Featured Tourism Supplier:
Black Sheep Inn
This month's featured travel provider exemplifies the story of a dream
come true. They also operate one of the most sustainable facilities we've
found in South America.
In 1993 a couple of American backpackers who loved to travel and explore
'off the beaten track' first visited Chugchilán, Ecuador. "There was no
hotel in town, so we knocked on a few doors looking for a bed and ended up
staying with a local family," explains Andres Hammerman and Michelle
Kirby. "We fell in love with the area: the dramatic Sierra landscape, the
great hiking, the canyon, the cloud forest, Laguna Quilotoa, the excellent
cheeses and most of all the friendly people."
Of course, when a local asked, "If you like this place so much, why don't
you buy our land?" they tried to laugh it off. But it was too late. The
seed was planted, and their destiny was changed forever. Over the next few
years, Hammerman and Kirby worked triple time back in the U.S. to save
enough money to realize their dream. They returned to Ecuador to open an
inn that would allow them to align their lives with their values. This now
includes growing organic food, raising free range animals, incorporating
ecological systems into business operations, and caring for the earth.
Now, the Black Sheep Inn is one of the most well respected
accommodations in Ecuador.
The Black Sheep Inn is pursuing sustainability on a large scale locally.
They have incorporated permaculture into the design of their facility
which was built by locals using natural and renewable resources such as
adobe and straw. In addition, they utilize food from their own organic
gardens and greenhouse. They reuse roof water for washing, gardening, and
reforestation of native trees on their property. They also have reduced
energy use by 80%, and they are planning on converting half of the
property to solar electric power this year. Perhaps, their most famous
feature is their composting toilets, complete with inside gardens and a
Their bottom line: "Every aspect of the Black Sheep Inn has been designed
to promote conservation, sustainability, and environmentalism." We agree,
and couldn't think of a better "eco-lodge" to highlight this month.
For more information about the Black Sheep Inn and other responsible
travel providers, visit STI's
Inn's web site.