Volunteer Opportunities in Ecuador!
Are you looking for a unique way to travel and volunteer? Are you interested in using your skills and compassion to help others? Experience your personal growth and life changing adventure when you volunteer in Ecuador programs.
Check out Quito, the world's highest capital city. Discover striking, thousand-year-old architecture in the shadow of the soaring Andes, along with world-class bars and restaurants. Hike in scenic El Cajas National Park in Cuenca. Visit Banos, the gateway to the Amazon and home to extreme sports, such as zip-lining, white-water rafting, and pendulum jumping.
Unfortunately, Ecuador is still crippled by poverty, with more than half the population affected. Causes of poverty include lack of access to adequate education, undeveloped infrastructure, wealth inequality, poor access to health care, and lack of viable employment. Children are affected most. Today, Ecuador desperately needs volunteers more than ever.
This is where you come in when you lend your skills and expertise to a volunteer program in Ecuador. Teach English in urban and rural schools, work in an orphanage or with street children, or support conservation efforts in a cloud forest near Quito or in the Galapagos.
Help the disadvantaged of this captivating country while experiencing personal growth and enrichment. Request information about volunteering in Ecuador and take the first step in the adventure of a lifetime!
Volunteer Opportunities in Ecuador
Are you interested in volunteering in Ecuador, but need to find the right program to fit your interests? Read through our options and find one that fits you best.
Ecuador has a flourishing tourism industry, that provides economic opportunity. Yet in order to capitalize on this lucrative resource, English language skills are a necessity. Unfortunately, due to the lack of quality schooling in Ecuador, many children do not have the chance to develop these coveted skills.
A majority of the children in Ecuador study in underfunded and under resourced schools These schools lack well-trained teachers, particularly for teaching the English language. Global Crossroad’s volunteer teaching English program focuses on helping these children learn the skills that will improve their chance at a better future.
When you take part in our Ecuador volunteering teaching English program you will work either in urban, or rural schools. Your role will be to share your English skills with students, helping them to improve their basic English conversational skills. At times you will support various recreational and artistic skills, while organizing extracurricular activities to support and encourage learning.
Ecuador continues to reel under poverty and population explosion, as a result the government is unable to provide adequate resources for the children. Many families are forced to abandon their children, often leaving them vulnerable and homeless. These children take refuge in the various orphanages that they can find.
Orphanages in Ecuador try their best to educate, feed and protect these children, but they often fall short, due to lack of funds and human resources. Global Crossroad’s volunteer program in Ecuador aims to provide education, food and shelter to these kids where it is needed most.
While participating in this program you will provide care and attention to orphaned children. You will be placed in either an orphanage, or a child-care center. Here you will teach the children the basics of English and other subjects. You will engage them in playtime activities, educate them in terms of personal hygiene, and personal safety rules.
At other times, you may be asked to lend a helping hand in performing administrative duties, and get involved in fundraising. There are no specific qualifications needed to join except for fluency in English, and a basic knowledge of Spanish language.
The children from over-worked and overburdened parents in Ecuador often forced to leave their homes and live in the streets. With a lack of education, risk of permanent and total exclusion from local communities, a large number of them become victimized, and turn to solvent abuse and drugs. Global Crossroad’s street children volunteer opportunities in Ecuador teams up with the local organizations and provides the support they need.
As a volunteer with this program you will work with street children in either a rural or urban area. Your main role will be to teach Basic English to these children. You will help to create a fun filled environment, and be their mentor and a friend, providing care, love, and attention to these appreciative children.
Ecuador is the eighth most bio-diverse country on Earth, yet it has the distinction of having the highest deforestation rate, and worst environmental record in South America. Logging and road building are the primary reasons for its mass destruction. Efforts are being made to eradicate this problem from its roots.
Various environment laws are enforced to change the situation, and the mindset of the people, but it has proven so far to be an uphill battle. conservation volunteering program in Ecuador collaborates with local Biological Reserve to save the rainforest from extinction.
As a volunteer in this program, you will be working in a forest reserve. You will be responsible for carrying out the daily activities, including trail maintenance and development, and checking the integrity of the reserve’s borders.
Have you always dreamed of visiting the Galapagos Islands? Would you like to help protect and conserve this fragile ecosystem at a unique conservation volunteer program in Ecuador?
In addition to the above projects, we also offer family Volunteering, alternative spring break, high school volunteering, college/university volunteering and many other programs. Contact Global Crossroad for further information.
Volunteer Opportunities in Ecuador: Dates and Prices
Dates: Volunteer in Ecuador
All volunteer programs in Ecuador start every Monday of each month. However, if there is travel constrains, you can start any project on any day.
The Teaching English Program is closed during the months of July and August.
Fees: Volunteer in Ecuador
Global Crossroad is committed to offering the most affordable and highest quality Ecuador volunteer trips. We strive to keep our costs low. The humanitarian side of the business is our passion.
Global Crossroad's volunteer opportunity in Ecuador application and registration fee cost US $299. The application fee covers the cost of advertising, program promotion, and office expenses (rent, utilities, and staff salaries in USA office).
In addition to the application fee, you are required to pay a weekly program fee. You will pay your weekly fee directly to your host family and project. This way, the fees that you pay will benefit those who rightfully deserve them, and not for company profit.
Mandatory comprehensive travel insurance $3.49 a day »
How your fee is allocated?
National Park Entrance Fee - USD 100
Airport Pick up and Drop - 60
Program fees cover:
- Accommodation (volunteer house or host family)
- Food (local food 3 times a day)
- Program Orientation
- In-country support
- Personalized project
- Pre-departure information
- Certificate of completion
- Fundraising ideas and letters
- Discount for returning volunteers
Program fees exclude:
- Airfare Galapagos
- Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
- Daily transportation
- Airport return transfer
- Food (if you are volunteering on the Galapagos Islands); Please allot $60-$70 a week to cover the cost of your meals)
The volunteering programs in Ecuador fees will cover expenses that will begin on the first day of the program (usually the first or third Monday of the month) to the last day of the program. If you arrive before the first day of the program or you decide you stay beyond your program’s last day, you will be responsible for the additional expenses, which would typically be around $30 a day for room and meals at a hostel.
Accommodations and Meals
During your volunteer program in Ecuador, we place our volunteers with a host family. However, volunteers working in San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos and conservation project in Quito will stay at the project site. You will usually have a single bedroom, but may occasionally share a room with another volunteer of the same gender. Our host families are chosen carefully and are esteemed community members, who have experience in the realm of hosting international travelers.
Three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) will be provided and will consist of local ingredients, and feature traditional cuisine choices for Ecuador. Our meal program can accommodate vegetarian needs; however, we are not able to provide for other dietary restrictions. Food and drinks outside of mealtimes are your responsibility. In most cases, there are restaurants and markets nearby the homes in which our volunteers stay.
Free Time Options
We make sure that our volunteers in Ecuador have lots of free time to explore. Work days are often 4-6 hours, after which you can travel as you like. The same is true for the weekends.
Ecuador is a country brimming with wildlife and varied natural environments. The varied Ecuador volunteer trips locations provide varying free time activity options, as volunteers have weekends and most evenings to themselves to explore.
Volunteer Opportunities in Ecuador: FAQs
If you still have some questions for us, that’s great. Please take your time looking through our FAQ section for answers to the most common volunteering abroad questions.
Which airport do I need to fly in for my volunteer project?
You should fly into Quito International Airport (Mariscal Sucre International Airport) for your volunteer program in Ecuador.
Do you organize airport pick up?
Our volunteers will be greeted at the airport by our local representative and then transferred to their accommodations after their arrival.
What happens if I missed flight or arrived late?
It is critical that our participants inform our office staff or the country coordinator about such dilemmas as soon as possible. If you have missed your flight and are planning to arrive late our country coordinator will be happy to adjust to the new schedule, but you must let them know as soon as you can. You can do that by email or phone call, as their contact information will be provided to you before your arrival.
Who will bring me to the airport for my departure after completing my volunteer work?
Unfortunately, we don’t provide airport departure drop-off services. Our participants must arrange their transportation back to the airport themselves once they have finished their volunteering progra in Ecuador with us. Of course our staff will be happy to assist with this task if requested.
What do I need prior to departure from my home country?
Prior to your departure, you will need to get your passport and visas ready. You then have to arrange a flight to Ecuador by booking tickets online. Once you have done that you should start packing all the essentials such as proper clothing, electronic devices like mobile phone laptop and camera. You also should pack in important documents relating to the project you’re going to work on. If it’s a medical Ecuador Volunteer Project then don’t forget to bring your medical ID card or certificate.
Where are the projects located?
Global Crossroad’s Ecuador volunteer work programs are located in Quito, and Galapagos Island. Located at 2800 meters above sea level, Quito stands out as a busy and sprawling city which is mostly famous for its emerging street art scene, incredible food, mountain views and rich history. Quito has pleasant weather all year round for volunteers wanting to get involved in various humanitarian projects.
On the other hand, Galapagos Island seems to be naturally quaint and undisturbed. This makes it the best place for our international volunteers to take part in all sorts of conservation activities. Each island found within the Galapagos Island boasts its own unique landscape, ranging from barren black, volcanic rocks, to swaths of white sand beaches melting into gemstone-blue waters.
Is there any minimum and maximum stay for my volunteer project?
You have to stay for a minimum of 1 week to maximum of 12 weeks if you decide to join our Ecuador volunteer opportunity. While we do allow volunteers to always extend their stay, it is compulsory for our volunteers to at least have 1 week of free time on their hands.
Can I extend my stay if I choose to?
Volunteers can extend their stay if they wish to continue working on their volunteer projects. Our programs run from 1 to 12 weeks, but the duration of these programs can be extended quite easily. Volunteer simply have to get in touch with our country coordinator and ask him/her to extend the volunteering programs in Ecuador.
Will I have enough time to travel after work and in weekend while volunteering?
Yes, our volunteers do get free time to travel and visit popular touristic sites while volunteering with us. Individual volunteers need to put in 8 hours of work each day typically from 9 am to 4 pm. This leaves a plenty of time for volunteers to travel and get familiar with the places nearby their project placement area. Also, volunteers don’t have to work on weekends so there’s no shortage of free time for leisure and travel.
Who will guide or support me in my Ecuador volunteer project?
All of our volunteer opportunities in Ecuador are managed by a competent and well-experienced country coordinator. Volunteers can ask assistance from our country coordinator in case of emergencies and always rely on him/her to solve their issues within the volunteer project.
Can I change project if I do not like?
Yes, it is possible for volunteers to change their project before or after coming to Ecuador. If a volunteer wishes to change projects for whatever reason, they should get in touch with the country coordinator and ask that person to change their project. This is limited only by the availability of other positions at the time of request.
Can I work in more than one volunteer program?
Yes, you can work in more than one of our volunteer projects. However, you do have to understand that each of our volunteer projects require at minimum of 4 to 5 hours of active involvement on a daily basis, or more. Meaning you have to work more and put double the effort if you truly wish to join 2 Ecuador volunteer programs. It may be advisable to finish one project before seeking to join another.
What age ranges take part in these projects?
Participants between the ages of 18 to 60 years take part in our volunteer programs. Any one below the age of 18 years will have to provide us a written proof of parental consent from their legal guardians.
Will I receive training before the start of my volunteer project?
Yes, you will receive training before the start of your volunteering program in Ecuador. Once you arrive in Ecuador, you will be taken in for a short visit to the office of our country coordinator where you will receive important information regarding the project. You’ll be educated on do’s and don’ts for personal safety, and cultural tips to help you while staying in Ecuador. The nature and extent of your training will depend upon the difficulty of the volunteer program itself.
Why pay to volunteer abroad?
Global Crossroad is an American based non-profit volunteer organization, and it needs money to run its volunteering programs in Ecuador. Global Crossroad does not receive funding from outside sources, and is completely dependent upon its volunteer program fees for the operation and management of its programs. Money paid by volunteers like you helps Global Crossroad to cover its expenses. We do not run a profit ever.
Why are Global Crossroad’s fees so much more affordable than other volunteer organizations?
Global Crossroad is a 501 C 3 non-profit volunteer organization based in Dallas TX. We have been offer the most affordable volunteer programs in more than 20 countries around the world while beating most of our competitors with the lowest program fees. The main reason why Global Crossroad can do this that we only focus on the humanitarian side of our projects and do not prioritize gaining financial income. All of the project fees are directly spend on the project itself including the families and communities involved. Also, there are no middle men operating our projects overseas. This makes it easier for us to operate at a lower price than for profit volunteer companies.
Is it safe to travel to Ecuador?
Ecuador is considered to be a very safe country compared to other Latin American countries. There are minor incidents of petty theft once in a while but they don’t happen to everyone visiting Ecuador due to tight security.
What safety measures should I take during my volunteer trip?
The main thing you should do is stay in touch with our country coordinator and field staffs while volunteering in Ecuador. You should make sure that you inform our local support staff about your whereabouts, particularly in your free time. You should also avoid showing off expensive items and goods whenever you are out for travel and leisure.
What will happen if I get sick during my volunteering project?
Should one of our volunteers become ill or sick, we consider their care and well-being a top priority. Our local staff will do what is necessary, including accessing proper medical care, and whatever else is necessary for recovery. Please don’t hesitate to tell our staff about your condition should you feel ill.
Why must I get travel insurance before beginning my volunteer trip?
Global Crossroad does not allow its participants to join its Ecuador volunteering programs without travel insurance. There may come a time when you need medical attention while volunteering overseas, and being prepared for this outcome is a necessary precaution, even if it seems unlikely to happen. Having a travel insurance will help you cover all your expenses and give you the help you very much need, at a time when you really need it most. Travel Insurance can even safe your life.
What Vaccination Do I need to take?
Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza are the major vaccinations needed for a trip to Ecuador for volunteering and travel purposes. If you are going to stay there for at least 1 week then it is compulsory that you get yourself vaccinated before volunteering in Ecuador. You can learn more about it here:
What are the principle health risks for volunteers in Ecuador?
No matter what, don’t ever drink water straight from the taps of homes in Ecuador. You may risk getting infected with deadly bacteria and viruses. Avoid eating raw meat whenever you are outside during your volunteer work in Ecuador. Food poisoning is also another major concern. Be observant when choosing a place to eat, avoiding street vendors, and selecting places that look hygienic to you. Malaria is also rampant in Ecuador. Use repellant, and avoid travel to places where there may be a high concentration of mosquitoes. Also, beware of street dogs, as there are many in Ecuador who are infected with rabies. All of this information will be presented to you again in orientation and discussion with local staff.
Do I need visa to volunteer and travel in Ecuador?
Yes, you need a tourist visa to work on our volunteer program in Ecuador. You can learn more about Ecuador’s visa and immigration policies here: https://www.fairtravel4u.org/ecuadorian-tourist-visa-extension/
How do I apply for the visa to visit and volunteer in Ecuador program?
Applying for an Ecuadorian tourist visa is very easy. You can apply for an Ecuadorian tourist visa by visiting the official Embassy of Ecuador located in your home country. Do not forget to bring your original passport and a passport-size photo for the visa application form.
Can I extend my visa while I am in the country? Can you help me on this?
Yes. You can extend your tourist visa for an extra 90 days through the Immigration Department in Ecuador. Volunteers can stay for 90 days with their tourist visa but they must extend their visas before the expiration of their authorized stay or face a fine.
How can I apply for a volunteer program?
Visit our website and find the volunteer program you want to take part in. Then download the Ecuador volunteer program application form from our website. All you need to do is fill in the application with all the right details and send it to us for submission. This can be done online or by regular mail.
How long does it take to process my volunteer project application?
It takes at least 2 to 4 weeks to complete the process of evaluating and analyzing a volunteer project application.
What documents do I need to submit with my application?
You don’t need to submit any documents with your volunteer application form. However, if you plan to apply for our medical/healthcare volunteering program in Ecuador then you will have to provide us your medical ID card or a certificate. You also have to provide us a proof of parental consent from your legal guardian if you are below the age of 18 years.
What happens once I submit my documents and application?
We start the process of evaluating and analyzing the application form once it is submitted to us. Then it is forwarded to our local country coordinator for final evaluation. Then once that is done, our volunteers are notified through email and all the details of the volunteer program in Ecuador are sent to them.
Are there any necessary requirements to participate in volunteer programs?
There are no specific requirements to participate in our volunteer projects. Our local staff will make sure to provide any necessary orientation and training before the start of each volunteer project. Beginner to intermediate knowledge of Spanish is preferred. However, you have to be a medical student or a professional if you wish to take part in our Medical Volunteer Project.
NOTE: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is generic information and should not be used as a definitive travel guide. Travel information and situations abroad change constantly. Participants should consult Global Crossroad or travel advisors to verify this information.
Page updated: 25th September, 2019