Shelter Support Volunteer Project in Ecuador - Quito
Interested in Shelter Support volunteering in Ecuador - Quito? International Volunteer HQ’s Shelter Support project empowers volunteers to assist in local shelters for vulnerable people in Ecuador’s capital city. These shelters provide food, housing, education, safety and other basic necessities to people who go there for help. Volunteers gain experience in supporting disadvantaged communities while helping the shelter deliver a wrap-around service to those in need.
- Programs start every Monday
- Affordable fees from AU$400 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Help a shelter provide meals, housing and education to vulnerable people
Discover Ecuador’s amazing wildlife and environment
Stay with other volunteers in a World Heritage city
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
People from disadvantaged communities in Ecuador often rely on local shelters for basic necessities. Volunteers play a huge role in helping these shelters to provide support to the elderly, adults and even teenagers who may be homeless, ill, illiterate or living on the streets.
As a Shelter Support volunteer you’ll help local staff and volunteers with all the day-to-day jobs that are required to support the people who use the shelter.
Shelter Support volunteer work can involve:
- Preparing and serving meals
- Helping with laundry, cleaning and changing sheets
- Hosting activities and educational workshops
- General maintenance
Beginner level Spanish is a requirement for this project.
Why do Shelter Support volunteering in Quito with IVHQ?
When you volunteer with homeless people in Ecuador - Quito you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Improving quality of life for vulnerable people
- Increasing access to basic necessities
- Practicing your Spanish
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining experience supporting disadvantaged communities
- Immersing yourself fully in the - Ecuadorian culture
- Exploring the fascinating history of Quito
- Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
- Volunteers aged 16-18 are required to provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team
- 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.
- Beginner level Spanish is a requirement for the Shelter Support project. We also 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.
Ecuador photo gallery
”Volonteering in Quito was an amazing experience. You feel like at home and at the same time it's change your life.”
Read reviews from Shelter Support volunteers in QuitoSee more reviews
The IVHQ Ecuador - Quito 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 full days, unless you’re also taking Spanish language lessons, in which case you’ll volunteer for half days. Weekends on the program are Saturday through Monday.
While our programs are flexible and can be fitted to your requirements, an example of a typical day is as follows:
|7:30 AM||Breakfast at the volunteer house or homestay|
|8:00 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.|
|2:00 - 5:00 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.|
|7:30 PM||Dinner at the volunteer house or homestay.|
Volunteers on the Ecuador program can also join social clubs arranged by the local staff. The social clubs give volunteers the opportunity to meet volunteers from other projects and share in their experiences on the program. Club activities include free conversational Spanish groups, Ecuadorian movie nights and salsa lessons! All of the club activities are held in the afternoon, after volunteers have finished at their placement, and range in cost from AU$4 to AU$7
To ensure the safety of our volunteers and respect of others in the volunteer accommodation, a curfew of 10:30 PM has been put in place from Monday to Thursday and a 1:30 AM curfew for Friday to Sunday. Volunteers under the age of 18 will have a curfew of midnight for Friday to Sunday.
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 centre, 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, bunk beds or a double bed and you can expect to share a room with one or two other volunteers. Living is comfortable and the volunteer house and homestays have electricity, running water and western bathrooms. Extra nights of accommodation are available at an affordable rate and can be booked through IVHQ once you’ve been accepted onto the program.
To ensure the safety of volunteers and respect for others in the volunteer accommodation, a curfew of 10:30 PM has been put in place from Monday to Thursday and a 1:30 AM curfew for Friday to Sunday.
WiFi is available at the volunteer house and in some homestays. You can also access WiFi at the local team’s office, or purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone when you arrive in Ecuador.
Volunteers are provided with breakfast and dinner every day on the Ecuador program. Breakfast is usually tea or coffee, cereals, local breads, condiments, and fruits and cheese.
Dinners will be a mixture of traditional Ecuadorian meals like meat or vegetarian stews, rice, vegetables or potatoes, and western meals. Carbohydrates, such as potatoes, bananas, plantains, bread and rice are common ingredients for Ecuadorian dishes.
Lunch can be purchased locally for AU$4 - AU$7 per day.
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. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||AU$400 Equivalent to AU$58/day|
|2 weeks||AU$594 Equivalent to AU$43/day|
|3 weeks||AU$794 Equivalent to AU$38/day|
|4 weeks||AU$1002 Equivalent to AU$36/day|
|5 weeks||AU$1232 Equivalent to AU$36/day|
|6 weeks||AU$1433 Equivalent to AU$35/day|
|8 weeks||AU$1819 Equivalent to AU$33/day|
|10 weeks||AU$2294 Equivalent to AU$33/day|
|12 weeks||AU$2635 Equivalent to AU$32/day|
- Breakfast and dinner
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Discounts on language lessons
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of AU$443 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.
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 are organised upon your arrival in Ecuador during your program orientation. 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$124 (or 3 days intensive)
- 20 hours/10 days = AU$192 (or 5 days intensive)
- 30 hours/15 days = AU$289 (or 8 days intensive)
- 40 hours/10 days intensive = AU$370
- 60 hours/15 days intensive = AU$556
- 80 hours/20 days intensive = AU$711
Check what's required to visit Ecuador
Check out the widget below to find out what the Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements are for Ecuador, based on your country of residence.
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.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential country information
|Currency||US Dollar (USD)|
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.