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Chocolate Farm and Amazon Rafting Adventures in Ecuador


Life is a tree:

A journey of service and simple wilderness living in the highlands and Amazon of Ecuador

Age: High School (14-18)

August 7-21, 2020 (15 days)

Gogi Abroad and Nahual Expediciones come together to offer a unique experience of travel and giving back to the earth and its inhabitants. 

In an era where sustainability is no longer just a concept, but now a need in all our actions, we merge the opportunity of travel with leaving good traces and exploring new cultures and knowledge. Through outdoor adventure and sustainable living: we will visit permaculture farms both in the highlands and the Amazon basin; we will work with the locals and indigenous communities; experience world class rafting; and get to connect with the land and its people, in deep and meaningful ways!

The Amazon Rainforest has the ability to capture the imagination like no other place on earth. The river is a classic descent through breathtaking jungle scenery with traditional homes along the shore. The combination of wildlife,  impressive waterfalls and engaging Gogi/Nahual guides will ensure the trip of a lifetime!

In a Service Learning situation, the effort or service to a community, while needing hands, plans, muscles, and thought, benefits the students and faculty directly. The students and faculty are involved in helping others, but what we get out of our efforts far outweighs the benefit to the recipient of the work. We learn a new skill, use a talent in a new way, or are allowed to grow in thought and creativity as we work. We are encouraged to try new, unexplored avenues to engineer a walkway or build an adobe wall. The end result is that Service Learning benefits the worker as much, if not more than the receiver.  

In a Service Learning environment, the emphasis is on what we are learning. Our personal growth comes from the perspective that we are all students, being allowed an education by doing. We walk away richer, wiser, and thankful.
— Laurie Fichter
We fully believe that through service learning we are able to immerse and learn about ourselves and make meaningful connections.

We fully believe that through service learning we are able to immerse and learn about ourselves and make meaningful connections.

Trip highlights

  • Arrive to Palugo Farm and take part in the rhythm of a permaculture farm. Prepare for expedition through food preparation, community building and farm work 

  • Experience the Azhanga Permaculture Chocolate Farm.  Here we will learn the process of “plant to truffle” for making chocolate as well as spend days working with the local Kichwa community in education and reforestation

  • Rafting on the spectacular amazon and see the jungle scenery in nature reserves and national parks

  • Explore caves and beautiful rock formations, swim in natural river pools

  • Discover and be immersed in a new culture with Kichwa communities promoting self sufficiency and eco tourism initiatives

  • Learn from experienced Nahual rafting guides who will ensure that your adventure is safe and exciting

  • Explore Quito with its fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art; walk the narrow cobblestone streets, buy souvenirs, and take in the architecture.

  • End your journey by relaxing and rejuvenating in the mineral-rich, Papallacta hot springs

Gogi has nurtured a relationship with Nahual ( and Palugo Farm for a decade. Our own families have developed a relationship, we’ve connected with the indigenous people and the land, and created an important sisterhood to help students and adults transform and grow while traveling. The Gogi-Nahual sisterhood is based on the common goal of seeing the world and all its cultural wonders through the lens of exchange, empowerment, education, and environmental awareness.

The Gogi Abroad-Nahual sisterhood is grounded in the common goal of seeing the world, its wonders, diverse cultures and realities through the eyes of empowerment, education and environmental awareness. and


Our homebase: Palugo Farm

An hour from Quito, Palugo Farm is an agricultural oasis. A year-round CSA, the farm is nestled on 240 beautiful acres and employs ecological building principles. Fresh, local fruits, veggies, meat, and dairy nourish us and wildlife viewing enhances our stay. Palugo is an ideal place for the group to get acclimated to the altitude (2800m above sea level) and to Ecuadorian Culture.

 An immersion into simple living begins as soon as you arrive at the Palugo farm in Ecuador. Palugo is a 4th generation family farm dedicated to sustainable practices and providing a space for learning directly from the land and its people. Here, the organic gardens, dairy cows, llamas and chickens help us to understand ancient farming techniques while participating in engaging hands-on work.


Life at the farm involves a wide range of projects and daily chores. You will process your own food, learn native crafts and work on service-learning projects. Whether making drums, traditional flutes, “esteras” mattresses or adobe structures, our projects will start from scratch and be guided by the help of native craftsmen unveiling traditions that have lasted many centuries. 


Azhanga Chakra Chocolate Farm and Community!  

This is a special permaculture project nurtured by an older couple from the city who decided to go back to the land and regenerate farm land into secondary and productive edible forest. Here you will learn about their farming practices and make delicious organic chocolate from harvest, fermentation to roasting and elaborating your own truffles. There are native trees, a beautiful river, and growing cacao trees to host our stay as well as the opportunity to connect with the local community in sustainability projects.


What’s included:

  • All ground transportation in Ecuador, including pick up from the airport 

  • All accommodations in Ecuador 

  • Three daily meals (made from locally grown, organic food), including water, tea, and juice

  • Craft supplies and instruction

  • Guided tours

  • Excursion to hot springs 

  • Gogi/Nahual guides to educate, and connect students to another culture and family. 

What’s NOT included:

  • Roundtrip airfare to Quito ($400-$800)

  • Excess baggage charges 

  • Food and drinks at the airport

  • Food and meals in addition to the three daily meals provided

  • Personal expenses, such as gifts 

  • Travel insurance (around $65-$100)

  • Tips ($20-$50 per student) 

For more information please contact: or 802-275-2948