Scientific Research & Community Benefits
By booking an Archaeology Vacation, you are doing more than going on vacation. You are making a substantial contribution to a scientific research program, and answering important questions about the little-understood pre-contact history of the Ecuador coast.
You are also making an important contribution to the modern community of Agua Blanca; strengthening and improving the social and economic framework of the community. You can learn more about the research program here.
The Community of Agua Blanca
The modern community of Agua Blanca is a tiny village, on a gravel road, off the main highway, about 15 minutes northwest of Puerto López, Ecuador. While community leaders work hard to maximize opportunities for the residents of Agua Blanca, economic development opportunities are limited.
Archaeology Vacations is working in cooperation with the community of Agua Blanca. This project is managed by the community, within the community and the archaeological team is comprised of community members. Together, we will contribute to the community's social and economic improvement. This is sustainable, community-based tourism at it's finest.
This project is financed entirely by your participation. We do not receive any financing from universities, governments or outside agencies. Profits from Archaeology Vacations are shared with the community of Agua Blanca. The community is an equal partner in the project.
Our community benefit goals include:
• A new museum in the community which will display artifacts you will help excavate at the Agua Blanca archaeological site. The museum provides employment for community members, educational opprtunities for local students, and increased tourism opportunities for the region. Promoting awareness of and the correct understanding of the archaeology of Agua Blanca is an important component of the cultural identity of Agua Blanca residents. We are committed to translating the results of our archaeological research into publications and documents for the general public to help achieve this community goal.
• Construction of a laboratory facility in the community to analyze and conserve artifacts excavated at the Agua Blanca site. This lab also includes a secure storage facility for the long-term storage of the artifacts.
• Archaeology Vacation's gift shop employs Agua Blanca community members.
• Contracting with Agua Blanca businesses to provide ongoing supplies and labour for the ongoing operation of Archaeology Vacations. For example, the daily lunches are being supplied by the community's restaurants.
• Students from Agua Blanca who are enrolled in university archaeology programs are first in line for jobs with Archaeology Vacations.
On a regular basis, we will review our community benefits program with the leadership of Agua Blanca to ensure that everyone's expectations are being met.
Archaeology Vacations is quite serious about working diligently to ensure that this long term projects brings benefits to everyone involved. That includes:
• The people of Ecuador who benefit by the increased knowledge gained by a better understanding of their country's history.
• The people of Agua Blanca who receive the economic gains of a business operating within their community and the associated benefits of employment, development, and opportunities for all their community members.
• You benefit in many ways.
a) You will be involved in a vacation where you come away with a first-hand appreciation of the pre-contact history of a different part of the world.
b) You will gain new skills and knowledge about history, geology, culture, technology - all waiting to be recovered at Agua Blanca and you will do this in a "hands-on" manner.
c) Rather than seeing the people of a different country through the window of a bus or the fence at a resort, you will be in their community. You will talk with them on a daily basis and you will certainly make lifelong memories (if not friends).
d) And of course, rather than passing other tourists stretched out on lounge chairs at the beach or beside the pool, you will be working with a group of like-minded individuals from around the world - all discovering history - at the same time - and at the same pace.
To us at Archaeology Vacations - this is a win-win-win situation for everyone involved - and that makes us smile!