The families described below have expressed an interest in having a volunteer live with them. If you think you would get along well there, tell your guide during the immersion week that you'd like to stay on as a volunteer, and you can work things out from there. You can also seek out a host family that is not listed here on your own once you get to the community. The cost for living with a family is $40 per week including a private room and three meals a day.
Consuelo Tonato (Mulalillo)
Don Bolivar Solis (Mulalillo)
Dueña Maria de Carmen Tapia (Mulalillo)
Consuelo Tonato's family (Mulalillo)
Consuelo, 24, lives in a 3-story house that is about a five-minute walk from Mulalillo's main park. Her mother, Ines, makes meat and vegetable kebabs (pinchos) and sells them in the park in the evenings. Her father, Pascual, drives a pick-up truck/taxi. Consuelo also lives with an 8-year-old brother who goes to school every day, and every weekend her two sisters from Quito come to visit, along with two 6-year-old nephews.
The Tonatos would like to house one or two volunteers in two bedrooms that are currently empty on the third floor of their house. The rooms, along with Consuelo's bedroom, open to a spacious balcony overlooking the rural road. The bathroom on the first floor has a hot water shower, or if that fails, there is also a hot water shower at the grandfather's house up the road.
Consuelo works Monday through Friday selling vehicles in Ambato, a city about 45 minutes from Mulalillo. In general, the family wakes up at about 6 a.m. and has breakfast at around 7 or 7:30 a.m. The mother milks the family cows before breakfast, and after breakfast she feeds guinea pigs and takes care of the vegetable garden before starting to make lunch. The family, except for Consuelo, has lunch at around noon or 1 p.m., and after that the mother begins assembling pinchos. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the mother sells pinchos barbecued over coals at a spot next to the main park, and after that she goes back home to have an evening coffee with bread.
A volunteer living with the Tonatos could help the mother with morning chores (milking the cows, tending to guinea pigs and vegetables, etc.) and with assembling and selling pinchos. Also, the volunteer could help out on the 12-acre cooperative organic farm, AEICAEM, which Ines is a partner of, and he or she could teach English at the local school that the younger brother attends. On Thursdays, the mother buys ingredients for her pinchos at a very colorful local market, and the cooperative farm partners also sell their products at the market.
Don Bolivar Solis' family: (Mulalillo)
Don Bolivar Solis, his wife Nelly and their 11-year-old son Bolivar Jr. would like to have three or four volunteers in their house, which has empty bedrooms on the second floor.
"Don Bolo" is a long-time lover of nature, agricultural and herbal medicine and he and his brother have wanted for a long time to start a form of eco/agrotourism. Don Bolo recently quit his job as a credit lender and is now dedicating his time to cultivating his land and the organic farm land owned cooperatively by members of the association AEICAEM.
A volunteer living with Don Bolo and his family could help feed and clean their 100 chickens and 15 guinea pigs, and farm their three hectares of land as well as their AEICAEM plots which have many types of fruits and vegetables. The Solises are also growing grains including quinoa, barley and wheat using seeds donated by the Maquita Chushunchic Foundation which will sell the crops after they are harvested.
In his spare time, Don Bolo also likes to paint and do carpentry work such as making furniture and wooden sculptures.
Dueña Maria de Carmen Tapia's family: (Mulalillo)
Dueña Maria has four daughters and a young son, so she would prefer to have one volunteer female friend in her house. Her daughters Marisol, 23, Mariela, 19, Maria Belen, 16, Andrea, 10, all leave by around 5:30 a.m. to study in other cities while Maria takes 6-year-old Javier to school in nearby Salcedo.
After returning from Salcedo, Maria is mostly by herself during the day. Her husband, Marco, works as a bus/pick-up truck chofer while she takes care of her 20 guinea pigs, 35 rabbits, two pigs and one calf as well as the family garden which includes corn, broad beans, peas, herbs and alfalfa.
A volunteer living with Dueña Maria would have his or her own bedroom and could help the mother with tending to the animals and vegetables around the house, as well as her plots within the cooperative organic farm AEICAEM. All of Dueña Maria's kids like English, so the volunteer would be more than welcome to tutor English to the family.