Newsletter April 2003

The Black Sheep Inn is honored to have appeared in the March 2003 issue of Outside Magazine as one of the Top 10 Ecolodges in the World.

Black Sheep Inn makes Outside Magazine! *you may have to subscribe (it´s free) to read the article online.

The Black Sheep Inn is honored to have appeared in the March 2003 issue of Outside Magazine as one of the Top 10 Ecolodges in the World. Ironically, the BSI is listed along side other ecolodges that charge over $1000 per night!  However, we all know that price has nothing to do with true ecotourism. The BSI was praised for its composting toilets and commitment to the community.

Black Sheep Inn mentioned in Chicago Tribune Article "Want to be an Ecotourist? Here´s how to find genuine destinations" by Charles Lockwood Sunday January 12, 2003 Travel Section,1,5894384.story (deadlink) *you may have to subscribe (it´s free) to read the article online.

This article gives six key tips to finding a true ecotourism destination. The Black Sheep Inn was credited for reforestation with native tree species in terraced swales.

Black Sheep Inn Co-Presents "Seven Recommendations for Strengthening Ecotourism in Ecuador"

The "Grupo Internet en Favor del Ecoturismo Ecuatoriano" (GIFEE), a grassroots cyber-collective, composed seven recommendations for the Ecuadorian Government to take action in realizing Ecuador´s potential as an international ecotourism leader. Check out the letter that was sent to a number of government officials:

The Black Sheep Inn´s website, wins a prize!  In honor of World Tourism Day, September 27, 2002, the Ministry of Tourism awarded us with the "Presea al Merito Turistico Jose Tobar Tobar" in the Category of "Implementacion Web 2002."  This translates as "The Award for Touristic-Excellence for a Website".  Thank you to Andy Simpson for teaching us how to build and maintain our website.  Most of the photos on the site have been updated so take a virtual tour and bring back memories of your visit to the Black Sheep Inn.

The pond will stay! Click for latest NEWSLETTER

Remember, here in Ecuador things tend to happen ssllowwwwlllyyy. Three years ago Mother Nature, by means of a landslide, gifted us with a large pond. In September 2002 with the help of the Municipio (county public works), a new culvert was put through the road, higher up, and the pond is a permanent resource. We are now planning a dock, raft, willow trees, trout, water pumping windmill, and a water slide!  The locals enjoy the pond, stopping to watch the geese, looking for fish, or just throwing stones.

Our farm is growing, "Eee-eye Eee-eye oh! With a cuy-cuy here and a cuy-cuy there, here a cuy, there a cuy, everywhere a cuy-cuy."  Our neighbors welcomed us home from traveling with gifts of eggs, cheese, beans, corn and Cuys!! (pronounced kwee and translated as Guinea Pigs.)  Instead of roasting up the furry little devils as is local tradition, we decided to build a cuy house, where we could feed them green veggie scraps, and harvest the rich manure to mix with our compost. We started off with two guinea pigs, now we have seven!  We´ve also been hatching ducklings and chicks of our own, and even have a pair of geese who majestically populate the pond.

New Bunk Room by Summer of 2003!!

We´ve almost finished a new and improved bunkroom!  This will ensure that the "bunkers" have a fantastic view and more space similar to the original Black Sheep private rooms. We are building a 3 story A-frame out of homemade adobe bricks, covered by a straw roof, and lots of windows. The old bunkroom will be converted into manager´s quarters.

Prices go up as of June 1st.

Finally, after not raising our price in over six years, we´ve gotta do it. The cost of living and utilities, along with everything in Ecuador, has been creeping up since the dollarization in 2001.  We are still affordable and still inexpensive.  So, check out our website for the New Rates.

Thank You to Los Suizos!

A huge Thank You to J�rg Buehler and Christine Blaeuer, who gave us the opportunity to travel again last year. Jorgecito y Cristinita took care of the BSI from Christmas 2001 through June 2002 while we explored the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia. We also had the chance to visit family and friends on both sides of the USA. The Black Sheep Inn was run 'better than ever' in our absence.  With their Swiss precision, Jorge and Cristina finished building three new guest rooms, a shower, and two composting toilets; all the while being the hostess´ with the most-est to the guests and developing a special relationship with our staff and friends in Chugchilán. They did the impossible.  There are no words to say how much we appreciate their friendship and advice. Dios Les Pague!

Fantastic Managers lined up until Summer 2004!!  Click for latest NEWSLETTER

After years of "running the show" with only the help of our local staff, we have adopted new members into the Black Sheep Inn family!  Matt Kelley and Lindsay Siegel, from Chicago, have been working with us since late January, and will stay on until the 4th of July. They are perfect housemates, friends, and managers.  When asked what their favorite part of working at the BSI is, their response was, "There"s nothing like the environment at the BSI. Between the breathtaking location, interesting tourists, friendly neighbors, good friends, permaculture ideas and (of course) the food, we wouldn´t want to be anywhere else in the world!"

When Lindsay and Matt head out in July, the Wiltinks will arrive. Hans, Nancy, Anniek and Rose are a lovely family from Amsterdam who are committed to live and work at the BSI for a year. The girls, 5 and 7 years old, will attend elementary school in Chugchilan, and Hans and Nancy are already researching solar energy alternatives, and studying up on sustainable agriculture.  We are sure that they too will be a wonderful addition to the Black Sheep Team.

Local Staff continue to be our best friends. Narcisa, Olga, Esther, Clara, and Sylvia continue to serve fantastic meals, keep the facility sparkling clean, and accompany us through busy weekends and slow times.  Always cheerful and very dedicated to their jobs, we don´t know what we would do without them. Cesar, Francisco and Jorge are loyal builders, farm hands, and gophers. Without the help of our local workers, the Black Sheep Inn would not be what it is today.

A thought to ponder... How can we integrate it so that a tourist, who is in Chugchilán for three nights or more can volunteer at the local school teaching English?  We want to ensure continuity for the students; please send your ideas.

Interesting fact: The Black Sheep Inn receives 7% more Europeans than it does North Americans.

Many thanks to Tom Clark of Pittsfield, Massachusetts for his generous donation to buy school books for the elementary school of Chugchilán. With Tom's help, all 303 kids in Escuela Juan Jose Flores have their own textbooks this year. Thanks Tom!

Thank you to Jacqueline Hirsch, for donating the Rosetta Stone Language Library. Many students enjoy learning English while improving their computer skills. Our workers enjoy the program, as do many of our guests. Also much appreciated were the Comfrey roots! Tell Bob the comfrey lives!!

The "biblioteca" library project is closer than ever to fruition. Thank you to Diane Pearlman of Oregon for her special connection with Chugchilán. And thanks to Scott Rauland and family for facilitating logistical challenges. Gracias.

We are not sending this newsletter with the purpose of soliciting donations, just to let you know what´s happening at the Black Sheep Inn and to keep in touch.  We appreciate everyone who has visited the Black Sheep Inn and has supported our ongoing projects. If you do want to help out, there is a continuous need for books in Spanish and high tech equipment such as used computers, fax machines, copy machines, printers, typewriters, microscopes, a centrifuge, etc. BUT, any item must be in good working order and shipping (at this point) must be paid by the donor.

Hope this newsletter finds your days growing longer, and your buds blossoming.

Click for latest NEWSLETTER

Keep in touch!!

All the best from

The Black Sheep of the Family, which is EWE!!

Michelle Kirby & Andres Hammerman

Black Sheep Inn, Ecuador
tel. (593) 3 - 281-4587

P.O. Box 05-01-240
Chugchilán, Cotopaxi

Black Sheep Drop Ins - Newsletters

Newsletter April 2003

The Black Sheep Inn is honored to have appeared in the March 2003 issue of Outside Magazine as one of the Top 10 Ecolodges in the World.

From the Equator at the Equinox- Sept 22, 2003

On August 7th the Black Sheep Inn received Eco-Certification from Ministry of Tourism

From the Equator on the Equinox – March 2004

For all of you in the northern hemisphere, your days will be getting longer and warmer.