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Community Development Volunteer Program in Ecuador - Quito

Community Development Volunteer Program in Ecuador - Quito

Want to be a Community Development volunteer in Ecuador - Quito? International Volunteer HQ’s Community Development project is a great way to try a few different types of volunteer work and learn something new while helping out the local community. Volunteers might feed disadvantaged children and adults, assist in community gardens, support initiatives at a local shelter, help with maintenance and renovations at schools, playgrounds or shelters. Local organisations appreciate the extra pair of hands helping them make a difference to their community.

Highlights:
  • Programs start on the first and third Monday of each month
  • Affordable fees from AU$582 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, breakfast, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Give a community help where they most need it

  • Discover Ecuador’s amazing biodiversity and natural environment

  • Stay with other volunteers in the World Heritage city of Quito

'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

Key information

Support marginalized & low-income communities
Based in and around Quito
Homestay or volunteer house accommodation
Volunteers aged 18+ and families
Fully hosted experience from AU$582 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 12 weeks
Spanish language lessons available
3-5 hours volunteering a day, Tue - Fri

This program is ideal for:

Enthusiastic volunteers who want variety in their program and to help a local community at a grassroots level. You don’t need to be able to speak Spanish on this project but it is an advantage.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

For schools and communities with few resources and limited government funding, finding support can be difficult. Community Development initiatives exist to provide labor, support and materials to enable organizations to support vulnerable communities in need.

As a Community Development volunteer you can help with a number of different initiatives. Your tasks may include, but will not be limited to:

  • Assisting with a school breakfast and lunch support program that provides nourishment to underprivileged children (e.g. preparing snacks and meals)
  • Maintaining school and/or community gardens
  • Cleaning and renovating local school grounds, community centers and playgrounds
  • Administrative tasks as required (e.g. organizing exam booklets)

Typically on Mondays you will work with the local team to identify the needs of your placement and develop a schedule for the week that is suited to your personal interests and skill-set.

A high level of pro-activity and flexibility is required for this project as the needs can change at the last minute and even throughout your placement each day.

Please note, during the school holidays (typically mid-June to end of August) this project will be based out of a local shelter and will work in combination with our Shelter Support Project.

While speaking Spanish is not a requirement for this project, it is recommended to have at least a beginner Spanish level, as the placement staff do not speak English and the tasks you are able to assist with may depend on your Spanish level.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #10: Reduced Inequalities

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #10: Reduced Inequalities

Covid-19 has deepened existing inequalities, hitting disadvantaged and minority communities the hardest. To reduce inequalities, we must provide better services and support to refugees, migrants, indigenous peoples and people with disabilities.

Why do Community Development volunteering in Quito with IVHQ?

When you volunteer on the Community Development project in Quito you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Support local initiatives to improve life in their communities
  • Volunteering on a range of projects
  • Practicing your Spanish
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining experience and new skills
  • Immersing yourself fully in the Ecuadorian culture
  • Exploring Quito, Ecuador’s ancient capital city

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • Volunteers aged 16-18 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or friend over the age of 18 to participate in this program
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
  • While being able to speak Spanish is not a requirement to join the Ecuador program, we recommend that volunteers take advantage of the very affordable language lessons offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers by our partner staff in Ecuador. Past volunteers feel that taking these lessons help immensely with day-to-day volunteer work and communicating with local people. Volunteers interested in taking Spanish lessons can arrange these directly with the local staff once in Ecuador.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

MG
Meryam Ghafoori
27 Feb 2024

I learned a lot about the culture and language. Take the leap, It's worth it.

...
AM
Aundy Morton
22 Feb 2024

Meeting new people, experiencing other cultures while helping people is more of a reward than the act of giving. It opens one’s eyes to a world outside of one’s own and serves as a stepping stone to more adventures.

...
RG
Rebecca Gonzalez
24 Jan 2024

This was a great experience! I was able to sign up last minute and felt supported to complete everything within 3 weeks of my start date with the help of IVHQ. I wish I had chosen to participate longer and I definitely plan to sign up for another program soon.

...
CM
Carmen Monrreal
24 Oct 2023

IVHQ responded quickly with all questions and the local team was very approachable and knowledgeable. They were there to answer questions when needed and helped with issues. The accommodation was safe and secure, as was my room. There was local help to find food, laundry and other comforts so although you live in a highly residential and not tourist area it was safe and comfortable place to live and relax.

...
JT
Jamie Taylor
28 Sep 2023

Traveling alone to an IVHQ program is worth it. The growth you experience from exploring a new part of the world is rewarding. At the volunteer house, you meet like-minded people and become a family. It makes the experiences even better since you share them with your fellow volunteers.

...
TD
Trudy Sietske De Groot
11 Dec 2022

At first I was really nervous about traveling to Ecuador on my own. It was an adventure for sure, but I didn't know what to expect and spoke very little Spanish. However, as soon as I arrived it became obvious that I worried about nothing. The staff in the office is very patient and approaches the language barrier with an open mind. Moreover, as someone who studied international relations it gave me a wonderful opportunity to grow in skills and as a person. I was warmly welcomed by Monica, the woman in charge of the foundation. The other volunteers were very inclusive, fun and spontaneous. We visited many places together and supported each other when necessary. All in all it was a wonderful experience.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

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Volunteer Abroad in Quito, Ecuador with IVHQ

Location

The IVHQ Ecuador volunteer program is based in the capital city of Quito and its surrounding urban and rural areas. Nestled high in the Andes, Quito is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in South America. Despite this aesthetic beauty, Ecuador is still a developing country and there is a great need for volunteers to assist with the growth of this city and its disadvantaged communities.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins every Monday and volunteers need to arrive in Quito on the day before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) in Quito. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee and airport drop off is also available as an affordable add-on which you can book through IVHQ. We recommend that volunteers under the age of 18 travel internationally with a notarized letter from their parents to support their documentation.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Quito. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Ecuador prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Quito the day before your program orientation, or you can make your own way to the volunteer office.

Orientation is hosted by our local team at their volunteer offices in Quito. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Quito - an introduction to Ecuador, Ecuadorian customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Ecuador and an 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 socialising.

Volunteer schedule example

Please note that volunteering on the Ecuador - Quito Program is held Tuesday through Friday and you can expect to participate for 3 - 5 hours per day. Weekends on the program are Saturday through Monday, however, there are some placements (e.g. NGO Support, Street Children Work) that can offer work on Monday upon request. If you would like to work on Monday, simply let the local team know at orientation and they can make these arrangements for you.

Weekdays

An example of a typical day is as follows:

8:00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer house or homestay.
8:30 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at.
12:30 - 1:00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to their accommodation, prepare for the next day, or do some shopping and sightseeing. If volunteers are taking Spanish language lessons, these will usually take place in the afternoons and last 2-3 hours.
6:30 PM Dinner at the volunteer house or homestay.

Volunteers on the Ecuador program can also join casual social activities arranged by the local staff. The social activities usually take place 1 - 2 days per week and give volunteers the opportunity to engage in fun events with the local team, as well as learn about the Ecuadorian customs. Club activities include Ecuadorian movie nights, make your own pizza nights, salsa lessons and more! All of the club activities are held in the afternoon or evening, after volunteers have finished at their placement, and range in cost from AU$4 to AU$16 per person. These activities are not mandatory, but are a great way to get involved and meet other volunteers.

Weekends

Spanning Saturday to Monday, weekends are extra long for volunteers in Quito so there is plenty of time to relax or explore other parts of the city and Ecuador. If you are interested in art, culture and history, you can check out Quito’s historical center, where you can learn about Quito’s history, legends and Pre-Columbian cultures. From there, you can take the El Teleferico cable car for beautiful views of the city and surrounding volcanoes. Horseback riding and hiking is available to the Guagua Pichincha volcano summit. You can visit the coastal region of Salango for snorkelling, Silver Island, and the beautiful beaches of Los Frailes. Jungle excursions can also be arranged to experience nature and unique wildlife such as toucans, parrots, and monkeys.

Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield to explore the amazing national parks of Ecuador or the Galapagos Islands.

Looking for more ideas of things to do in Ecuador? Check out our Ecuador Travel & Tours page!

Accommodation and WiFi

You’ll stay in a volunteer house or homestay. Bedrooms have single beds or bunk beds and you can expect to share a room with one to four other volunteers of the same gender. Living is comfortable and the volunteer house and homestays have electricity, running water and western bathrooms.

Living is comfortable and all volunteer accommodation has electricity, filtered water and western-style bathrooms. While bedding is provided, you will need to bring your own towels and toiletries.

Please note, homes in Quito are not heated, so in the colder months extra blankets are available upon request.

WiFi is available at the volunteer house and in some homestays, though it can be unreliable at times. You can also purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone when you arrive in Ecuador or after orientation.

Meals

Volunteers are provided with breakfast every day on the Ecuador - Quito program. Breakfast is usually tea or coffee, milk, oatmeal, local breads, butter, jam and fruit.

Please note, portion sizes in Ecuador are traditionally smaller than what most western countries offer.

Lunch and dinner can be purchased locally for approximately AU$4 - AU$24, depending on the type of meal you’re looking for.

If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you. However, you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home and need to be flexible.

Pricing

  • USD
Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week AU$582 Equivalent to AU$83/day
2 weeks AU$833 Equivalent to AU$60/day
3 weeks AU$1084 Equivalent to AU$52/day
4 weeks AU$1334 Equivalent to AU$48/day
5 weeks AU$1585 Equivalent to AU$45/day
6 weeks AU$1836 Equivalent to AU$44/day
8 weeks AU$2337 Equivalent to AU$42/day
10 weeks AU$2839 Equivalent to AU$41/day
12 weeks AU$3340 Equivalent to AU$40/day
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$532) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in AUD.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, lunches, public transportation to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Quito generally find US$50 - US$100 per week to be sufficient for expenses, such as lunches, water bottles and local tours and activities. Please note that if you wish to make any payment to the local team whilst on the program, this will need to be done via cash or bank transfer.

Free-time experiences & tours in Ecuador

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Ecuador! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Ecuador program.

Spanish Language Lessons
Spanish Language Lessons

Spanish Classes Exclusively for IVHQ Volunteers

From AU$241
Spanish Language Lessons
Spanish Language Lessons

Spanish Classes Exclusively for IVHQ Volunteers

From AU$241

Spanish language lessons

Spanish language lessons are available for all volunteers regardless of their ability. IVHQ strongly recommends these for all volunteers unless they are fluent in Spanish. Volunteers with a basic level of Spanish should strongly consider these lessons to allow them to work and communicate more effectively during their program. These language lessons can be added via your MyIVHQ profile as an add-on, once you’ve registered for your program. The language lessons are tailored to each volunteer’s current level of Spanish and must be paid for in Ecuador to our local staff. The cost is very affordable and offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers.

  • 12 hours/6 days = AU$241 (or 3 days intensive)
  • 20 hours/10 days = AU$370 (or 5 days intensive)
  • 30 hours/15 days = AU$532 (or 8 days intensive)
  • 40 hours/10 days intensive = AU$694
  • 60 hours/15 days intensive = AU$1001
  • 80 hours/20 days intensive = AU$1308

Check what's required to visit Ecuador

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Quito
Population 17.37 million
Languages Spanish
Currency US Dollar (USD)
Time zone UTC-05:00

Weather and climate: The climate of Ecuador is composed of a number of microclimates that separate into four distinct zones. La Costa (Coastal Lowlands) is tropical, La Sierra (Andean Mountains) is temperate; and El Oriente (Amazon Region) shares the jungle climate of the upper Amazon rain forest.

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How to get started

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