In May 2012 Black Sheep Inn, a well known eco-lodge in the Ecuadorian Highlands, and perhaps one of the most famous examples of sustainable tourism, has became 100% community operated.
Alex spent some time at the lodge a few years back, and the news brought some happy memories flooding back! Here is the story:
Edmundo Vega Estrada, the new administrator was born and raised in Chugchiln. He graduated from the local elementary school Juan Jose Flores over 40 years ago before tourism had developed in the area. He moved to Latacunga and then to Quito where he began working in the hospitality industry. From dish washer to kitchen manager to banquet administrator to restaurant manager; he worked at the JW Marriott, Hotel Quito, Hilton Colon and high-end restaurants. Edmundo returned to Chugchiln in April 2012 after being away for 30 years. He wanted to live close to his elderly mother and brother and he wanted to run the Black Sheep Inn. Edmundo speaks a bit of English and French, in addition to his native Spanish.Edmundos team consists of original Black Sheep Inn employees: Narcisa Sigcha, EstherCunuhay, Olga Pastua and Martha Cuyo, who have been involved with Black Sheep Inn for years. Cesar Cuyo and Jorge Guamangate are the maestros who helped build the Ecolodge and still maintain the property.Black Sheep Inn is open year round for individual bookings.Black Sheep Inn founders Andres Hammerman and Michelle Kirby reside on an adjacentproperty and are assisting with the transitional period to ensure quality and to maintain the high level of sustainable practices that made the Black Sheep Inn famous.