Exploring Food Justice in Ecuador

Video and Photos


Ecuador may be the smallest country in South America but boy does it pack a punch – majestic Andean mountains, lush Amazon rainforest, picturesque towns, sun-drenched beaches, and a famous chain of volcanic islands full of wildlife! Ecuador’s history and unfolding progress continue to fascinate travelers from around the globe. At Operation Groundswell, we take a deep dive into the country’s approach to food justice. It’s the first country in the world to call for food sovereignty in its constitution, but how do these policies and the food justice movement affect the lives of people who produce food?

From the hustle and bustle of Quito to the communities of Ecuador’s highlands, our Food Revolutions program will examine the impacts of the global food system on rural and indigenous communities in Ecuador and see how they’re fighting back.

We’ll explore complex issues that will widen your perspective on the world, international development, and what it really means to usher change.

  • Explore Ecuador’s iconic capital of Quito while sampling some sweet canelazo along La Ronda, learning the language with Yanapuma Spanish School, and giving salsa dancing a whirl!
  • Get your hands dirty with Fundación Brethren y Unida (FBU) and learn how indigenous knowledge is inspiring sustainable agriculture in Picalquí.
  • Immerse yourself in Tsa’chila culture and learn to grow a food forest near Santo Domingo on Ecuador’s Pacific slope.
  • Hike in the shadow of Volcán Corazón in the heart of the Andes and taste highland honey with our partners at Bee Farm Shunku.

Questions & Answers


based on 4 reviews
  • Impact 8.8
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 4 of 4

Second trip!

This was my second trip with OG and the satisfaction level remained very high! Yet again, I came out with another group of amazing friends, a unique experience and story to share, and many joyful memories that I continue to reflect on today. OG really sets up their programs to help you gain learning, insight into the actual culture, communication skills with locals, as well as "backpacking with a purpose." Highly, highly urge the adventurists to look into this program and join the fun!

How can this program be improved?
Yes, I recommend this program
Operation Groundswell (OG)

My First Experience in South America

This was my second program with Operation Groundswell and it was just as amazing as my first experience. This trip was speical to me because my friend and I had met on our previous OG trip and actually planned to apply for this program together. There is something about these programs that opens up so many opportunitities for each participant. Whether that be by learning new things in the country, such as how bee farming works, gaining an understanding about indigenous cultures and an appreciation for your life back home; or by creating memories and new friendships that will continue after your step onto your plane back home. As this was my second trip I kind of knew what I was I walking into. It was nice to be able to explain and help out the other group members with what we had learned in our previous experiences - such as sharing to pack lists on the Facebook group before departure. Operation Groundswell is a very diverse company and the fact that they try to have one of their program leaders be a citizen of the country you are visiting really improves your trip. For example, I find that when one of your leaders is from the area, familiar with the customs etc. you get a much more intimate experience and take much more from the trip.

How can this program be improved?
I think the only way this program could be improved is if there was more time! One week was not enough for me to get the most out the country. Now I just have to go back, or perhaps go on another OG trip?
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

Great Experience

The program allowed us to get to know the culture of Ecuador within the first few days. Leaving the main city to explore other communities and connect with locals on a "family like" level really made the trip. Also there is a lot of hands on work here so you are able to get even more out of the sustainable farming experience. This trip is fast paced and gives you a local experience right down to transportation. The partners that OG connects with have a solid foundation and have been working in their respected communities for a long time. So it makes the work you do while you visit more meaningful because the organizations carry the projects on after you leave.

How can this program be improved?
If it ended in a main city so there can be even more learning about the different reigns in Ecuador
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

Best Food Revolutions program

This was my first time to South America and really my first time travelling and it was the best experience I have ever had. Ecuador is beautiful and every town we visited was gorgeous and absolutely so welcoming. The food was great, local, and fresh!!! I learned so much from visiting OG's partners and helping them farm and plant. It was interesting to see the different ways people live around the world and truly realize the privileges I have living in Canada. Our program leaders were the most wonderful, knowledgeable people!!! I made so many great friends on this trip I would 100% recommend OG to all my friends!

Yes, I recommend this program


Meet the Alumni

About Operation Groundswell

Operation Groundswell is all about backpacking with a purpose. With ethical travel at the crux of our philosophy, Operation Groundswell designs financially accessible programs that tell a story, addressing key challenges unique to each region and...