Small World Adventures Cancels Ecuador Season Due to Pandemic

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Now it’s getting personal for paddlers.

Due to the global pandemic Small World Adventures is cancelling its Ecuador season of whitewater kayaking.

In a letter to kayakers, co-owner Darcy Gaechter penned:

Dear kayakers,

With great disappointment, Small World Adventures has decided to cancel our entire 2020/2021 Ecuador season. We wrestled with the decision for months while closely following COVID-19 developments, working on protocols with doctors, weighing our team’s need to work and your desires to paddle against the risks of international travel. Ultimately, Don and I just do not believe it is responsible to encourage international travel at this stage in the global pandemic with cases spiking and governments reinstating lockdowns and travel restrictions….

We believe this is not the time to offer international trips. With cases on the rise, we are concerned about the travel for our guests, and we don’t feel great about our options to help you with quarantine or treatment if one of you shows up to Ecuador with COVID or catches it there. We also worry that we could cause an outbreak in Ecuador, and many of the areas where we kayak do not have the resources to deal with such an event.

Don and I are crushed about this decision for ourselves, for all of you wanting a paddling vacation, and especially for our Ecuadorian staff. We know how much this affects them and we will continue to do everything we can to support them until the time when SWA can safely run trips in Ecuador again.

In looking through photos to use in this newsletter we were reminded of all the good times we’ve had with guests over the years on Ecuador’s amazing rivers. To think about skipping a winter is truly heartbreaking. But we think it’s the safest decision for our guests and staff during this pandemic.

We hope that you all understand this choice and that you will keep Small World Adventures and Ecuador in mind when you plan your 2021/2022 winter kayaking vacation. We plan to be there for you next season and we hope you’ll come join us!

In the meantime, SWA has added a 4-day trip down the stunningly beautiful Class IV Illinois River in Oregon to our lineup. Trip dates are April 22nd-25th. Contact our office if you are interested. We hope to add a few more domestic offerings to satiate your need to kayak, so stay tuned!

We look forward to the 2021/2022 Ecuador season when hopefully many factors will be different and travel will be safer for everyone. Stay healthy, wear a mask, wash your hands, and please keep in touch!

We hope to see you on the river in the not too distant future–The Small World Adventures team.

Fundraiser for staff

Small World Adventures has also stepped in to try to ease the burden for its Ecuadorian staff by starting a GoFundMe campaign and speakers series to try to raise enough money to get our staff through the closing. “We want our guides, our cooks, and our drivers to still be there when we are ready to return, because we feel we have the best team in South America and we don’t want to lose them to whatever less fulfilling job they seek in order to survive this pandemic,” says Gaechter. Donate at

fundraiser. 

 

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