About us

About us

Located in the fishing village of Puerto López, Manabí, Ecuador, Clara Luna is a community organization that provides programming focused on education-based recreational activities for the community, with a focus on children, youth and their families.

Our volunteers run after-school programming at Clara Luna centre, tutor children, teach English, host community reading initiatives and help in other community organizations and projects – all while helping to stimulate an interest in learning. Volunteers come from around the world for varying lengths of time, with the minimum commitment being one month. There are no program fees.

We are a non-profit, non-political, non-denominational organization, funded by the housing fees at the Clara Luna volunteer house and independent donors.

Donations are used for purchasing program supplies, such as books for our growing library as well as crafts, teaching supplies and other programming materials.

Paola Martínez

Founder of Clara Luna and Director of all of its programs and serves, Paola Martínez is a “one woman show” who gives all of the credit to her hard-working team of every-changing volunteers. Paola lives in Puerto López with her two teenage boys, Paolo and Joseph.

Day Trips

The Ecuadorian coast has so much to offer and many different ‘seasons’ to enjoy!

Whale Watching
From June-October, Puerto López is a touristic hot spot from which to see humpback whales in migration.

Turtle Nesting Season
From late November to May, the beaches of Puerto López and the surrounding area are under close monitoring by Clara Luna volunteers working with Machalilla National Park to preserve the four vulnerable or endangered species of sea turtles that exist in our waters.

Local Fish Market
A trip to the local fish market is sure to impress. Not only will you see local fishermen hauling impressive fresh catch to the beach, but you can enjoy some fresh ceviche, corbiche, and many more local delicacies.

Isla de la Plata
In for an exciting day trip? Nicknamed “the poor man’s Galapagos”, set off with a local tour operator for a hike of the island to see blue footed boobies, red footed boobies, and masked boobies all in the same place. The snorkelling is a treat on a clear day!

Los Frailes
Looking for beautiful beaches? Los Frailes is one of Machalilla National Park’s greatest treasures and one of Ecuador’s most beautiful beaches. Located only 12 km from Puerto López, it makes for a great day trip!

Agua Blanca
This small community close to Puerto López is the home to 52 families living similar to their Manteña ancestors. There is a small but interesting museum that includes a guided hike to the sulfur pool where you can pass the time bathing in mud rinsing in the tepid waters.

Although Puerto López is located in a fishing bay, there are many opportunities for some world class surf all within 20 minutes to an hour away from Clara Luna. Check out Ayampe, Las Tunas and, if you’re in for a party, Montañita!