Our Conservation Goals
Working with local rural communities, Casa Mojanda has strived to protect the cloud forest and wildlife throughout the Mojanda Lakes region. As many of you are aware, as an ecosystem, the Mojanda Lakes represent a unique and spectacular environment, home to many different plants, animals and birds, including the endangered Andean Condor, of which there are fewer than 75 left in the whole of Ecuador. We have only scratched the surface in identifying the diverse wildlife of our region: mammals, birds, reptiles, butterflies, insects and a myriad of plants and flowers.
Unfortunately this area is in danger of degradation, as native forests are still being burned to produce charcoal and pasture lands. Permanent and meaningful protection for the Mojanda Lakes’ is a long term objective. At 3700 meters with a 100-meter depth, the crystal clear water of the large lake sits in the remains of a crater formed by an extinct volcano. Introduced rainbow trout are the only fish in the lake. The area surrounding the lake, once more heavily forested, now consists of páramo (high altitude grasslands) with some patches of high-altitude primary and secondary mountain cloud forest.
Casa Mojanda was instrumental in developing a plan to secure protected status for the lakes and grasslands, which was passed by the two local county governments with jurisdiction over the Mojanda Lakes. This historical ordinance is one of the very first local government ecological initiatives in Ecuador.
Casa Mojanda’s Mission Statement: Casa Mojanda was found upon and continues in its commitment to principles of active eco tourism. It goes without saying that any resort with “eco” in its title must first “do no harm,” that is, have a minimal impact on the natural environment and local community. Our earth-friendly construction methods and organic farming techniques tread lightly on the land, and we provide secure employment for as many local community members as possible. We consciously planned Casa Mojanda as a business which by its nature and mission, would remain oriented toward preserving the local ecosystem and play a role in our local community. By keeping Casa Mojanda large in vision but small in scale, we are able to interact with our guests personally, and where there is interest, connect guests with the local community and its social and environmental projects.
Some of our guests have chosen to make financial contributions to the fund set up by Casa Mojanda to assist community projects in the areas of health, education and conservation. Please let us know if you might be interesting in contributing.
GreenEcuador/EcuadorVerde Sustainable Tourism Network
Our visitors have something in common: they want to travel to unspoiled natural areas, and learn from and about thriving and dynamic indigenous communities. An increasing number of travelers to the developing world want to put their money where their consciences are and patronize hotels and restaurants who are dedicated to meaningful ecotourism. Some may even choose to volunteer some time to pitch in and help while they are traveling abroad. (Volunteering is a great way of learning about the local culture as well as giving something back.)
While the term ecotourism has been over-used in recent year and has no universally applicable definition, if you are interesting in going Green in your travels, it may be worthwhile to inquire what an “eco” business is actually doing to further environmental and social goals. If the answer is only a beautiful flower garden or a historically interesting hotel, perhaps the “eco” label is misplaced. Ecuador has some extraordinary examples of ecotourism and community-based tourism at its best, spanning the spectacularly diverse cultures and ecosystems of our country.