Volunteer in Ecuador with International Volunteer HQ today. IVHQ’s local staff in Ecuador require volunteers NOW! IVHQ has a wide range of volunteering projects in the Ecuadorian capital city of Quito, including Teaching English, Street Children Work, School Support Program, Kindergarten Project, Summer Project and Administration Support.
LOCATION OF ECUADOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
IVHQ has volunteer placements located in Quito and suburban/rural Quito, approximately 45 minutes out of the city. Quito, the capital city of Ecuador is nestled high in the Andes and is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in South America. Despite this aesthetic beauty, there is a great need for volunteers to assist with the development of this city and its communities.
START AND DURATION OF ECUADOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
Volunteers can begin our Ecuador program whenever they wish. Our staff in Ecuador are extremely flexible, allowing us to accept volunteers 365 days of the year! Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 5 months.
ECUADOR VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS
Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the beginning of the program and have at least a high school education. All volunteers must provide a criminal background check to IVHQ partner staff on arrival in Ecuador.
For volunteers who wish to stay for a period longer than 2 weeks and are not fluent in Spanish, it is compulsory to take at least a 20 hour Spanish course with our program partner in Ecuador. Furthermore, we recommend that even volunteers staying for 2 weeks, regardless of their Spanish language ability (unless they are extremely fluent), take advantage of the very affordable Spanish lessons offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers by our program staff in Ecuador, as this will allow you to get much more out of your project. It is expected that all volunteers have at least a basic level of Spanish before they arrive in Ecuador. If you have no knowledge of Spanish, it would be advisable to take some lessons before you depart to give you some basic Spanish from which to build on when you arrive in Quito.
HOW MANY OTHER VOLUNTEERS WILL THERE BE?
Last year IVHQ placed over 200 volunteers on our Ecuador program, making us one of the most popular volunteer organizations in Ecuador! Between 10 and 20 volunteers start on our programs in Ecuador each month. What does this mean for you? More people to socialize with and travel with, more people to meet from different cultures, more people to volunteer with, more projects to work on, more staff support, better infrastructure for volunteers and lower fees!
ECUADOR VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIALS
"I love the city, the volunteer house, and most of all the street children market program. It is a bit unnerving, as this is my first time out of my own country, and Quito is relativley huge compared to where I´m from. But it´s exactly the kind of learning experience I wanted to have. Also, it helps that the local staff are so accomadating; I honestly feel I could go to them with any problems I might have." - Lisa Waters (Street Children Work)
Click here to read more testimonials from IVHQ volunteers in Ecuador.
ECUADOR VOLUNTEER PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS
Similarly to other Latin American nations, Spanish is the official language of Ecuador, however the onset of globalization and increasing tourism in Ecuador has led to an increase in demand from local people to be taught English by fluent foreigners. English-speaking ability has become a crucial aspect of success in employment and educational opportunities for the Ecuadorian people. Volunteers on the Teaching English program may work in a school and focus on working with children or they may work in a community center working with adults. Duties may include assisting an Ecuadorian teacher, taking on full classroom responsibility as a teacher, leading a conversational group or class or teaching in the Summer Program. Volunteers DO NOT need to be a qualified or experienced teacher for this program, however it is important to note that classroom experience and confidence, Spanish skill level and duration will play a factor in the placement volunteers receive.
STREET CHILDREN WORK
For many Ecuadorian children, school has never been an option. They spend 365 days a year working the streets and markets, selling goods and performing with their parents in effort to help their family stay alive. The Street Children program focuses on giving these children some enjoyment in their lives and education, and is popular with these families as it gives them opportunities and perspectives on life they would never have otherwise been provided. Work involves children of all ages and consists of helping with basic school lessons, playing with the children, singing and dancing, providing hygiene awareness (such as teaching the importance of washing hands) and introducing them to activities (such as painting) that they have not been exposed to previously.
SCHOOL SUPPORT PROGRAM (available October - May)
The School Support Program involves tutoring children, providing educational support and instilling confidence in children who have recently been enrolled (or re-enrolled) in school and benefit from the extra help with the transition. Volunteers on this program travel to different markets, a local school or a community centre and work with children in groups or one-on-one, going through homework and supplemental activities. It is important to note that at least a conversational Spanish level is required for this program.
SUMMER PROJECT (available July and August only)
The Summer Project provides attention to 120 children from disadvantaged backgrounds who are either struggling with school or are trying to continue their education, as opposed to slipping back into a life of working in the markets with their parents. This project increases educational continuity and gives the children a better chance at sustaining school as a priority and encouraging an enthusiasm for learning. Volunteers on this program teach a range of subjects, including English, Spanish, Geography and the Arts.
KINDERGARTEN PROJECT (available October - May)
Volunteers on this project assist Ecuadorian teachers in primary and kindergarten classes and collaborate in pre-school math, writing, reading, art lessons, as well as helping out with lunch and playtime. Held in either a school for girls or a private school for low-income families, each class has 15 to 35 students and volunteers are crucial in supporting the teachers they work with, given the age of the students. This project is a great option for aspiring teachers, volunteers with no experience in planning curriculum or teaching, as well as those wishing to improve their Spanish.
There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work involved in accomplishing the goals our local partner organizations have for the children of Ecuador. The purpose of the Administration Support project is to provide assistance with the operational workload these organizations have, in effort to enable them to widen their reach and help more children. Volunteers can utilize existing skills and experience or learn new skills by helping with the day-to-day operations of these organizations, as well as gain a greater understanding of NGOs and the issues they face. Volunteers may assist with translation, record keeping, fundraising and grant writing, publicity, campaign scholarships, systems review and communication. Duties are assigned based on the priority tasks at the time of volunteering in correlation with volunteers’ skills, interests and experience. It is important to note that volunteers on this project are typically asked to spend a portion of their time working on another project, such as Street Children Work, to supplement their time doing administrative support.
ECUADOR PROGRAM COSTS
One of the strengths of IVHQ is our extremely affordable fees. Click here to see the program cost to volunteer in Ecuador and what you receive in exchange for your fees.
ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
Volunteers are accommodated in either a home-stay or volunteer house where they will live with a local family or other volunteers. We give that local family money from your fee for support, food and board. It is exciting to stay with a family; that way you will learn the Ecuadorian way of life, meet local people, eat local food, speak the local language (Spanish) and engage in local customs and traditions. Living is comfortable and all home stays and volunteer houses have electricity and running water. Volunteers can expect to share a room with one or two other volunteers but in some home stays volunteers get their own rooms. Ecuadorian food is tasty, diverse and volunteers can expect to experience a myriad of flavours and meals during their home stay experience. If volunteers wish to eat out, there are a large numbers of restaurants and diners to suit all tastes and budgets. If you have special eating needs, please let us know ahead of time so that we can make arrangements for you. However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but also as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible. Laundry is included in your program fees.
Orientation will begin on the first morning of your volunteer placement. Orientation will be conducted by the local staff and cover everything you need to know for your volunteering program in Ecuador – Introduction to Ecuador, Program information, schedules of activities, Ecuadorian Customs, Language Training Details, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities in Ecuador, Introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing. Once orientation is complete, depends the schedule and time volunteers will be transported to their home stays or start their program.
Spanish language courses are available for all volunteers regardless of their ability. IVHQ strongly recommends these for all volunteers unless they are extremely fluent. If a volunteer's Spanish is anything less than fluent and they are staying for a period of longer than two weeks then it is compulsory for volunteers to take at least a 20 hour Spanish course through our partner organisation in Quito. All volunteers (even those staying for two weeks or less) should strongly consider these courses as they will allow them to work and communicate with all parties a lot more efficiently during their stay. These language courses are organised on your arrival in Ecuador at the program orientation. The language course is tailored to each volunteer's current level of Spanish. The cost is very affordable and offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers at the prices below.
First Day: On the first day of the volunteering placement, the volunteers will be escorted to the project and introduced to the staff at the project you will be working with.
Weekdays: While our programs are flexible and can be fitted to your requirements, an example of a typical day is as follows.
- 7.30AM Breakfast with the host family or other volunteers (if staying in a volunteer house).
- 8.00AM Volunteer leaves home and is dropped (or walks) to the project; The volunteer joins with the local staff. You will be given a duty roster and a plan for your work. There is usually a tea break and a lunch break. Work and hours is dependent on the project and location that the volunteer is participating in.
- 12.00PM-5.00PM Work at the project usually ends. The volunteer at this point is free to visit and see places or do shopping. You may also want to hang out with the kids up to around 6.00PM.
- 8.30PM Dinner with the host family.
NB If a volunteer is taking advantage of the Spanish language course (20 hour course is compulsory if volunteering over 2 weeks and do not have fluent Spanish) they will usually volunteer for half the day and spend the other half of the day (3-4) hours taking Spanish lessons.
Weekends: During the weekend, volunteers have spare time and usually just relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of their local town and Ecuador. Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield such as the coast or Galapagos Islands. If volunteers wish to volunteer over the weekends they can join local teams and visit other orphanages (or other children helping organizations) to spend time simply playing with and entertaining the children.
Ecuador Volunteer Fees
|Volunteer Period||Program Fee US$|
|1 Month (4 weeks)||630|
|2 Months (8 weeks)||1050|
|3 Months (12 weeks)||1510|
|4 Months (16 weeks)||1970|
|5 Months (20 weeks)||2390|
|6 Months (24 weeks)||2880|
|To convert these prices to your local currency click here.
Please note: All programs attract a Registration Fee of $249 USD on top of the Program Fee.
What do my fees pay for?
Registration Fee (Refundable if you choose not to go*) – 24/7 support from IVHQ staff, program marketing costs, information pack, administration costs, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteers.
Program Fee – Airport pick up, orientation, t-shirt, program supervision, accommodation and meals during volunteer placement period, In-country 24/7 volunteer support and In-country administration costs.
What additional costs will I have?
Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, Spanish lessons (compulsory course of at least 20 hours if volunteering for more than 2 weeks for all volunteers who are not fluent), souvenirs, trips or tours you do while in the country, transfer back to the airport from program, spending money (volunteers in Ecuador generally find US$30 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses).