About

Community 
    We are forming an eco-village that is transparently and equally co-directed by its members, and accessible to all who share our vision. There are options for volunteering, joining the community as a member, and even buying into land if you want the legal assurance of your name on a title. Please email us if you have questions (fruithaven.ecuador@gmail.com)
    We are fortunate enough to be located near 2 other intentional communities. We are a half-hour drive north of PermaTree (http://www.permatree.org/) and 45 minutes drive (or 1 hour boat ride) south of Terra Frutis (http://www.terrafrutis.com).


Membership
    Interested members should expect to live with us for 6 months to see if they are a good fit and share the community's values of raw foods, commitment to health and positive lifestyle, non-violence and compassion in actions and speech, and decentralized organizational structures. After this trial period, the rest of the community may extend an invitation for membership in the community. We do not charge any money for this, however, we expect that all members will contribute to the work involved in maintaining food production and infrastructure for living.
    Anyone interested in coming (whether to visit, volunteer, or potentially join the community as a member) should be prepared to send us a photo of the ID page of their passport, which will be kept private and never released publicly. This is to protect other community members and volunteers. Sometimes travelers take on personas to commit crimes and we want this to be a safe and secure community especially for families and children.

If you are interested in joining us as a potential community member, please fill out this questionnaire:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5bxRf90v8V3WFlYWF9hcTJJUTA

Climate 
    This part of Ecuador has a tropical climate with 1900mm of annual rainfall. The rainfall profile is somewhat even, with the driest months being December, January, and the beginning of February. The hottest month is November and the coolest month is June. It rarely ever goes below 20 Celsius at night. The climate is ideal for super-tropicals such as durian and rollinia. 
    
Access 
    FruitHaven may be accessed via motorcycle, but not by car (the bridge is only wide enough for motorcycles and foot traffic.) It is a five-minute walk from the road on a well-maintained path. There is also boat access, a 2-minute boat ride from the road. The property is riverfront on the east bank of the Rio Zamora. Rio Zamora is navegable by boat from Chuchumbletza north to Proveeduría. There is regular bus service from Chuchumbletza to the nearby cities Gualaquiza (35 minutes north) and El Pangui (10 minutes south.) Chuchumbletza has an internet cafe, a school, a church, and a few small storefronts. Gualaquiza and El Pangui both have large central markets, bus terminals, and numerous well-stocked hardware stores. 
    
Fruit 
    The farm currently produces bananas, papayas, plantains, pineapples, mandarin oranges, lemons, pitahaya, granadilla, ice cream bean, and a few local/wild fruits. We are planting many varieties of tropical fruits such as durian, marang, mangosteen, rollinia, jackfruit, cempedak, etc. 
    Note that as we recently started the project and are working to plant more fruit trees, the farm currently does not produce enough food to provide for all the food needs of community members. Production is gradually increasing, but please do not expect to "live off the land" until you've spent a good amount of time planting fruit trees and being patient. There are nearby fruit markets, as well as neighbors' farms, where fruit can be purchased.
    The most abundant crops currently are plantains and pineapples (year round) and mandarin oranges and chonta (February through June.)

Accommodation 
    Currently we have a community house and garage. The house has electricity and running water. There are 4 bedrooms in the house and there is an auxiliary building fit for sleeping nearby. There is Internet access at the house. It is currently intermittent but that should be repaired by the end of April. We ask residents to contribute $5 per month towards the monthly Internet bill if they desire to use it.

Organization
    We hope to use principles from consensus decision-making and sociocracy, to organize a community group that is free from hierarchy and involuntary centralization.

Drug Policy
    We are a drug-free community. That said, the occasional dabble in a plant-based spiritual experience is not an issue. However, we encourage you to seek a different community if you have an unresolved dependency issue with alcohol, marijuana, or similar substances or if you promote their regular use. 

Insects
    There are not many biting insects, not many mosquitoes, although some newcomers have an issue with gnats biting.

Parasitic Diseases
    Malaria and Yellow Fever are extremely uncommon in this region. Dengue and Chikungunya do exist but have a very low prevalence. The government requires no vaccines for legal entry.


Ecuador Tourist Visas
Ecuador gives tourists from most countries a free 90-day visa stamp upon entering the country, with no previous paperwork required and no application process. Towards the end of this 90 days, one may purchase a 180-day tourist visa to extend their legal time in the country. This visa costs $450.
[Notice: Ecuador is currently (as of April) changing its immigration laws (supposedly for the better) but we won't have many details until probably April 15th.]

Ecuador Residency Visas
Ecuador grants residency visas to individuals with 4-year college degrees. Other options are marrying someone with legal residency, being the parent of a child born in the country, investing $25k in a CD or business, buying $25k worth of land, or having a pension or rental income of at least $800/month. [Subject to change: News laws coming into effect April 15, not many details yet.]

Cost to Build a House
The cost to build a house on the land depends on many factors. A small, simple, one-room-shack type house built with locally sourced materials and metal sheet roofing could cost only a few hundred dollars if all the work is done by yourself and fellow community members. A wood house built by paid carpenters could cost $5-$7k USD. A very simple platform/pole/roof structure could be a bit cheaper.
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