Our History

EkoRural is a local NGO in Ecuador and a member of the global partnership organization Groundswell International. EkoRural took over programs formerly managed for the international NGO, World Neighbors, which withdrew from the country in 2009.

Building on 15 years of program experience in Ecuador, EkoRural is recognized for its demonstrated skill in people-centered methodologies and its ability to enable marginalized people to generate improvements in their lives. EkoRural is dedicated to helping people help themselves. Through the strengthening of local leadership and organizational and self-management capacities of women and men as well as children, EkoRural helps impoverished people analyze the roots of their problems and find lasting solutions to them, thereby alleviating the effects of hunger, disease, and poverty.

EkoRural was founded by a small but outstanding program team: Ross Borja, economist (MSc Cornell) and participatory monitoring and evaluation specialist, with experience supporting Farmer Field School in Carchi; Pedro Oyarzun (PhD plant protection and soil science, Wageningen University) with 20 yrs experience in research on seed systems as well as soil fertility and water management in Andean arid and semi-arid regions; and Stephen Sherwood (PhD communication and innovation sciences, Wageningen University) with 20 yrs experience in grassroots research and development initiatives in IPM, soil fertility management, and, most recently, water harvesting.