Mindo, Ecuador

The Cloud Forest Institute is located at Ave 9 de Octubre y Los Rios #081 Barrio Las Buganvillas at the home and business of Eusebia “Maruja” Perez, Restaurante Fuera de Babilonia. The parcel measures 700 square meters the back half of which is in a long term lease to CFI. This portion of the property has ponds for raising fish, and greenhouses built to support the MindoDragon Mushroomery medicinal mushroom cultivation and wellness projects. The back of the lot is facing the river in an area where the municipality is currently building a malecon or central promenade. Located on the front half of the parcel is Fuera de Babilonia, a four story restaurant and bar, residence, hostel, and classrooms.

On the first floor is Restaurante Fuera de Babylonia, with seating for 100 diners. The second floor is the family residence, the CFI office and Science-Tech Lab, a spacious lobby and a balcony set up for one-on-one language instruction. The third story has a hostal/ volunteer lodging for 6-10 people including a mens' and womens' shared bathroom, three rooms with two double beds in each, and a common area with hammocks. The one-story open air classroom seats 30, has professional video and audio equipment for presentations, and mens' and womens' toilets. The entire facility is beautifully and artistically built out of Canelo wood by the sons of Sra. Maruja who are professional builders.

The back lot leased by CFI will be developed to expand the infrastructure for Bio-Universidad Mindo. The lot is a very special piece of forest in the middle of town and all development will endeavor to keep this ambiance and be an example of green construction. Current expansion plans include building additional classrooms, and creating an exposition area to stage events. The stage will be able to face either into the parcel for private events or out onto the malecon for public events.

Just up the road/river is a hostel called Casa de Cecilia. Cecilia, may she rest in peace, was Maruja's sister and an instrumental participant in the Amigos de la Naturleza de Mindo for many years. The main offices of the Amigos is also on the same road just a couple doors up. At these two facility there is space to accommodate lodging for 40 and additional classroom space. In the town of Mindo there are friends and families who have been successfully hosting volunteers for international programs for many years. The town has more than 100 small hostels and restaurants with a capacity to host over 1000 visitors during busy holidays. These businesses struggle to make ends meet during the off season. Bio-U will support the community by utilizing this infrastructure to house students year-round.