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Local Food
(Sheep Soup)
73 - 57 Fº





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About This Location

Cebadas is a small rural center comprised of thirty small communities in the Ecuadorean Andes Mountain Range, approximately 50 kilometers south of the city of Riobamba. Its largely indigenous population identifies strongly with the native Quechua culture; residents are typically fluent in both Quechua and Spanish. The economy is based on agriculture, with many families relying on livestock and crops such as corn, quinoa, beans, potatoes, and other vegetables. Ritual practices, including medicine, are closely tied to the natural environment.

Why You Should Come

As the agricultural goods upon which the economy relies continue to decline in value, most of the residents of Cebadas remain extremely poor and thus lack access to many basic resources. Lack of transportation and sanitation infrastructure result in a high incidence of otherwise preventable diseases. Malnutrition is common, especially in children, because more nutritious food products that families grow are sold rather than consumed. The hard physical labor of mountain farming from an early age can also lead to premature health problems.

Access to medical care in Cebadas is incredibly limited; the closest hospital is up to two and a half hours away from the communities that surround the town center. Consequently, transportation and lost productivity costs, not to speak of the cost of medical treatment itself, prohibit most residents of Cebadas from obtaining adequate medical care.

How You Can Help

MEDLIFE has had strong ties with Cebadas since its founding in 2005, and the area has become a primary destination for our Mobile Clinics and MEDLIFE Fund projects.

At the moment there are only Mobile Clinics available for this destination. The clinic will provide basic health services, and also serve as an opportunity to learn more about community needs and make plans for long-term development projects. See an example of Mobile Clinic itinerary* below:


*Each Mobile Clinic team will be divided into four different groups; groups will rotate stations throughout the week.

Some Extra Activities

Antisana Ecological Tour
This full-day tour departs daily from Quito and, after a scenic three-hour drive, brings you to Antisana, the fourth highest volcano is Ecuador towering at just under 19,000 feet. During the tour, you will explore the Antisanilla reserve and its wall of cliffs.
Visit Otavalo
Otavalo is considered one of the most important destinations in Ecuador for its rich culture and natural beauty. This day-long, private excursion is designed to provide you with an overview of the beautiful Andean landscape and a taste of contemporary Andean culture with visits to the Otavalo Artisan Market and a local workshop in a neighboring village. 
Cotopaxi National Park
This route is surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes and their mystical beauty, which, in ancient times, fed legends belonging to the land's first inhabitants and attracted Spanish conquistadors who later made it their new home.
Quito City Tour
Experience Quito's highlights with a knowledgeable guide and go for a look at both colonial and modern Quito, and visit top Quito attractions such as clifftop Mirador de Guápulo, Independence Plaza, and the Presidential Palace.
Mindo Cloud Forest
Just two hours northwest of Ecuador's capital is the incredibly bio-diverse Mindo Cloud forest, a protected national forest nestled in the Andean foothills. Located on the outskirts of the Guagua Pichincha Volcano, this vast forest in the clouds is home to an abundance of tropical species as one of Ecuador's most visited attractions.
Papallacta Thermal Springs
Only two hours away from Quito in a temperate mountain forest nestled high in the Andean Range hides the mystical Termas de Papallacta. About three thousand meters above sea level, the invigorating hot springs await you in the only Spa in Ecuador that offers mineral thermal water hydrotherapy.

*Prices vary according to numbers of volunteers.