Fundación Raíz Ecuador – Caemba handed over the community dining hall in Galera

On Sunday, July 18, 2021, Fundación Raíz Ecuador – Caemba officially handed over the new infrastructure of the community dining hall to the 21 ‘Guerreras de Galera’. This group of 21 women generate income for their families and the community through tourism and the sale of their gastronomy. The Alliance for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (AEI) provided the financing and technical support necessary to build this project, which had a cost of USD 12,000.

The construction of the bamboo dining hall was carried out by Fundación Raíz Ecuador – Caemba. The project was completed on Sunday, July 18.

AEI – Reemprende

Since 2018, AEI, along with the Reemprende initiative, has been involved with the community of Galera. Together with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, the association of the ‘Guerreras de Galera’ was identified, and in an exercise of entrepreneurship technical assistance, AEI donated kitchen equipment in December 2020.

Subsequently, AEI and Reemprende decided to finance the construction of a bamboo community dining hall that would be safe for selling and storing implements. This is why Fundación Raíz Ecuador – Caemba carried out the construction of this dining hall. As part of AEI and Reemprende’s technical assistance, thematic axes related to training in marketing, accounting, entrepreneurship planning, gender and economic empowerment, associative strengthening, environment, and leadership were developed.

The dining hall has 160 m2 of construction, divided into two floors. The exterior part has a total of 40 m2. The design includes windows that close to provide security inside and open to serve as bar-type tables. The second floor offers a spectacular view of the Galera cove. On the second floor, tables will be set up so that diners can serve themselves the food offered by the ‘Guerreras de Galera’.

We thank our team of construction technicians for working diligently for almost two weeks on this important project. Now, Galera has a tourist attraction made with the hands of its people to join the incredible existing natural scenery. This project will contribute to the recovery of tourism and the post-pandemic economy.


Galera is located in the Muisne canton, and its coastal area is part of the Galera-San Francisco Marine Reserve, established in 2008 to protect the biodiversity and marine-coastal ecosystems of the area, as well as the tropical forest. Galera is situated south of the Esmeraldas province, and according to the 2010 census, it was inhabited by 1,755 people who identify themselves as mestizos, Afro-descendants, and montubios.

Previously, there was a structure made of wood and toquilla straw that served as a dining hall. However, now a completely new bamboo structure has been delivered. Prior to this, an inspection visit was made in April 2021.

In this area, there are several fish species, such as the humpback parrotfish, yellowtail snapper, royal angelfish, grunt, and rock sea bass. There are also marine mammals such as the bottlenose dolphin and the spotted dolphin.

Galera preserves the marimba culture, abundant fishing, and a diverse and high-quality gastronomy, including dishes like octopus stew and octopus in peanut sauce, among others.

The Galera community actively participated during the nearly two weeks of construction. Photo: Manuel Pallares

This village was affected by the earthquake of April 2016, then by Covid-19, and for several years its fishermen have been victims of sea pirates. That’s why initiatives like the construction of the community dining hall, which will have two floors, will be of great utility to reactivate the economy of these women and their families. It will also boost tourism in this locality, which now more than ever needs visitors to enjoy its charms.

The celebration of the Virgin of El Carmen, protector of fishermen, coincided with the construction of the project. Photo: Manuel Pallares

During the construction in Galera, the celebration of the Virgin of El Carmen, protector of fishermen, coincided. There were colorful events and celebrations, including sailing in the ocean with the image of the Virgin and the fishermen and their families. This wonderful celebration is part of the intangible heritage of Esmeraldas and Ecuador.

We thank AEI, who made this construction possible, as well as other individual or private business actors.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statement

Fundación Raíz is dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), working with indigenous, Afro-Ecuadorian, Montubio, and Mestizo groups across Ecuador.

Our projects support various communities: Sionas, Siekopai, Kofan, Chachi, Kechwa, Waorani and Shuar, covering six linguistic families.

Our CAEMBA housing initiative focuses on the Afro-Ecuadorian and Montubio populations in Esmeraldas, addressing challenges of poverty and high crime rates. We commit to equitable treatment, opportunities for all, and the elimination of barriers to participation.

By valuing every voice and fostering community resilience, we aim to create a more inclusive, equitable society.

Our leadership is committed to DEI principles, ensuring our efforts reflect the diversity of the communities we serve and contribute to sustainable development and social justice.


Fundación Raíz está dedicada a la diversidad, equidad e inclusión (DEI), trabajando con grupos indígenas, afroecuatorianos, montubios y mestizos en todo Ecuador.

Nuestros proyectos apoyan a varias comunidades, Sionas, Siekopai, Kofan, Chachi, Kechwa, Waorani y Shuar, cubriendo seis familias lingüísticas. Nuestra iniciativa de vivienda CAEMBA se centra en las poblaciones afroecuatorianas y montubias en Esmeraldas, abordando desafíos de pobreza y altas tasas de criminalidad.

Nos comprometemos a un trato equitativo, oportunidades para todos y la eliminación de barreras para la participación. Valorando cada voz y fomentando la resiliencia comunitaria, aspiramos a crear una sociedad más inclusiva y equitativa.

Nuestro liderazgo está comprometido con los principios de DEI, asegurando que nuestros esfuerzos reflejen la diversidad de las comunidades que servimos y contribuyan al desarrollo sostenible y la justicia social.