Colonche - Santa Elena - Guayas  Ecuador

 

        

                                                                                                         Padre Bertram

 

Ecological Produce

Products

Plan for Interconnected Development

In search of Solidarity Market

About the Project Executor

A Division of the Ecuadorian Foundation “Santa Maria del Fiat”

 

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Ecological Produce

 

We are growing aloe Vera barbadensis mille and opuntia in the virgin land of the mountainous Colonche in the Santa Elena Peninsula, Provincia Guayas, Ecuador. We guarantee the natural, non-accelerated growth of the plants without the use of any chemical or inorganic fertilizing.

To keep the plants always green, we manually water each one during the dry season. 

To prevent the corrosive effect of automated irrigation, we refuse to use mechanized watering which could                jeopardize the scarce sources of drinking water in this semi-desert area.

Moreover, the manual irrigation allows us to detect early the irregularities in the growth of the plants and the                presence of diseases (although up to this day, there has not been any).

            This 100 % natural plant grows only with the help of the human hand to yield a product of exceptional quality.

            The ecosystem is not affected by this type of cultivation, and the plants meet the requirements for                                      the production of first grade nutrition components, medicine or  cosmetics.  

 

 

 

Products for sale

  • Raw packaged pencas???, boxed without any treatment
  • Crystal or pulp of Aloe Vera, vacuumed in quantities ordered by the client and vacuumed without preservatives
  • Crystal or pulp in 200 kg (lbs) cans with absorbent acid.
  •  20% concentrate pasteurized in cans of 50 kg ( lb)
Marmalade (flavors available: mango, papaya, banana, passion fruit)

 

 

Opuntia

 

  • Boxed fresh fruit
  • Vacuumed Purified pulp
  • Pulp concentrate
  • Marmalade
Organic drinks (with Aloe Vera, miel silvestre??? etc.)

 

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Plan for Interconnected Development

 The cultivation and production of Aloe Vera and opuntia is accomplished in an area adverse for the development of agriculture because of its arid and semi-desert climate. The development of conventional agriculture, which requires the appropriate sources of irrigation, is forever precluded given the lack of water, the limited resources for the acquisition of the advanced technology and the competitiveness of the market.  Therefore, it was opted for products which do not require excessive irrigation as an alternative path of development which could be generalized for Ecuador as a whole. The farmers cultivate their own land and preserve their autonomy as owners. They are incorporated in a cooperative ???? . Thus, over a 15 year term we expect to be able to raise the standard of living of their families as to insure in its entirety their essential nutrition, medical, education and housing  needs. We are convinced that the rural countryside can provide for a decent human life and we want to prevent the constant flight of the people to the larger cities.

Due to the lack of infrastructure, the local population receives inadequate training and education.  The school system performs poorly and the young people in the area are marginalized and disadvantaged for life. The project of Aloe Vera and opuntia originated as grass root effort for financing of the local schools. Six from the twenty communities in the parish are employing additional private instructors. This project, therefore, is expected to confront the serious educational problems for the children in the area. At the same time, ways of self-financing are sought for the only private high school in the area in order to keep the cost  of tuition low. Currently, 148 students are attending this institution. 

            What was, and still is, a community project was expanded to provide the families of the local farmers a source of more reliable income. The traditional and commonly practiced non-mechanized seasonal cultivation of corn does not in reality assure profitable returns.

            The cultivation of aloe Vera and opuntia entails only manual labor. Therefore, provision of additional employment was the other main reason for the choice of these products.

         

 In search of Solidarity Market

 We are well aware that we cannot compete with the big producers of aloe Vera in the global market. Therefore, we are looking for business partners targeting clients who take in consideration the social problems of the developing South.

            We would like to sell our products to clients who are looking for exceptional quality and are willing to pay a solidarity price in order to justify the method of production which assures the natural, non-accelerated growth of the plants without constant irrigation.

 

For the interested investor:

While still in the initial phase of the project, we are looking for investors to allow the cultivation of greater territory and the incorporation of more farmers.  We are interested in a loan of US $ 500.000,  40% of which will be used for cultivation and 60% for a processing plant. We can offer a 6% annual inters over a 10 year term, hypothecating the processing plant itself and fifty hectares of land.

 About the project executor

 In September of 1994, Father Bertram Wick, ordained priest from Switzerland, was assigned as the parish of the Catholic Church in the district of Colonche. Since the life of the parish does not consist only in attending and guiding the spiritual life the congregation, there has been an outgoing effort to improve the standard of living for all people living in the area:

            In addition to the  parochial high school three years ago, the parish opened a medical cabinet and a public pharmacy. It also provides for 70 high school and university fellowships, and covers the medical expenses of 140 widows and widowers in the area. Following the devastation incurred by phenomenon El Nino, the parish facilitated the construction and financing of 90 houses. Finally, in 1998 the parish renovated the historical 18th century temple in Colonche constructed entirely of wood.

The funding for all these activities came from the international community, especially from Switzerland, Germany, the United States, Italy and Austria.

            Nevertheless, in search of self-sustainable financing for the solutions of our problems and endless petitions, we hope that our own work to insure the substantial improvement of our lives.  The parish researched the horticultural conditions of this semi-desert area and experimented with grape, pineapple, passion fruit, etc. As a result, the most promising and suitable products proved to be Aloe Vera, and as of recently, opuntia.

            Two years ago a local Farmers Association was established to take advantage of preferential prices for seeds and fertilizers purchased at bulk and a rotating system for crediting. Currently, the same farmers also participate in the Aloe Vera project                                   

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Father Bertram Wick is a member of the Ecuadorian Foundation “Santa Maria of the Faith”  located in Manglaralto, in the up most northern part of the Peninsula of Santa Elena. For further information, please contact:

 

                                                              www.fsmfiat-ecuador.org

                                                                       Bajada/Colonche-Ecuador


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