It helps everyone feel connected, and have confidence in what they are doing and where they need to be.
The Yanapuma Foundation in Ecuador was started by Andy and 2 Ecuadorians in 2006 as an NGO, dedicated to promoting sustainable development in indigenous communities around Ecuador. They started a Spanish school at the same time as a way of generating income to finance their enterprise. Andy and the team also started working with volunteers, sending them to work in indigenous communities and organising projects for them to do.
‘At one point we discovered we were an NGO who were booking flights, hotels, and transport, so we started True Ecuador Travel which was another way to fund the work that Yanapuma does. This offered opportunities for people in developed countries to interact with people in developing countries for mutual benefit.’
True Ecuador Travel was dedicated to promoting educational travel, and for that reason, Andy attended WTM in 2018 and came across Vamoos. ‘I was really interested in the software and when I mentioned I was an NGO, Tony (Vamoos Director), said “we should be helping you”, and on that basis we started working with Vamoos.’
Before finding Vamoos, Andy was looking for an app and actually built one using various wordpress add ons. ‘We would upload customers vouchers and details to it, and they could access that information only if they had internet. Vamoos was a much more sophisticated version of what I was trying to build, and it had already been made so it was no hassle for me.’
‘The offline functionality Vamoos provides is so important for us. One of the things we offer is our own island hopping tour of the Galapagos. There is a lot of detail in this, so we put this all into the app and it’s so easy. It helps everyone feel connected, and have confidence in what they are doing and where they need to be. It works really well and people love it, they say the app is fantastic. ’
‘The documents section is really helpful, we can update information whenever we need to, ensuring everyone has up to date details. The web version you have is fantastic too’
Andy uses the app to inform his clients before the trip and to build excitement. ‘We use the itinerary builder to give the information before people arrive, but once we get a deposit we give them full access to the app, and this works really well as they can get excited about it, see everything they will be doing, and ask any questions they may have.’
We are proud to support the great work the Yanapuma Foundation does by providing True Ecuador Travel with access to our system, and we have very much enjoyed working with Andy and his team and getting to know more about their projects.