frequent questions.

  1. What is special about True Ecuador Travel?

    True Ecuador Travel is the travel arm of Yanapuma Foundation, an Ecuadorian non-profit NGO whose mission is to carry out sustainable development projects with indigenous and marginalized communities around Ecuador. Yanapuma is also a registered charity in Scotland (SC040519). The travel agency forms part of our "social enterprise" along with the Spanish schools in Quito and Cuenca that together generate income that we can use to continue our development projects. These activities provide the core funding, on top of which we seek additional external funding from international donors.
    True Ecuador Travel is a limited company in Ecuador, registered with the Ministerio de Turismo, and complying with all local laws and norms. Through our foundation we have been receiving individual students and volunteers and groups of students and volunteers since 2006, arranging all aspects of their visit to Ecuador. As we continued to grow we decided that we should develop the travel arm of the organization to be able to better serve our growing number of clients.
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  2. How can I find out what projects you have carried out and how much you have invested in them?

    You can view the webpage for Yanapuma Foundation here You can also read our bi-monthly newsletters here. This same page provides links to our annual reports. In addition you can view the annual submissions for Yanapuma Foundation of Scotland along with the income and expenses for each year by clicking here. We are always happy to answer questions about our foundation activities.
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  3. Can I visit one or more of your projects?

    We will be happy to arrange for you to visit one or more of our development projects in Ecuador as part of your visit. You can sign up for the "Study in an Indigenous Community" Study Travel program, and visit one or more projects with a Spanish teacher. We can also arrange for you to visit any time that suits you. Several of the projects include a community-tourism component so visitors are welcome!
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  4. How can I pay for my trip?

    You can pay through our online payment gateway, either with a local bank transfer (the most economical method) or via credit/debit card. The system is 100% secure. You can pay a deposit and pay the balance using the system. Once in Ecuador, if you decide to extend your travels you can pay us with cash or credit/debit card.
    To pay for our own services such as Spanish Courses and Study and Travel programs we are happy to receive payment as you go here in Ecuador. To confirm Amazon and Galapagos tours the providers require deposits to secure the spaces, and full payment not less than 14 days before the tour is due to begin.
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  5. What is your refund policy?

    Please refer to our Terms and Conditions page for full details of our payment and other policies. In case of emergencies and unforseen consequences we will do all we can to help to minimize any losses for services reserved and paid for. True Ecuador Travel is an agency that contracts services on behalf of visitors from trusted tour operators. Deposits paid to these operators and refunds for cancelled services are subject to their terms and conditions.
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  6. How does your carbon offset scheme work?

    As a relatively new travel agency we are still working to put in place a carbon offset mechanism. However, our NGO plants out between 8,000-20,000 trees every year as part of our reforestation work. Volunteers plant out these trees which are grown by local groups as a micro enterprise. We buy the trees from them with donations we receive and work with international volunteers to plant them out. Your support as a customer contributes directly to this work.
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