to Ibarra on Sunday, where we will settle in at our lodging.

Work takes place in Esperanza Monday through Saturday morning, with the return trip to Quito on Saturday afternoon, August 22. If you do not plan to take the Optional Trip to the Galapagos Islands, schedule your flight out of Quito on Sunday, August 23. 

If you sign up for the trip to the Galapagos Islands, we will fly out of Quito early Sunday morning, August 23, and explore the islands Sunday through Wednesday. Thursday, we will return to Quito where we’ll spend the night and tour sites in Quito on Friday. Schedule your departure for Friday, August 28, late afternoon or evening, or remain on your own to further enjoy this beautiful city.

Temperatures in Esperanza in August range from average daytime highs in the 80s F to nighttime lows in the 60s F. Bring clothing that is appropriate for the weather and also protective while working. Sturdy close-toed shoes are required for working. August is the dry season, but a rain jacket is recommended. 

Contact us if you have additional questions.

If you would like assistance with travel arrangements, contact Peace Frogs Travel/Outfitters, AiP’s partnering travel agency.

Join us at this important building conservation project – Register today!

If you have any questions or would like to chat with an AiP staff member about joining this cultural heritage experience, contact us at or call us at +1 303-444-0128.