Volunteer in Ecuador: What kinds of projects can I contribute to?

May 19, 2017

API offers many different volunteer projects in Ecuador to suit a range of interests and skillsets. Projects in areas such as social work, teaching, animal welfare, environment, sports, and development are among the most common volunteer options in Quito, the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon, and other regions of the country. Take a peek into three example placements where volunteers have thrived.

Galapagos Conservation

The Galapagos Islands make up a unique place in this world, with a fragile eco-system that faces many challenges, including quick spreading invasive plant species that destroy the local habitat and represent a real threat to the native and endemic flora and fauna of the land. Volunteers stay and work on a small farm, owned by a family whose history goes back generations on one of the approximately 20 Galapagos Islands. They strive to collaborate with the National Park, their neighbor, in restoring the land for the ultimate well-being of Galapagos Islands.

Volunteer responsibilities include:

  • Reforestation – help to eliminate invasive plant species and restore native and endemic species.
  • Improve trails and paths around the plots of the land.
  • Grow and nurture native plants in the nursery and relocate them to their permanent locations.
  • Help to grow and cut down plants used as food for the tortoise breeding centers.

Children’s Center

Volunteers support efforts in a non-profit organization that offers children facing homelessness a place to further support educational, physical and emotional development. The work of the organization prioritizes the importance of education as a way of ensuring that these children are guided towards a positive future.

Volunteer responsibilities include:

  • Working with children in a quiet space to do their homework
  • Supporting work in the carpentry workshop (available to parents and children)
  • Participating in routine school visits (a main responsibility of the center is to assure the children are attending school and successfully engaging in academics)
  • Preparing educational and recreational activities
  • Assist in hygiene education such as hand washing and brushing teeth
  • Supervising and assisting children while using the I.T. room for their homework
  • Miscellaneous aid needed that may arise, e.g. taking someone to a doctor’s appointment or dentist

Animal Rescue

The aim of this local, family-owned project is to protect the wildlife of the Ecuadorian Amazon region through the rescue and rehabilitation of local flora and fauna. There are currently around 40 different species of animals at this center with diverse back stories. Some were orphaned due to hunting, others were rescued from animal traffickers or have been removed from families who had kept these animals in captivity.

Volunteer responsibilities include:

  • Routine care of the animals
  • Preparation of diets and feeding for animals
  • Helping new arrivals adjust to the center
  • General maintenance and cleaning
  • Construction work; repairing and building new enclosures
  • Cage and enclosure enrichment
  • Assisting the vet when necessary
  • Other activities such as gardening, improving trails, making signs for visitors

Start dates are active year-round, though vary depending on what project you wish to apply your skills to. To read more about volunteering in Ecuador, visit this link. Your Program Manager would also be happy to communicate with you to answer any questions at [email protected]


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