Volunteers must be 18 years old or older on the date of the commencement of their program, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. Some Spanish language skills are required for most project and for the Medical project an advanced level of Spanish is necessary.
There are Spanish courses for all language skills levels offered by our local partner and we recommend our volunteers to take advantage of these very affordable classes in site, that will help you make the best of your volunteering experience there.
Volunteers with some expertise or previous experience on the field of their chosen project is highly valued, what we value most in our volunteers is a sincere willingness to help those who are in need and to be responsible, proactive, positive and compassionate.
Location and Duration
Although the programs are run all year round and volunteers can join any day of the year, we prefer that they arrive on weekends and start off on their placements on a Monday. In the case that they arrive on any weekday, they will begin work and then attend their orientation course on the following Monday.
The programs are based in Quito and the amazon forest.
On arriving at the airport volunteers will be met by a member of our local staff and, depending on the time of their arrival, they’ll be either led to their accommodation placements or straight to the Spanish School (our volunteers’ meeting place in Quito), where orientation takes place. A coordinator will then take them on a two-hours tour around the area and fill them in with basic information about the program regulations and rules, some safety tips and clear out any remaining doubts. This is an ideal opportunity for volunteers to exchange money, buy sim phone cards and get acquainted among themselves and exchange contact details. . After this, volunteers will be taken to their accommodation places and introduced to their hosts.
For those volunteering in programs outside Quito, we recommend that they arrive on the previous week of their starting date at their project placement because they need to allow for some time in Quito for the orientation before travelling to their final destination.
Accommodation and meals
Volunteers whose projects are placed in Quito are accommodated in our Volunteers’ centrally located and self-catered apartments, in the proximities of our local headquarters. This comfortable apartments are fully equipped with modern amenities which include full kitchen and n bathroom with hot running water and wifi (sometimes available at an additional cost). This accommodation is ideal for independent volunteers and families that prefer to care for their own meals.
Homestays at local family homes are also available on volunteers request and may include meals (sometimes at an additional cost). These host families are carefully chosen by our local staff.
Information about the accommodation and meals provided for volunteers working in programs outside Quito will be detailed below those programs descriptions.
The Ecuadorian gastronomy is well renowned for its exotic tropical fruits, superb fish and seafood and many varieties of Andeans potatoes.
Among the many traditional dishes you should definitely try the Ecuadorian churrasco (roast beef with a fried egg, potato chips and fried plantain), empanadas (warm pastry pockets with cheese or meat filling) or Llapingachos (potatoes and cheese pancakes).
Working schedules will vary greatly from one project to the other, yet a working week usually starts on Monday and finishes on Friday, and a rather typal weekday may be something like this:
7:00 AM: Get up and have breakfast at your accommodation placement.
8:30 AM: Go to your project location and start with voluntary work.
1:00 PM: Lunch break.
17:00 PM: Finish work.
Breaks in the afternoon for Spanish lessons are allowed and there is also some flexibility to negotiate the working schedule with local staff.
After 17:00 PM, the Spanish schools becomes the volunteers gathering place and many social activities take place there in the evenings.
Weekends are free and volunteers can either explore Quito or venture farther inside the country and visit some of its tourists attractions such as Cotopaxi volcano, the highest on earth; Cuenca subtropical thermal baths,or the Amazon rainforests.
There are many wonderful and very affordable weekend tours and they are a great weekend program for volunteers to spend free time together, build new friendships and create everlasting memories.
Evening activities and weekend trips are regularly posted on the Spanish school notice board.