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Fundación para la Vida Sostenible Yanapuma (Yanapuma)

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Public Statement 2012

Sustainable development opportunities for Tsa’chila communities
 Organization URL
Type of organization Environmental non government organization
Country Ecuador
Duration  4 years 
IAF funding   $211,700
 Counterpart committed $289,900
Number of direct &
indirect beneficiaries
Direct: 130
Indirect: at least 650 members of the community 
Primary program area Agriculture/food production

Organizational background:
Yanapuma Foundation works to alleviate poverty and promote sustainable development by building the capacity of marginalized communities to balance income generation with environmental stewardship, education and well-being. Legally constituted in 2006 as a not for profit organization, Yanapuma focuses on four thematic areas; agriculture and environment, health, education and sustainable economics. It manages a Spanish school that, together with the volunteer activities, covers its administrative costs and provides a small amount of funding for projects 

Project objective:
To process and sell organic cacao and vegetables in the national market.

Yanapuma will work in four Tsa’chila communities around Santo Domingo de las Tsa’chilas to support environmentally sustainable development through cultivating cacao and family gardens, marketing excess production and learning to process cacao into paste and candy. About 130 Tsa’chila peoples will participate in project activities that will indirectly benefit an additional 650 family members.

Rationale for funding:
This project is a cultural preservation project as much as an agricultural, environmental and economic development one. There is a growing Tsa’chila population that is relatively well educated with limited land so developing economic alternatives is crucial to keeping youth in the community. Since many Tsa’chila lack sufficient land to support themselves effectively, this grant will support ways to maximize and add value to their production. 

Learning opportunity:
This project will provide insight into: whether youth involvement will provide more economic and leadership opportunities for them, if the communities will organize beyond the family structure to market common goods, if nutritional practices will change based on vegetable production, and if the Tsa’chilas can reclaim their economy and produce more of their own food.