Adventure Travel to Ecuador with a Side of Do-good

FEH Editor’s Note:  We love learning about new experiential travel opportunities especially ones that add a good dose of paying it forward.  Adventures in Preservation (AiP) is one of our preservation non-profit partners that organizes trips all around the world for travelers who are looking for an experience that takes them to historic towns, villages and cities to help preserve and restore historically significant structures. AiP’s excursions are open to both design professionals as well as people who are interested in learning more about preservation both from a historical perspective as well as a practical hands-on standpoint.

AiP recently partnered with Juan Diego Badillo, an architect from Ecuador, who is spearheading the efforts to save the local historic structures to help reinvigorate the local heritage tourism market. Over the last few years the area’s historic buildings have been demolished at an alarming rate prompting Juan Diego to sound the alarm bells. One man’s passion and determination has sparked an international partnership to save Ecuador’s vernacular architecture that is open to anyone interested to join.

Historic Ecuador
Photo by: Juan Diego Badillo

Juan Diego Badillo is crazy about the historic vernacular architecture in his home country of Ecuador. Juan became an architect, and earned an additional degree in preservation in order to become an advocate for the unique stone cottages and mills that, in the past, covered his native landscape. For the past five years, he has been working on a special project in the rural Andean foothills, and his fear is that the project will never gain a foothold.

Juan Diego has put in countless hours convincing, educating and energizing community members and students in and around San Andres along with the international community about the importance of saving Ecuador’s historic architecture. Juan reached out to Adventures in Preservation for assistance in his efforts. His goal is to get residents and building owners excited about saving and maintaining their historic masonry buildings that are constructed of lava stone from the nearby volcano.

SanAndres rodeo parade-JBadillo
Photo by: Juan Diego Badillo

Juan dreams of proving to Ecuadorians that their building traditions are valuable and admired by architecture lovers around the world. The proof will be seen in increasing numbers of heritage tourists, eager to explore villages filled with charming historic buildings, while they enjoy unique and delicious local foods, stay in local lodging, and purchase traditional crafts all of which support a developing economy desperately in need of a boost.

None of Juan’s visions can be realized if the vernacular architecture continues to be lost through neglect and demolition. Adventures in Preservation’s joint venture with Juan Diego this August can be a huge step toward success, if international volunteers join the effort, bringing their passion for saving this piece of the world’s varied historic architecture.

We are calling out to all adventure travelers looking for a unique experience that simultaneously helps a local community become economically sustainable. The trip is scheduled for August so if you are interested you need to hurry and sign up!

For more information about Adventures in Preservation and this amazing trip read more here.


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