Guandera Reserve and Biological Station

The station offers a volunteer program for those interested in protecting the last remnants of Andean forest that once covered most parts of the Andes of Ecuador

A General Vision

Guandera is in the midst of the only remaining expanse of ancient high altitude forest that once covered the Ecuadorian Andes. Now the forest is found in an area in which less than 4% of the original forests were left intact. This forest is found only on the inter-Andean slopes, in the valley between the eastern and western cordilleras.

The station lies on a transitional ridge where the forest abruptly ends and turns into páramo grassland. At 3,100 to 3,600 meters above sea level, the forest is unique on a world scale because it possesses a surprisingly diverse flora and fauna for such a high altitude site. Norman Myers has recently classified the Andean Mountain forests as the world’s first “conservation hotspot”.

The Guandera Reserve and Biological Station is a centre for field research, education, and ecotourism. The reserve includes over 1000 hectares and is available for use by researchers, universities and tourists interested in exploring the fascinating flora, fauna and culture of the Ecuadorian highlands.

The Guandera Biological Station and Reserve is located in the high Andes of northern Ecuador in the Carchi Province. Guandera is in the midst of the only remaining expanse of ancient high altitude forest that once covered the Ecuadorian Andes.

Height (m.s.n.m): 3,329 – 4100 Temperature (ºC): 10 Pluviometric Precipitation (mm3): 750-1000

Guandera Biological Reserve:

  • Planting of Andean tubers.
  • Seed collection (about 10 to 15 species of seeds are harvested every week).
  • Project for introducing trout in the area: construction of 2 pools for keeping trouts.
  • Cleaning and maintenance of plants.
  • Maintenance of trails.
  • Feeding and taking care of guinea pigs.
  • Educational hikes to forest and moor.
  • Maintenance of botanical garden including tree nursery.
  • Cleaning of station and houses roof.
  • Cleaning and maintenance of forest nursery.
  • Vermiculture, and using of compost as fertilizer for different species of Andean tubers.
  • Planting of about 10 types of different potatoes.
  • Planting of organic vegetables in season.
  • Cleaning of  water tanks.
  • Building signage for trail.
  • Labelling of plants in the botanical garden.
  • Learning about proper tree planting.

Mariscal Sucre Community:

  • Planting of vegetables on organic farm of Emilio Montenegro.
  • English classes at village schools.
  • Loading materials for the village water system of the Minga Community.