The Buenaventura reserve was created to protect the home of El Oro parakeet (Pyrrhura orcesi). The reserve protects one of the most extensive patches of piedmont cloud forest in the western foothills of the Andes in southwestern Ecuador. This is one of the most devastated cloud forests in the world, only 5 -10% of the original forest remains.

The foundation keeps working hard on recovering this area through projects on reforestation with endemic species, nest boxes to increase the nesting index, and rescue of species victims of illegal trafficking.


Activities will vary according the season and will include:

  • Reforestation: collect seedlings and seeds for the nursery, help with planting, prepare fertilizers and monitor plots
  • Data collection: daily data of precipitaion and temperature, and update database.
  • Monitoring of trap cameras: location and camera assesment, classification and administration of photos, identification of fauna
  • Nesting: construction, location, cleaning and constant monitoring of artificial nests for birds
  • Monitoring of species: preparation of transects for different species of birds and record of information
  • Hummingbird garden: provide guidance to the visitors of the garden
  • Animal care: collection and preparation of food for feeders, feeding animals at least once a day.


The volunteer house offers comfortable areas in the rooms, living and dining room, reading room and kitchen. Electricity is available 24/7. The bathrooms have hot water. Wi-Fi is available on the ground floor of the Umbrella lodge. Volunteers can use the washing machines, or if they prefer there is laundry service offered at low cost. We provide 3 meals daily (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and offer different menus in case of dietary restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, or celiac).


There are many touristic attractions that you can explore near the reserve:

  • Putumayo forest
  • Spas
  • Waterfalls
  • Cerro de Patagrande and its 14 stations of Calvario de Cristo
  • Jambelí Beach
  • Isla del Muerto (mini Galápagos)
  • Whale watching (July to September)


From Machala: The reserve is located 1.5 hours approximately by car. To get to Buenaventura you have to take the route to Piñas. After passing the city of Zaracay there is a sign of Fundación Jocotoco, make a left and continue 5km approximately until the entrance of the reserve.

From Piñas: Take the route to Zaracay and Machala. Approximately 15 minutes from the city of Piñas you will reach a chapel on the right side of the route. Continue for 5km approximately until you reach the sign of Fundación Jocotoco. Make a right and continue for 5km approximately until the entrance of the reserve.

From Quito: You can take a flight from Quito-Santa Rosa (45 min.) and then take a van ride until the reserve (1 hour approximately).

Alternatively you can take a bus Quito-Piñas (10 hours), and then take a van ride to the reserve (45 min.).

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