As I briefly mentioned in a previous post, I’ve left Perú and moved on to Ecuador, where I plan to spend the next two months of my travels. For the first month, I decided to try out something new and opted to volunteer on an organic shrimp farm! I’m currently about two weeks behind on posts for this chapter of travels but I can already tell you that it’s been another great decision of mine, which I’m happy to say, seems to be a trend for me lately!
Why a Shrimp Farm?
Back in the planning phases for my world travels I looked into various volunteering opportunities as a way of keeping my mind occupied (assuming I got bored of this whole blogging business) and to discover new career possibilities that didn’t involve being in an office. I discovered WWOOF amongst the travel resources from Briefcase to Backpack, which is a membership-based listing of organic farms that accept volunteers in exchange for free room and board. I thought this would be great for many reasons: I could hang out with locals and practice my Spanish, I could stretch my travel budget a little further and I could get in some much needed exercise with the more active workday.
Furthermore, I also wanted to go to a farm out in the middle of nowhere because I needed to get away. I know this sounds a bit bizarre since I’ve already quit my job and traveled thousands of miles away from home. I mean, what more does one possibly need to get away from? For me, this can be boiled down to five words, “men to whom I’m attracted”. On a farm, I figured I’d be away from the backpacking scene and all of the temptations and drama that naturally accompany the trail of young single travelers, lest there should be others like me on the farm as well. I figured though, this wasn’t a deal breaking risk. The idea of being away from men though later becomes an extremely ironic point, but I’ll get to that in a later post.
I originally started looking for farms in Argentina in hopes of finding an organic wine vineyard but didn’t have much luck. I was finding that the majority of farms were vegetables (I guess that should have been obvious) and a lot of them were actually vegetarian and dry, two adjectives that do not sit well with me. Later though, I happened upon a listing for a shrimp farm in Ecuador and was intrigued. I obviously started envisioning myself as one of my favorite movie heroes, Forrest Gump, wrangling a bunch of shrimp during the day and feasting on them at night. I was sold and put the wheels in motion. Now a couple of months later here I am with an island full of nutty shrimpmen, stories to tell and of course, lots of shrimp ceviche!