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Black Sheep Inn in Chugchilán, Cotopaxi, Ecuador is Now a 100% Community Operated Ecolodge
In May 2012, Black Sheep Inn became 100% community operated: Edmundo Vega Estrada, the new administrator was born and raised in Chugchilán. 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 Chugchilán 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.
Edmundo's team consists of original Black Sheep Inn employees: Narcisa Sigcha, Esther Cunuhay, Olga Pastuña 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 adjacent property 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.
Black Sheep Inn: Globally Recognized Services
- Worlds Best Hotels - South America STAY LIST - National Geographic Traveler 2011
- Top 10 Eco-Resort - Delta SKY Magazine 2009
- Top 50 Eco-Lodges - National Geographic Adventure Magazine 2009
- Winner - ECOCLUB.com Ecotourism Awards 2006 & 2008
- Skål International Ecotourism Award 2006
- Smithsonian Magazine/Tourism Cares for Tomorrow Sustainable Tourism Award 2005
- Finalist for Tourism for Tomorrow Award - World Travel & Tourism Council 2005
- Highly Commended - Best Mountain Environment - Responsible Tourism Awards 2005
- Short-Listed - Responsible Traveler Award 2004
- Top 10 Ecolodges in the World - Outside Magazine 2003
- Eco-Certified - Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism & Ecuadorian Ecotourism Society 2003
- Best Website - Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism 2002
Black Sheep Inn's rural Andean location offers world renowned day hiking, horseback riding and excursions to: Laguna Quilotoa, Rio Toachi Canyon, cloud forest in the Iliniza Ecological Reserve, indigenous markets, and local cooperative workshops producing handcrafted furniture, handmade woolen knitwear and Swiss-style cheeses. Eco Permaculture Features include: solar panels, adobe construction, composting toilets, recycling, roof water collectors, gray water systems, organic gardens, community education & aid work, reforestation, erosion control and more.