The Ecoroute "El Paseo del Quinde"  
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THE ECOROUTE
"EL PASEO DEL QUINDE"

The western hills and slopes of Pichincha are excellent for bird studies and has several roads leading into them from the Capital with eco-tourism places of interest.
The Nono-Mindo road is the best route for birdwatchers and is entered via Av. Occidental, the road houses several lodges on route so look out if you wish to do some horse riding, swim in the pools or just take in the tranquility and fresh, clean air. Two good examples on the road are Bellavista and Tandayapa.
Perhaps the easier road to take within the western slopes for motorists is the Northern route of Calacali-Esmeraldas road for driving which begins near the Middle of the world monument due to paved roads.

 

THE ECOROUTE
     
"EL PASEO DEL QUINDE"
 

The Ecoroute — “El Paseo del Quinde” — is an integrated conservation and nature tourism project that will convert the beautiful rural Quito-Nono-Tandayapa-San Tadeo/Mindo road into an eco-tourism magnet. This project will contribute to the conservation of the important biodiversity of this zone and to an improved standard of living for the local inhabitants of the surrounding communities in northwestern Pichincha province, Ecuador. It is also designed as a replicable model to be developed throughout the country.
The Mindo Cloudforest Foundation (MCF) created this route concept and through a series of strategic alliances and community workshops has helped form a community-based management committee that is now responsible for the implementation of its various elements.

 
THE ECOROUTE
 




This, as part of our charter to protect endemic and threatened species of flora and fauna and their habitat through the sustainable management of natural resources, especially avifauna. This focus on birds is what led us to select the name Paseo del Quinde: Quinde is Quechua for hummingbird and widely used in Ecuador, and a paseo is a stroll, say, or going for a spin.

“The " Old Nono-Mindo Roadis the original main highway” leaving from the north of Quito to the coast. In the eighties a parallel paved highway was built, leaving the old gravel road largely abandoned and ecologically intact. It takes off to the north of Quito and descends down the natural transect from the temperate habitats of Volcán Pichincha through the cloudforests of the Mindo highlands for about 75 kilometers. While this old road has been known as a birders’ route for years, now we propose to take it to another level.


THE ECOROUTE
     
"EL PASEO DEL QUINDE"
 


Our larger aim is that this Ecoroute will serve as a model to be replicated and implemented in other parts of the country where rural roads provide access to good habitat, scenic beauty and other potential tourist attractions. This is an efficient and competitive form of management where income generated by tourism will be invested in conservation and the creation of jobs in rural communities. We will show that a relatively small investment can benefit both communities and the environment using nature tourism as an economic motor. This vision is new to Ecuador and will help this country achieve the status of preferred nature tourism destination it so richly deserves, while conserving habitat and species.

 
THE ECOROUTE
 

Specifically, an Ecoroute should have:

  • Scenic overlooks, trails, interpretive centers, and other tourism features;
  • Improved scenic beauty with native species reforestation, landscaping and responsible waste management;
  • A security system to include control points at the various road entrances, a radio network and security vehicles;
  • Route zoning and the creation of a land ownership and habitat status data base including detailed mapping;
  • A strategic tourism development plan to include the collection of entrance fees to assure the project’s eventual financial independence;
  • Human capital to staff and run different tourist activities;
  • A new national protection category specifically for ecoroutes or the necessary interpretation of existing laws to facilitate the implementation of these routes and guarantee their protection;
  • The production and commercialization of handicrafts and souvenirs by local women’s and other target groups; and finally
  • The strengthening of community organizations so that they can manage the Ecoroute and are able to direct their own development.
THE PROGRESS UPDATE
     
THE PROGRESS UPDATE
 
  • The Ecoroute management committee is functioning with representatives of the communities found along the route, area businesses, MCF and the local conservation foundation, Puntos Verdes. This committee has taken on the responsibility to continue organizing and implementation work begun by MCF.
  • We have attained key strategic alliances with the Ecuadorian Tourism Ministry and CORPEI (Ecuadorian government non-profit corporation for the promotion of exports and investments), who together have financed and built the route’s initial basic infra-structure: control points, overlooks and signage. The construction of these basic elements is near complete as of October, 2005. Further, in a recent meeting the country’s Minister of Tourism, María Isabel Salvador, announced that this Pilot Ecoroute and other Ecoroutes are included in her 2006 budget.
  • The San Francisco University of Quito has designed, produced and distributed some basic promotional materials for the route.
  • The Ministry of Tourism is currently holding intensive courses for the training of local naturalist guides. 
  • Partial funding for community run micro-businesses has been approved by USAID.
 
THE PROGRESS
 



  • The local foundation Puntos Verdes has agreed to implement a reforestation, aesthetic recuperation and community self-esteem building project along the route, however financing for this has yet to be obtained.§ The conservation foundation Jocotoco operates the Yanacocha reserve near Nono on the Ecoroute and has similarly agreed to participate and assist us in our efforts.
  • The conservation foundation Centro Integral Nubesierra operates the Verdecocha reserve near Nono on the Ecoroute and has enthsiastically agreed to participate and assist us in our efforts.
  • The Provincial Government Councilman from canton Los Bancos has pledged his support and has initiated contacts with the Provincial Prefect who is also supports our project.
  • Private business and various land owners along the route have similarly expressed their enthusiasm and support for the Ecoroute.
  • The Municipality of Quito has named the Black–breasted Puffleg the official bird of Quito and is in the process of awarding special protective status to the eastern half of the Ecoroute.
  • And much more…

PROJECT GOALS
     
 
PROJECT GOALS
 
 
PROJECT GOALS

This secondary route will ultimately generate sustainability for itself and its surroundings by encouraging some of the many thousands of Ecuadorian and international tourists visiting or passing through this corner of the province to go a bit slower, stay a bit longer and learn a bit more. Ecuadorian in-country tourism is already big in this part of Pichincha. There are sport-fishing complexes, hacienda-style family tourism and several eco-lodge options available. What’s more, most Quiteños you meet are aware that the northwestern part of their province is beautiful; they see it en route to the beaches of the Pacific coast, the standard holiday destination. Although many Ecuadorians have “heard” that their country is rich in biodiversity, few have experienced this national treasure or know about the Chocó and just how important it is. The Eco-Scenic Route has been designed to highlight the riches of this formidable area and to instill respect and appreciation for its incredible flora and fauna.

Mindo Cloudforect Foundation aims to: guarantee that endemic and threatened species are being protected; that the Ecoroute is functioning with the respective signage, information centers, scenic overlooks, and other tourism elements; that the scenic reforestation and landscaping is completed; that the Ecoroute is being used adequately. Finally, that the communities are organized and are actively participating in the management of the Ecoroute which they will see as serving their interests at the same time it is helping preserve the important temperate, subtropical, and foothill cloudforests of this part of northwestern Ecuador


This map was taked of Bellavista Cloud Forest


 

 

 
 
 
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Napo Wildlife Center

The Napo Wildlife Center

The napo wildlife center, part of the tropical nature conservation system, is a community-based ecotourism project that has turned the surrounding 82 square miles into a private reserve within Yasuní national park

 




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