Volunteer Work

We offer many different projects in various areas and also in different regions of the country. To generalize the projects we ordered all or our projects in 4 categories. On this page you will also find useful tips on choosing the project that you want to work in. You are always free to contact our coordinator Jonatan in case you want to know more about one or more projects!

It is possible to book complete programs with Spanish Classes and volunteering combined. Check out our price list here. We also offer a Galapagos Experience Program for volunteers that want to volunteer in different projects on the Galapagos islands.

Quito Projects

These projects are based in Quito and normally have a social background. Projects we offer include the following: day-care center, street children centre, children's hospital, teaching.

The accommodation for volunteers at our Quito projects is our own student house. Here volunteers share a room with someone of the same sex, and they can make use of the kitchen, the common room and the garden. Meals are not included.

Volunteers travel with public transport to their projects. On their first day, you will be accompanied by our coordinator Jonatan so that they know their way.

QUITO PROJECTS ->

Rest of Ecuador Projects

Hereby we refer to all projects outside of Quito, except the Galapagos Islands. We have projects in the Highlands, the coast and the jungle.

The accommodation for volunteers at these projects varies per project, but is either at the project itself or at a volunteer accommodation. In most cases are meals included with these projects.

 

REST OF ECUADOR PROJECTS ->

Animal Projects

Hereby we refer to all projects in Ecuador related to animals. We have projects with Amazon animals, horses and humpback whales.

The accommodation for volunteers at these projects is at the project itself. In most cases are meals included with these projects.

 

ANIMAL PROJECTS ->

Galapagos Projects

Our Galapagos projects are a great way to get to know the enchanted islands and even help conserve them! We offer both social and nature projects.

The price for the Galapagos projects include the flight (Quito – Galapagos – Quito) and the accommodation. Meals are not included, nor are the fees that will have to be cancelled for the National Park ($100.00) and the Migration Control Card ($20.00)

 

GALAPAGOS PROJECTS ->

Online Volunteer Preparation Course

Together with One Spanish we designed an online course as a preparation on your booked program, but it is also the perfect way to orientate on our wide variety of volunteer projects in Ecuador. You can now prepare yourself for this great trip. We will provide you with all kinds of useful information regarding our volunteer programs. This way you will know exactly what to expect from your program from the moment of arrival at the airport until the last day. We introduce the most important contact persons, accommodation and already teach them some useful vocabulary specific to the project. We aim to make you (and your parents) feel more confident and prepare you as good as possible.

Read more on www.onespanish.org

TRY FREE VOLUNTEER PREPARATION COURSE ->

What to keep in mind when choosing a volunteer project?

Our project selection is as diverse as the country, so for anyone looking to volunteer you can find something of your liking. When choosing a project of our project list, please first think of the following questions:

  • Would I like to volunteer in a city or in a more remote setting?
  • Do I have any special set of skills that I would like to put to use when volunteering?
  • What is/will be my Spanish level when I start volunteering?
  • Would I mind being alone in a project/housing or do I prefer to be with others?

Please keep in mind that your volunteer experience will take place in a completely different cultural and social setting than you are used to in your home country. In every project your help is needed and appreciated but that you should not expect to change the world in a short period of time!

For different reasons we have divided our project list in the following segments. Per segment we will write down what to keep in mind.

  • What to keep in mind when choosing a Quito Project?
  • What to keep in mind when choosing a Rest of Ecuador Project?
  • What to keep in mind when choosing an Animal Project?
  • What to keep in mind when choosing a Galapagos Project?

Quito is the capital of Ecuador, and with over 2 million inhabitants the second biggest city of the country after Guayaquil. This long stretched city, with the Pichincha volcano on the one side and the valleys on the other, is located almost on the equator in the central north part of Ecuador.

When choosing a project in Quito, take into account that you will be living in this bustling city, which is a great mix between modern and traditional living and notable differences between rich and poor. The projects we offer in Quito are in different parts of the city and for most you will be using public transport on a daily basis. Also keep in mind the following:

  • Most of our projects in Quito are social projects where you will be working mostly with kids. If you have no prior Spanish knowledge before coming to Ecuador, you need to take at least a basic Spanish course to make yourself understood to both the kids and the project’s staff whom in almost all are native Spanish speakers with limited or non-existing English.
  • Take into account that with limited Spanish your first week at a project can be frustrating as you struggle to make yourself understood and you get adjusted to the projects
  • As a volunteer you are a valuable, but additional help to the local staff of the Project. Your work will be very much appreciated but is most of the times limited to assisting local staff, which can mean giving additional attention to kids, work on special projects and more.
  • As you will be working with an impressionable target group, kids and youngster, you have to bear in mind that you will function as a role model during your volunteer period and to behave accordingly. You are expected to be in time, respect other people, dress appropriately, not smoke during your volunteer work and not show up with lack of sleep or hangover.
  • You will have an introduction to the project, including help on how to get to the project by our volunteer coordinator in the time before starting your project. Ask all your questions than!
  • All projects we work with have very limited funding and part of your placement fee is a direct financial donation to the project. The rest of your fee covers your accommodation and administrative costs.
  • If you would like to contribute to your project by making a donation or giving a gift, please consult with our volunteer coordinator before or upon arrival. We work closely together with all of our projects and can send you suggestions on their needs and if you would need to bring the donation from your home country or if and where you can buy it in Ecuador.
  • In Quito all public schools close for 8 weeks in July and August for Summer Holiday, for two weeks in February between terms and close for national holidays.
  • When applying for a project, mention all your skills – including hobbies and profession as we can help you think of mini-projects you can do within the project of your choice.

When choosing a project in Quito you can choose your accommodation: staying in our student/volunteer house or living with a host family. Take the following into account:

  • Our student house is located in the heart of the lively neighborhood La Mariscal, which has a central location and a bustling nightlife. In the house live various nationalities, so the main language used is English. Your room will be shared with another person of the same sex. You will have access to a common room, a fully equipped kitchen, 24/7 free WI-FI and hot water.
  • Our host families are carefully selected and live no more than 25 minutes walking from our school. When placing you in a host family we take into account where the project of your choice is located. When living in a host family you will have your own room and will share the rest of the house with the family. You will receive three meals a day on weekdays, no meal on weekends and can do laundry once a week. Most families have WI-FI available for volunteers. Here you will practice your Spanish all the time!

QUITO AND SAFETY

Quito is a big city and therefore criminality and petty theft is not uncommon, but can be avoided by using common sense. Our studenthouse and hostfamilies have preventive safety measures and you will receive more hands on tips and recommendations from our volunteer coordinator once here. Some general rules have to be taken into account:

  • When using public transport keep your bag and valuables in front of you, not on the chair next to you, on your bag, on the floor or anywhere out of side.
  • Do not bring valuables you do not need along to your project: no expensive cellphones, jewelry, credit cards, more money than your spending money for that day, passport, etc.
  • When it gets dark take a taxi, they are cheap here in Ecuador and will guarantee you a safe ride home.
  • Use your common sense when dealing with new situations.

PACKING LIST

Although Quito weather is in some travel guides described as the eternal spring, a better description would be the 4-seasons-in-one-day Capital! You can wake up to a bright blue sky with a burning sun, have a hailstorm in the afternoon and a fresh autumn breeze in the evening. So the best way to prepare for Quito is to prepare for everything! But when packing keep in mind the following:

  • In Quito people are quite conservative and you will not see many bare-legged Quiteñas in shorts or miniskirts.
  • Preparing for all kinds of weather while packing a backpack is challenging, so think ayers that you can put over each other when the weather gets chilly and take off when the sun is shining.
  • Bring along enough sunscreen, as this will be a bare essential and although it can be bought here it is much more expensive here.
  • Bring a smaller backpack or purse for your daily carrying around, although on the Otavalo market you can shop nice items as well.
  • Towels and bed linen are included in your housing in Quito, but bring a long an extra one for your weekends away.

Our Rest of Ecuador Projects is a miscellany of Volunteer Projects scattered around the country. These projects all have a different focus, being on nature or more social and this is explained in detail in the specific project descriptions. On all Rest of Ecuador Projects meals are included. Before starting your project you will have a meeting with our Volunteer Coordinator during your class time in Quito, to give more project specific information, how you arrive there and other tips and suggestions.

When choosing a Rest of Ecuador project, read the information of the project description well and check the map mentioned below to locate your project on the map. Take into account that for most projects (besides Cuenca, which is the third biggest city in Ecuador) you will be living in a more remote setting, under more basic circumstances and with local families most of the time.

Also keep in mind the following:

  • For most of our Rest of Ecuador projects you need to take at least a basic Spanish course to make yourself understood to the project’s staff whom in almost all are native Spanish speakers with limited or non-existing English.
  • Take into account that with limited Spanish your first week at a project can be frustrating as you struggle to make yourself understood and you get adjusted to the projects
  • As a volunteer you are a valuable, but additional help to the local staff of the Project. Your work will be very much appreciated but is most of the times limited to assisting local staff.
  • Each project has its own set of rules, which you are expected to obey. This will be explained to you upon arrival.
  • All projects we work with have very limited funding and part of your placement fee is a direct financial donation to the project. The rest of your fee covers your accommodation and administrative costs.
  • If you would like to contribute to your project by making a donation or giving a gift, please consult with our volunteer coordinator before or upon arrival. We work closely together with all of our projects and can send you suggestions on their needs and if you would need to bring the donation from your home country or if and where you can buy it in Ecuador.
  • In Ecuador the public schools work according to two different sets of school schedules: a Coastal/Galapagos one where summer holiday is March and April, for two weeks in September/October between terms and close for national holidays and a Jungle/Andes one where they close for 8 weeks in July and August for Summer Holiday, for two weeks in February between terms and close for national holidays.
  • When applying for a project, mention all your skills – including hobbies and profession as we can help you think of mini-projects you can do within the project of your choice.

PACKING LIST

As projects are very diverse both in concept as in location you will receive a complete packinglist in your confirmation package.

Our Animal Projects is a specific category, as they are more costly than other projects. This is because besides paying for your own food (included in all projects, besides the Turtle Patrol Project), you are also paying for the food and shelter of the animals as the projects are completely self-supportive. With all our projects, you accommodation is on-site and is shared accommodation in dorms. Accommodation is basic, and the work is hard but also rewarding.

When choosing an Animal project, read the information of the project description well and check the map mentioned below to locate your project on the map. Take into account that the Animal Projects are in remote settings and under more basic circumstances.

Also keep in mind the following:

  • For most of our Animal projects you can get by with very little Spanish as there are many English-speaking volunteers but we always suggest taking at least a basic Spanish course to make yourself understood to the project’s staff.
  • Take into account that you will be working with the animals, but that in the case of the Monkey Sanctuary and the Amazon Animal Rescue Centre 90% of your job will be cutting fruits, feedings, cleaning and building cages and paths. You will not be cuddling with animal all day and will not be allowed to go into the cages of the more dangerous animals.

In the case of the Turtle Patrol Project, your work is very varied and might also change location due to the nesting habits of the turtles. Also you will help out on projects involving other species such as birds and sharks. The project produces scientific data and you will be asked to help in recollecting and processing data.

The Horse Ranch Project is for absolute horse lovers with horseback riding experience.

  • As a volunteer you are a valuable help to the local staff of the Project, as most projects cannot afford to pay sufficient local help to care for all animals. Your work will be very much appreciated.
  • Each project has its own set of rules, which you are expected to obey. This will be explained to you upon arrival.
  • For all animal projects we require Rabies and Tetanus vaccinations.
  • When applying for a project, mention all your skills – including hobbies and profession as we can help you think of mini-projects you can do within the project of your choice.

PACKING LIST

For all animal projects, we suggest the following when packing your bag:

  • Comfortable and light clothing
  • Rubber boots
  • Insect Repellent
  • Sun cream
  • Long sleeved shirts and t-shirts
  • Quick drying trousers
  • A fleece/ jumper for the evenings
  • Rain jacket
  • Flashlight
  • Basic First aid kit

When your project is confirmed you will receive a project specific description, including a packing list.

Galapagos is on many traveller’s a bucket list, and what better than to spend some weeks on the enchanted islands, instead of just doing a 5-day cruise! Your volunteer work fee includes your national Galapagos flight ticket, and we recommend all volunteers to put the flight out date a week later than the ending of your volunteer work so you have time to visit other islands of this archipelago.

When choosing a Galapagos project, read the information of the project description well and check the location of your project. Most of our projects are located on the island San Cristobal, but we also have a project on Santa Cruz. Our nature projects on Galapagos are set in the highlands of San Cristobal and Santa Cruz in a more remote setting.

Also keep in mind the following:

  • For all of our Galapagos projects you need to have prior knowledge of Spanish and we therefore recommend you to take at least a basic Spanish course to make yourself understood to the project’s staff whom in almost all are native Spanish speakers with mostly non-existing English.
  • Take into account that with limited Spanish your first week at a project can be frustrating as you struggle to make yourself understood and you get adjusted to the projects
  • As a volunteer you are a valuable, but additional help to the local staff of the Project. Your work will be very much appreciated but is most of the time limited to assisting local staff.
  • The cost of living on the Galapagos is a lot higher than on the mainland, due to the fact that almost all basic necessities are imported.
  • For our social projects we work with the public school of San Cristobal. Due to higher wages on the Galapagos the population is not as poor as other parts of Ecuador where we work with projects, but your contribution as a volunteer is much appreciated.
  • Galapagos is a very popular destination for volunteering so there will be more people volunteering with you at the projects most of the time.
  • The Galapagos National Park Ranger Project is located in the highlands of San Cristobal, 45 minutes from the town Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. You will have no internet access here and when choosing this project take into account that you will be in a remote setting.
  • If you would like to contribute to your project by making a donation or giving a gift, please consult with our volunteer coordinator before or upon arrival. We work closely together with all of our projects and can send you suggestions on their needs and if you would need to bring the donation from your home country or if and where you can buy it in Ecuador.
  • In Galapagos the public schools work according to the following school schedule: summer holiday is March and April, for two weeks in September/October between terms and close for national holidays. During the biggest part of the summer holiday we collaborate with the Galapagos National Park holiday program that is offered free of charge to the local kids.
  • When applying for a project, mention all your skills – including hobbies and profession as we can help you think of mini-projects you can do within the project of your choice.

PACKING LIST

The weather in the Galapagos varies between warm and very warm. The coldest months of the year are July and August with an average temperature between 21° and 27°Celsius, and the water can be very cold (wetsuit needed when snorkeling). The hottest months of the year are February to April with an average temperature between 27° and 32°Celsius.

All projects:

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sandals
  • T-shirts
  • Short-sleeved shirts
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Sweatshirt/warmer jacket
  • Shorts
  • Bathing suit
  • Baseball cap
  • Bath towel
  • Beach towel
  • Toiletries
  • Rain gear
  • First Aid Kit
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Snorkel equipment (recommended, but this can also be rented for +/- $5.00 a day)

Hacienda/Farm or National Park Project:

  • Rubber boots
  • Insect Repellent
  • Sun cream
  • Gardening gloves