Where we work
Cloud Forest Institute is based out of California with projects and offices at the MendoDragon Community in Boonville, Mendocino County. Mendocino County is within the California Floristic Province Biodiversity Hotspot.
CFI travel courses work with a variety of communities in diverse regions of Ecuador. Volunteer and educational programs are based out of Mindo in the Pichincha Province just 2 hours from the Capital City, Quito.
Boonville, Mendocino County
CFI participates in sustainable living at the MendoDragon Intentional Community in Boonville, CA. Boonville is small agricultural community in western Mendocino County with a population of 1,035 people (Census 2010). Nearby Hendy Woods State Park is home to 2 pristine Redwood groves with the Navarro River running through it. MendoDragon lies approximately 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean and within the California Floristic Province, a region recognized by Conservation International as a biodiversity hotspot
"The California Floristic Province is a zone of Mediterranean-type climate and has the high levels of plant endemism characteristic of these regions. The hotspot is home to the giant sequoia, the planet's largest living organism and its taller but less massive relative, the coastal redwood. This region also holds a number of threatened endemic species such as the giant kangaroo rat and the desert slender salamander, and some of the last individuals of the Critically Endangered California condor can still be found here. In fact, it is the largest avian breeding ground in the United States. Wilderness destruction caused by commercial farming is a major threat for the region as the California Floristic Province generates half of all the agricultural products used by U.S. consumers. The hotspot is also heavily threatened by the expansion of urban areas, pollution, and road construction (Conservation International 2007)."
CFI recognizes that private land holders are the stewards of much of California's remaining native ecology. Through education and comunity projects, CFI aims to support conservation and sustainable community development. At a grassroots level, we as individuals will ensure the continuance of a viable resource base and healthy environment.
Mindo is a rural parish in Ecuador, located in the Los Bancos canton in the province of Pichincha, just 2 hours from Quito. The parish is known for its growing ecotourism industry based in the Mindo-Nambillo Protected Forest. The forest is part of the Chocó biodiversity hotspot within this Tropical Andes, considered the most biodiverse and endangered region on Earth.
The Mindo area ranges from approximately 1200 to 4780m above sea level. Temperatures range from about 15ºC – 24ºC (60ºF – 75ºF), and rain storms are common throughout the year, although the climate is driest from May – September. July - October are the busiest months for overseas tourists. CFI welcomes visitors and volunteers year round and offers a summer session to students from June through August.
CFI protects forest in Cambugan
The watershed of the Cambugán River is located in the western Andean mountain range, about 50 km north of Quito, the capital of Ecuador, and just 15 km north of the equator. The area belongs to the parish of San José de Minas in the region of Quito, in the province of Pichincha. The Cambugán Watershed is approximately 5 km wide and 12 km long at an elevation of 1300m to 3200m. CFI has been working since 2004 to fundraise and protect the Cambugan. You can help by adopting an acre or more.