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“On the map”

An Eco-Lodge in Ecuador

By: Dovev Roshina
Translated by: Ido Barkan
Masa Acher/Voyager, Israeli Geographical Magazine  www.masa.co.il
Spring 2004

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Andy Hammerman and Michelle Kirby decided to settle down in the village Chugchilan in Ecuador after falling in love with the views and charming people while visiting in 1992. They went back to the United States, saved money to buy land and build upon it an ecological inn. In 1994 the couple came back to Ecuador and started making their dream come true. “The Black Sheep Inn”, was planned and designed using permaculture - a productive environment planning and designing system, which conserves it’s resources- and can be used as a demonstration center.

Andy and Michelle are proud of helping the little village onto the tourist map: there are now six small structures, built from mud and straw in local techniques, compost facilities, chicken house which provides fresh eggs, terraces used for growing vegetables, preventing soil erosion and for planting trees, which renew the area that had been deforested. They reuse most of their garbage, including glass and metal, and try to reduce waste as much as possible. What they do not produce themselves, they buy from the local people and the staff is all from the village of Chugchilan.

The Inn is a trekking starting point in the area, nearby an area has been declared as a nature reserve. They recommend hiking by foot to minimize the effect on nature. In addition, Andy and Michelle are involved in the community: Michelle teaches computers in the local school, they sponsored a permaculture course for their neighbors and encouraged the construction of other hostels by locals and the selling of local crafts.
By: Dovev Roshina
Translated by: Ido Barkan

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As seen in The Wanderer

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is a weekly newspaper serving the communities of Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester in Southeastern Massachusetts. www.wanderer.com  
March 2004

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Highlights of the Area
 
Day Hikes & Activities
 
Links & Recommendations
For Reservations:
Black Sheep Inn

Above: George Kirby of Rochester poses with his family, as well as his sister Michelle (also a Rochester native), at Laguna Quilotoa in Ecuador. Michelle built an inn in the mountains and moved to Ecuador 10 years ago. Members of the Kirby family pictured here with a copy of The Wanderer include George holding daughter Grace; his wife Shari; his son Zack holding The Wanderer; Sam in front; son George in back (right); and sister Michelle (far right). (Photo courtesy of George Kirby).

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AWARDS


SKY Magazine
Top 10
Eco-Resort
* May 2009 *

Eco Club Eco Lodge Award
2006 & 2008

Ecotourism Award Skal International

Responsible Tourism Best in Mountain

Smithsonian Magazine Sustainable Tourism Winner

Tourism for Tomorrow Destination Finalist
Finalist

 

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Photos by Black Sheep Inn, Ecuador except when noted.
Last updated: September 21st, 2009