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Organization Review

Overall Experience: 
Lobitos is a beautiful and interesting place; the people are amazing, the beach and surf are fantastic, the weather is gorgeous and there is plenty to be done. I volunteered with my husband in March 2014, we stayed for 2 weeks in Lobitos with EcoSwell. At the time the guys didn't have their own place so we stayed in a local hostel, which was very nice, and worked with the EcoSwell guys each day. They helped us with translation, introductions, transport and so much more. Our stay was fascinating, informative and we really felt the opportunity to make a difference in Lobitos because these guys really believe in what they are doing and are determined to improve the town for the residents. We were the first volunteers, and didn't know what to expect from EcoSwell or Lobitos, but were not disappointed and have been delighted with the progress that they have made in the time since we were with them. We have kept in touch, and hope to take our family back there one day (I was pregnant when we were there, so would love to return with our daughter!) So, you couldn't hope for a more positive, friendly, relaxed atmosphere, a more beautiful, peaceful location or a more dedicated, enthusiastic team of people to work with. What's holding you back?!


Maria King

In June I spent two incredible weeks with EcoSwell, I helped out with projects whilst carrying out my own research for my dissertation: NGOs impact in achieving universal water and sanitation provision. I lived with the team in their home, which allowed me to become immersed immediately in the team atmosphere. The team have such a cheerful and dedicated approach that you cannot help becoming captivated with Lobito’s and EcoSwell. Since EcoSwell has been set up by a group of childhood friends, it was so much fun that during the days that I really didn’t even feel like I was working, it just felt like I was working on a project with friends. Lobitos is an amazing little town, that was such a breath of fresh air after being in Lima, the people our friendly and the whole atmosphere of the town is very peaceful and safe. One of the best bits about living with EcoSwell is all the places you get to go to and visit that you honestly wouldn’t get to see otherwise: meeting the locals in their houses, to the best quirky restaurants and of course, going to some incredible beaches that are not accessible by public transport to catch the best waves. Even a beginner surfer like me loved it all. I really did have an amazing time outside from research, we went fishing with the locals, visited many non-touristic spots and my personal favourite was when we went to swim with turtles! To initiate my research I could have not been in a better place. Due to EcoSwell’s extensive collaboration with organisations and social groups in Lobitos, I was able to become involved and understand different situations and complications underlining the society. Working with EcoSwell allowed me to experience Lobitos in a much more holistic way, giving me the opportunity to meet many societies that I would never have had the opportunity to otherwise. For example on one evening we went to the local fisherman’s gilled for the 29th anniversary of the organisation, we danced and celebrated with the local fishermen where we were the only group there who were not fishermen or the fishermen’s family. Throughout my experience, the EcoSwell directors would expand on their projects and what they had learned about the local community and environment, since they have been situated in Lobitos. Whilst carrying out their own projects they would help me plan my research and implement it, translating interviews and surveys for me. They would also give me advice from their experience and education which was very helpful. The myriad of educational disciplines of the directors, as well as their enthusiasm for the EcoSwell cause has created an organisation that is overflowing in expansive knowledge. Working alongside these directors has been indispensable to my research, creating a comprehensive research foundation for me to continue with. Thanks EcoSwell, hopefully I will be able to come back and visit soon. Feel free to contact me if you would like any advice or want to ask me any questions about my time with EcoSwell