The ERI needs to raise USD $5,000 for a legal defense to stop a proposed hydro project on the world-famous Jondachi River.
Ecuadorian River Institute
4 Team Members

The world-reknowned Upper Jondachi River is threatened to be dammed by a poorly-conceived, government-run hydroelectricity project.  This river is part of one of the most pristine watersheds in Ecuador.  On top of this, it is a popular tourist destination, and is the crown jewel of local whitewater tourist offerings. 

To conduct a legal defense against the hydroproject, the Ecuadorian River Institute (ERI), 501c3, is seeking to raise $5,000 to match its current investment of $5,000 in this legal process (total legal fees are $10,000).

Protecting this river is an environmental, tourist and local business imperative, and we are grateful for your support!


Our Goal:

To defend the recreational and traditional uses and outstanding resource values of the Jondachi, with legal and technical arguments and the presentation of alternatives, through a due diligence legal process


Information on Proposed Hydroproject:

The government-owned thermal electricity company, CELEC EP - Termopichincha (Termopichincha), is developing the La Merced de Jondachi hydro project to offset a portion of its carbon emissions from its multiple fossil fuel power plants around the country. None of Termopichincha's thermal power plants are near the Jondachi.

The proposed, 18.1-MW, La Merced de Jondachi hydroelectric project has gross technical, economic and environmental deficiencies and lacks merit. It is a high cost, high risk project with very little benefit, which will eliminate a sustainable tourism economy.


Key Issues with the Proposed Hydroproject:

  • Termopichincha has no previous experience developing hydroelectric projects and the project is poorly planned in every aspect
  • The hydroproject will have significant operational deficiencies because water flows in the river are lower than Termopichincha assumes
  • The cost of the project is disproportionately high to the amount of electricity it will generate
  • The proposed instream environmental flow is NOT sufficient to support the riparian ecosystem or allow for whitewater paddling
  • There are significantly better development alternatives for generating renewable energy


How You Can Help:

- Help us meet our fundraising goal for the legal process by September 20, 2013

- Learn more about the issues surrounding the project, by visiting our website:

- Come visit the Jondachi!


More Information:


Salvemos al Rio Jondachi!


About Us:

The ERI is incorporated in the state of Colorado as a US non-profit 501c3 organization, and works to protect and conserve unique watershed resources in Ecuador.

The ERI targets river drainages which are important for recreational river use and advocates protecting river corridors for the benefit of maintaining the high levels of biodiversity and realizing sustainable, tourism-based economies in these areas.

Years of exploring and documenting whitewater rivers in the Ecuadorian Andes and observing the significant and growing threats to watershed quality led to the formation of the Ecuadorian Rivers Institute in August, 2002.


Use of Indiegogo Funding:

The legal defense of the Jondachi River from the development of the La Merced de Jondachi Hydroelectric Project is estimated to be $10,000. The Ecuadorian Rivers Institute (ERI) has contributed $5,000 to review the case and initiate legal actions, and is raising an additional $5,000 to cover the full cost.  The legal strategy will use existing Ecuadorian laws and regulations to set a precedent for the consideration of recreational and traditional uses of water to protect the biodiversity and outstanding resource values of the Jondachi River.

The ERI has contracted a prominent Ecuadorian law firm to defend the integrity of the Jondachi River. The firm has supported the ERI with occasional pro bono legal services for several years and has demonstrated professional competence and results. However, the work load for this case exceeds their capacity to continue delivering services on a pro bono basis. They have quoted discounted rates to work with the ERI to review the case, present a legal demand for an extraordinary revision of the project permits and development, represent the ERI in legal hearings, and try to negotiate a successful settlement.

If we exceed our fundraising target, the ERI will use the funds for defenses of the Jondachi and other endangered local rivers.

Find This Campaign On
raised by 53 people in 1 month
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Verified Nonprofit
$5,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on September 30, 2013
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  • $25USD
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    We will add your name to the ERI website as a Sponsor of the Jondachi Legal Defense

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    $100 SWA Gift Card

    In addition to becoming a Campaign Sponsor, Small World Adventures will give you a $100 gift card for the SWA store or trip!

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    $200 SWA Gift Card

    In addition to becoming a Campaign Sponsor, Small World Adventures will give you a $200 gift card for the SWA store or trip!

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