The Comuna of Loma Alta is situated in the Chongon – Colonche mountains of coastal Ecuador, approximately 150 miles northwest of the port city of Guayaquil.   It is comprised of four settlements:  Loma Alta, El Suspiro, La Union and La Ponga.  Its inhabitants are poor farmers with family incomes of less than $100 a month.  Their crops include tomatoes, watermelons, cucumbers and paja toquilla, the fiber used to make “Panama” hats.


They own a beautiful yet highly endangered fog forest that is rich in endemic plants and such rare and varied wildlife as howler monkeys, kinkajous, ocelots, toucans and hummingbirds. The forest is also the source of the watershed upon which thousands of local people depend for their very survival.




In 1996, in direct response to PAN's innovative combination of community development, participatory research and educational programs, the villagers opted to establish the first Communal Ecological Reserve in western Ecuador!  More than 1,500 acres of forest were set aside for future generations.


Today, the Loma Alta Ecological Reserve consists of nearly 7,500 acres.  This pioneer community has received national and international recognition for its visionary actions.  PAN is proud of its record at Loma Alta and, with your support, will continue its efforts to protect the Ecological Reserve and extend it to neighboring communities.


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