We care about communities and social impact we have on the areas of our operations. Thus, social responsibility is one of the main pillars for us.
Social Situation in Esmeraldas, Ecuador
Esmeraldas, a town along Ecuador's Pacific coast, is one of the poorest regions in the country. Agricultural sector is the main source of income for local inhabitants. The average age in productive rural area is 26 years old (51% male and 49% female) and almost 40% of the population is under 14. Although the illiteracy rate is low (10%), still the population does not receive enough information regarding good production practices, or measures to reduce the impact of urbanization and agriculture. Certain parts of Esmeraldas suffer greatly from poverty and one of the main barriers for their development is the lack of potable water and provision of basic health and education. Such areas (North-East) have deficiencies in basic services such as running water, and electricity. There is no canalization system, which is one of the reasons why the Esmeraldas river is dirty. Therefor, sewage goes straight into principal source of drinking water. Furthermore, population has no information regarding recycling or disposing.
While conducting our operations in Ecuador, we take into account problems that locals face. Thus, we develop programs, which would improve situation.
How we provide help:
We believe that education-in-action is the best way to contribute to the society and the environment. We do not simply donate, but also develop projects in the region. To contribute to social development in our communities and support education and nutrition programs, we give 1 % of our sales each year to social and environmental stewardship programs.
Our social development projects in Ecuador include:
➢ Food Security Coaching. In rural areas of the Ecuadorian sea side there is an inadequate access to food on a periodic bases. This fact causes deterioration of the nutritional status of children and elderly people. In order to maintain an access to food, we organize workshops and train nurses to educate people on how to obtain food. Furthermore, we supply food to elderly houses.
➢ Garbage Disposal and Recycling Sessions. Natural Habitats organizes cleaning working days with communities, called “mingas”, as part of the social impact assessment plan. We aim to teach people to manage, dispose and recycle their garbage responsibly. Mingas activity contributes not only to environment but also to people’s health and hygiene by reducing possible diseases and contamination.
➢ Medical Surveillance Support. There is a lack of medical support in areas such as Esmeraldas, therefor we see development of medical program as important one. We built two medical centers and provided them with doctors. Locals have difficulties in accessing basic medicines, due to it s high price. Therefore, we supply medical kits with basic pills to communities. Communities have a chance to come for counseling, get vaccines and have regular check-ups in the centers.
➢ Children Integral Development Programs. We work with children in order to boost their development right from the young age and give them opportunities with bringing skills and knowledge. At this stage, our children support project includes: organizing football school with professional coaches and providing supplies for schools. We also organize celebrations for kids in schools.
We continuously search for opportunities to contribute more to the society. Therefor, the list of our doings will keep on growing. Please, check our video, which shortly summarizes our social program.