Pijál Community Tourism &
Trout Nursery Project
Cantón Otavalo, Imbabura

Pijál is a rural agricultural community of about 3000
indigenous Kayambi located at 2700 meters (8910 feet)
overlooking the Imbabura Volcano and Lago San Pablo
(Ecuador´s largest lake) in Imbabura Province.

Like most Indigenous communities in Ecuador, the
residents of Pijál served as indentured workers on a
hacienda until the land reforms of the 1960s when they
received comunal title to their land and legally formed
the community that exists today. even until the 1980s
the residents of Pijál were under a land tenure system
called Primicia where the Catholic Church took a
percentage of the best crops in exchange for legal
services like marriages and the registration of births.

In an effort to preserve their Kayambi culture and foment
sustainable economic activity to combat out-migration,
the residents of Pijál have formed a Community Tourism
organization called Sumac Pacha. With the help of
CASA, Sumac Pacha has built four eco-tourism cabins in
a beautiful mountain valley on community land. These
cabins serve as a center for hikes throughout the area
and cultural programs.

Sumac Pacha is also in the process of establishing a
community trout nursery to improve nutrition and food
security and create jobs.

For more in depth information click here:
Pijal: A Guide for Visitors

Many different program options can be arranged for
groups or individuals in Pijál. Visitors can arrange a
home-stay with a family or stay in one of four eco-
cabins, high in a mountain valley on community land.
The cabins have showers, kitchen and dining facilities
for large groups, composting eco-toilets, beautiful
gardens, and great views of the Andes.

Day-trips, dance and music presentations, and long-
term stays can be arranged for students, tourists,
hikers, or researchers.

Sumac Pacha is actively looking for individuals who have
knowledge of, or can help in, the following areas.

  • Tourism / public relations
  • Fishery or hatchery management experience
  • Trail design and maintenance
  • Carpentry and ecological-design concepts
  • Native species reforestation
  • Historical and ethnographic documentation
  • Organic agriculture
  • Community-level waste management

Volunteer opportunities of 1 week to several months can
be arranged. University-level credit is available.

For more in depth information click here:
Pijal: A Guide for Visitors

CONTACT Peter Shear for more information:


in Ecuador: 086-849-950
Inter-American Center for the Arts, Sustainability,and Action

Centro Interamericano para las Artes, el Sustento, y la Acción