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Name of Property:

Septimo Paraiso Cloud Forest Reserve, Ecuador


ecoclub-sunecoclub-sunecoclub-sunecoclub-sun0.3      4.3 out of 5



Name of Applicant:

Ana Lucia Goetschel (owner)

Property Owner:

Ana Lucia Goetschel

Rating Application Date:

2 June 2008

Rating Period:

11 July 2008 - 11 August 2008

Breakdown of Ratings - (Total Raters):

5, 3.5, 4, 3.5, 5, 4.5, 4.5 - (7)


(a) Lighting:
The use of sensors and low Watt bulbs; we are eliminating low energy bulbs because there is no safe recycling method in Ecuador. We have information leaflets in each room to encourage guest for low energy use. There is a control sheet for light switches and usage for the night, controlled by the lodge manager or assistant daily.

1a. Image printed in all our room information leaflets to save energy.

(b) Heating: There is no heating required.

(c) Cooling: No cooling is required; ventilation is done naturally opening and airing rooms daily. We have dehumidifiers used to absorb humidity; the water collected is used for watering plants.

(d) Cleaning: It is done daily, using products from KIEHL GROUP, a German company that produces biodegradable cleaning products. We also use detergents that have the active component biodegradable. All shampoo’s and bath soaps are biodegradable.

(e) Water: We have a very good system: all water passes through a grease trap and then filters to two septic tanks. Every week Biosystem natural enzymes are put into the water weekly to dispose of fats. The Cloud Forest has more than 4 meters of rain per year, we clean and filter the water before returning it to the streams, and three water checks are made every year in the Municipal Waster control laboratories in Quito.

(f) Cooking: Propane gas is used for stoves and ovens.

(g) Waste disposal: Recycling is encouraged within our guests; special waste bins are located at the entrance of the lodge. Septimo Paraiso has a small recycling plant. Plastic, metal, paper, carton are separated and labeled, once every month it is sent to the different recycling center in Santo Domingo and Quito. Organic Waste is sent to our compost every day it is weighed and checked, part of the waste is given to some members of staff for their small pig farms. Before is sent out it is weight and checked. Wine bottles and tires are saved for wall construction. 

1g. Two interns measuring organic waste before adding to compost pits at
Septimo Paraiso’s recycling plant

(h) Insect, pest control (how): Septimo Paraiso uses for insects PIRETRON a natural insect killer, produced from the piretro flower from the Andean Highlands. http://cta.fcyt.umss.edu.bo/piretro.htm . To keep mosquitoes away from the lodge special care is taken to avoid water ponds, collect any water container and no bromeliad near by. This maintains mosquito breading places to a minimum. Rodents are controlled naturally, a wipe snake lives under the lodge, it has been there for more than 4 years, and Septimo Paraiso has never had a problem with rodents.

1h. Piretron insecticide at Lodge together with other biodegradable products used for cleaning.

(i) Noise Protection: Septimo Paraiso is a reserve and as such noise level is kept at a minimum; music is played only in the restaurant and bar areas at a moderate volume. No music is allowed in the pool area or within the reserve. Guides instruct all guests not to use any music or noise items.

(j) Accessible by public transport: Bus service is carried out twice a day. The stop is located 350 meters from our entrance.

(h) What is the recommended way of reaching your Lodge from the nearest International airport: Quito has the main international airport. Transfers can be arranged to the lodge by private car or van, or several car hire companies are located within the airport.

(i) Distance from nearby village / city: The village of Mindo is located 4 Km from the lodge.



(a) Initiation or participation in environmental projects:
Septimo Paraiso is part of the Good Management Practices of Rainforest Alliance since 2006 and with ASEC (Asociacion de Ecuatoriana de Ecoturismo) part of Eco, Community and Recycling practices. We research innovative methods of reusing waste and every year we research more ways of recycling and energy saving.

(b) Contact, cooperation with local environmental organisations: We work directly with Rainforest Alliance, Ministry of Tourism and ASEC. Septimo Paraiso has recently created Green Mindo Foundation to help preserve the Cloud Forest, the website is being developed and it will be online for July.

2b. Septimo Paraiso and Green Mindo Foundation Offices, located in Cumbaya, QUITO

2b2. Green Mindo Foundation’s logo

(c) Direct Donations: All of our projects are self-financed, with the creation of Green Mindo Foundation we hope to pursue more projects and have more funding available.



(a) Initiation or participation in poverty-reduction projects:
Septimo Paraiso employs local birding and nature guide for most birding and nature tours. For the Summer Camps we train local guide in first aid assistance and children guidance. Summer camps are carried our in February and March and July and August every year employing 10 to 12 guides. Our Massachusetts interns will give English lessons to 12 guides during the summer, free of charge.

(b) Direct Donations: Septimo Paraiso donated every year 25 uniforms to the village football team, it is important to keep our youth health and out of the streets. We also donate Christmas presents and a celebration party “Esperanza del Future de Mindo” a special children association.

(c) Other:



(a) Do your employees have health insurance?

(b) Do your employees have paid leave? Yes.

(c) Are your employees entitled to maternity leave? Yes.

(d) Do you pay your employees above the minimum wage? Yes, most of our employees have very competitive salaries plus extra services and overtime.

(e) Average and maximum working day, and work hours per week: 8 hours daily, 6 days a week; paid overtime.

(f) Do you employ your staff all year round? Half is employed locally and the other from other provinces of the country.

(g) Do you offer concessions to elderly visitors? Yes there is a 15% discount.

(h) Is there disabled access at your Lodge? Yes there is for the lodge. The trails within the reserve do not allow disable access, there is one trail used during the summer months.

(i) What is your policy towards volunteers? Yes we have several interns who help us every year. The majority come from Massachusetts.

(j) What measures are in place to protect the local indigenous population from some adverse impacts of tourism? Mindo our local town has a massive problem of immigration from other provinces. We have proposed a project to help rescue their ethical culture and traditions.


(a) Is there a local community / e.g. a nearby village?
MINDO, Pichincha Province.

(b) Do guests interact with the local community and how: Our tours take guest to visit local craftsman and community and private adventure programs. Visit to local butterfly farms and orchid gardens are also arranged. Most of our guides are local.

5b. Canopy adventure ride (superman position) at Mindo

(c) What type of information is available to guests at the property: Information on activities outside our reserve such as Canopy, Tubing, Museums and more; A PC screen with photos of the activities and the variety of flora and fauna is located in the reception of the lodge.

(d) What type of activities are available to guests at the property: Birdwatching, Nature walks, Medicinal plants walks, orchid viewing and trekking. Pool and Jacuzzi and children work shops.

(e) Local guided tours for guests: Yes we have 12 local guides that we employ during normal tours and summer camps.

(f) Events / presentations held at the facility so far: Work shops for Rainforest Alliance, World Bank, Aves y Conservation, Audubon Annual Bird Count, Conservation y Desarrollo, and many more.

(g) Specific programme for children: Summer Camps for children between the ages of 6 to 12 years. Daily children work shops: recycling paper, picture frame making.

5g. Summer Camp costume competition that takes place at the end of every camp.
Children and guides dress up in flowers and leaves taken form the gardens.

(h) Research / Publications produced / assisted by the property so far: Bird lists and migration Dr. Pablo Leon PhD, Bird banding Mark Blazis and Dr. Pablo Leon PhD, studies for a future publication. Research on moths Dr. Pablo Leon PhD and the University of Oregon, future publication. Research of amphibians and reptiles. Research Hummingbird activity, interns from Massachusetts schools and Dr. Pablo Leon PhD, for a future publication.

5h. Last day of Bird Banding, team members are volunteers form Massachusetts; professional Ecuadorian birdwatching guides local guides, Septimo Paraiso owner and staff members and interns

5h2. Frog specimen kept at Butterfly Farm in Mindo

5h3. Hummingbird Violet Tail Sylph, photo taken at Hummingbird Garden Septimo Paraiso



1. Please provide evidence of any awards or green certificates won by the property:

6.1.A letter from Rainforest Alliance certifying Septimo Paraiso’s participation in
RA Good Management Program in Ecuador

61b A letter from ASEC “Associacion Ecuatoriana de Ecoturismo” certifying
our score for the Sustainable Tourism Good Management Practices

2. Have there been any newspaper, radio, TV or guidebook reviews on your property, which may support any of your replies above? If so please provide detailed information and links (up to 10):

Books: Lonely Planet and other guides TV: local travel program PROXIMA PARADA

Internet: Septimo Paraiso is mentioned in several ecological and conservation website:




http://www.slideshare.net/inamdar1/pilot-presentations (CONSERVATION INT)

3. Is there anything else you feel relevant to this questionnaire, that you have not already covered?

I hereby declare that all my answers are true and accurate to the best of my knowledge and understand that I and/or my company will not have the right to veto or 'hide' our ECOCLUB Rating,
 if we find it unfavourable.

Please enter (paste) your signature below or type your initials to indicate acceptance:

Your Name:  Ana Lucia Goetschel Date: 2 June 2008

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