ECUADOR

Get AMPED Abroad: One word perfectly describes Ecuador -- diversity. Between its biodiversity, melting pot of cultures, and climate and topographyy smorgasbord, there isn’t enough time or space to do this small country jewel justice..

 

If we have to choose what we like most about Ecuador, it's the natural landscape. You're not the outdoorsy type? No worries you will be. 

 

The Andean Highlands, Amazon, Galapagos, and stunning beaches make Ecuador a natural wonderland. At every turn, you’ll find the locals basking in the great outdoors.

 

Parque Carolina in Quito is always nice for a picnic or leisurely stroll. On any given weekend, it comes alive with soccer competitions and other outdoor sports. And don’t be surprised if you hear rhythmic drums calling you in the distance; the impromptu jam circles give life!

 

Otavalo is enchanting with its rolling, patchwork plains and maze of colorful outdoor markets. And the symphony of exotic sounds, still lagoons, and majestic sunsets that blanket the Amazon rainforest make for a tranquil escape. While you’re there, pop in one of the local villages for a visit, where you’re likely to be welcomed with open arms.

Choose from TEN PLUS (10+) community-based projects throughout Ecuador

Because of the numerous volunteer placements and internship assignments we have in Ecuador, it is not possible to list them all. So, if you don’t see what you’re looking for, shoot us an email. We just might have it.

2-12 week volunteer placements in Quito, Ambato, Cuenca, Galapagos (Santa Cruz), Latacunga, Otavalo, Mindo, Puerto Lopez, Santa Elena, Salinas, and Puyo and Tena (Amazon region).

Volunteer Placement Options Include:

Cloud Rainforest Conservation


A short walk from the town square, exotic flora blanket the breathtakingly beautiful Mindo cloud forest. Many of the plants that are native to the forest can also be found in the community garden and plant nursery.

The garden exists to encourage organic practices within the community. Sections of decorative flowers and edible medicinal plants are grown and sold in the local market The remaining flowers and plants are sold to locals directly from the garden.

Similar projects include the botanical garden, Galapagos biological reserve, and Galapagos farm program.

Here are some possible volunteer responsibilities:

  • Maintain and care for the plant nursery
  • Plant and sell organic vegetables
  • Construct orchards
  • Prepare organic fungicides and fertilizers
  • Clean and maintain public spaces, walking trails, and other areas

Note:

High Basic Spanish level. Similar projects available in Quito and the Galapagos. Additional fees will apply to the Galapagos projects. Language requirements and time commitments vary by project.




Community Development


In Otavalo, an indigenous family operates a small farm, as well as a restaurant that caters to individuals and tour groups who wish to learn more about the indigenous communities of Ecuador. Cooking and embroidery classes, meals, and music and dance are some of the ways this family seeks to preserve and educate others about the indigenous culture.

While living with the family, you learn about the cooking, embroidery, and farming techniques used by indigenous cultures. You also help with tending to the animals ( pigs, cows, and guinea pigs), crops, gardens, and maintaing the orchard.

Here are some possible volunteer responsibilities:

Morning:

  • Support teachers in the classroom
  • Teach English, music, and physical education to children
  • Learn Kichwa language with the children

Afternoon:

  • Plant and harvest vegetables and fruits
  • Feed the pigs, guinea pigs, and cows
  • Learn to prepare Andean cuisine
  • Learn embroidery
  • Learn community traditions: music, dance and ancestral medicine
  • Teach English to families in the community
  • Learn Kichwa language (optional)
  • Visit other indigenous families and learn about the preservation of ancestral customs and traditions

Note:

Mid-Basic Spanish. Two (2) week minimum commitment.




Healthcare / Medicine


This small, community clinic only has three doctors and two nurses on staff -- and one of the doctors is usually out making house calls. Needless to say, volunteers are welcome.

At the clinic, you work 8 hours, 5 days a week throughout your stay and rotate through the necessary jobs at the clinic. Rotating halps you to lean and experience the various clinic operations, including the pharmacy and the medicinal garden, shadowing doctors, and assisting the staff, and maintaining medical records.

Prevention and education are other important components of the clinic's operations.

Here are somepossible volunteer responsibilities:

  • Assist in all areas of the medical center (vital signs, emergencies, pharmacy, dentistry, vaccination, general medicine, gynecology, and medicinal garden)
  • Visit rural populations for pregnancy prevention and vaccinations
  • Visit schools and high schools to give public health education lectures

Note:

Volunteers and interns must speak intermediate Spanish and have some form of medical training, and commit to a minimum of three (3) weeks.

Similar projects include dentistry, physical therapy, speech and occupational therapy, palliative care, and home for the elderly. Language and time commitment requirements vary by project.




Jungle Wildlife Rescue


Illegall animal trade is big business in Ecuador. The animals at the project were confiscated by the Ministry of the Environment, from people who kept them as pets or intended to sell or trade them on the black market.

Located in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, this project cares for wild animals, and in most cases rehabilitates and reintroduces them to the wild.

Some animals arrive suffering from multiple physical and behavioral problems, which make it impossible for them to live free in the forest. Animals that arrive in good physical and mental condition reintroduced to their natural habitat after successful rehabiliation.

Here are some possible volunteer responsibilities:

  • Clean animal enclosures
  • Feed the animals
  • Lead group tours
  • Rake the center, collect fresh leaves for the animals, help with new construction projects and center maintenance

Note:

Basic Spanish level, 4-week minimum commitment, and medical insurance (Please confirm coverage for international travel.)

Consult a travel doctor concerning international vaccine requirements. Be up to date with all regular highly recommended standard inoculations, including tetanus, typhus, and yellow fever.




Orphanage / Childcare


This project is a true home to abandoned children and children at-risk, defending and respecting their rights so that they receive all of the attention they require. Thirty-five children (35) between 3 to 15 years old, receive food, education, and health services while in the project's care.

Here are some possible volunteer responsibilities:

  • Assist with homework
  • Teach values, languages, crafts, songs, art, and music
  • Support classes for children from 3 to 5 years old (only in the mornings)
  • Organize group games
  • Assist in the kitchen
  • Help clean the classrooms, dining room, and kitchen
Note: High Basic Spanish level, 3-week minimum commitment, and medical insurance (Please confirm coverage for international travel.) The home for expectant teen mothers project provides similar services.




Special Needs Children and Adults


The Private Educational Center has been in operation since 2008 and works to offer educational, vocational, and labor inclusion opportunities to low-income people with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities, down syndrome, and autism.

The center’s work focuses on early stimulation, basic education, workshops (crafts, pottery, bakery, and dance), therapies (physical, speech, psychological, and occupational) and occasionally, hydrotherapy.

The institution offers job training according to everyday lifestyles, sewing workshops, and craft making for sale, with the aim of improving quality of life, and promoting independence and self-esteem through social inclusion.

Here are some possible volunteer responsibilities:

  • Help with job training
  • Support different therapies (physical, occupational, psychological, and speech therapy)
  • Help during recess and snack time

Note:

Mid-basic Spanish level, 3-week minimum commitment, and medical insurance (Please confirm coverage for international travel).




Teaching (After School Program)


This project is the perfect placement for creative volunteers who love children. Activities are interactive and creative: singing, dancing, acting, and drawing, allowing multiple learning platforms in a safe space.

The program operates Monday through Friday during the summer and an after school program is in the works.

Here are some possible volunteer responsibilities:

  • Help the English teacher during class
  • Plan classes and organize playful learning activities
  • Assist with homework
  • Teach values, crafts, songs, and art to children for their learning
  • Organize group games

Note:

Basic Spanish, Three (3) weeks minimum commitment. Medical insurance is required for all participants. Please check your primary policy as many include coverage. Similar projects include daycare, center for children and teens, children’s literacy, work with street children, elementary/high school teaching program, and cloud rainforest nursery preschool.




Women's Empowerment


This battered women’s shelter is just one branch of a multifaceted foundation. The shelter gives women fleeing abusive environments a place to escape with their children. Women can typically stay for up to three months. A social worker, psychologist, and lawyer are available to help.

The shelter runs 24/7 and is located in the poorer south side of Quito. At the shelter, volunteers work with the women or with the children. Women who stay at the shelter receive vocational training and work together to ensure that meals and laundry are taken care of, while the children attend lessons and play within the shelter. A social worker, psychologist, and lawyer are available to help the women and children cope.

Here are some possible volunteer responsibilities:

  • Organize activities for children (games, music, and art)
  • Support programming activities for mothers (workshops, meetings, and therapies)
  • Accompany residents to medical check-ups
  • Support children with their studies
  • Assist in various departments psychology, research, legal, and prevention
  • Conduct creative activities with mothers and children

Note:

Intermediate Spanish. Four (4) week minimum commitment. Medical insurance is required for all participants. Please check your primary policy as many will have included coverage.





NOTE: Volunteer placement locations range anywhere from 2-12 hours by bus from Quito.

MORE INFORMATION

Arrival

You arrive at Mariscal Sucre Airport in Quito on the first or third Sunday of the month and begin volunteering on Monday. Orientation is provided upon arrival in-country.

Note: Alternate start dates can be accommodated.

Orientation

On the first day of classes, in-country staff provide new volunteers with an orientation that covers information about Spanish classes, activities, excursions, and general information about Ecuador. A separate orientation covers safety tips.

Accomodations

Host family for most placements. Depending on the placement and location, the student residence and jungle bungalows are other  options.

NOTE:

Program fees listed are for host family stay options only. Please contact AMPED Abroad for program fee information that includes an alternative housing option.

WEEKENDS & TRAVEL

 

 

Weekends and evenings are usually designated as free time for to explore the country and to spend time with host families. 

THE PROGRAM INCLUDES:

 

  • Registration/application fee

  • Airport pick-up

  • Orientation

  • Host family accommodations and 2 meals/day (hostel and only one meal per day in Puerto Lopez)

  • Spanish lessons (20 hours/week)

  • Laundry service

  • 24/7 emergency in-country support

Longer stays can be accommodated for an additional fee.

Airfare and park entrance fees aren't included for the Galapagos.

VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS:

 

  • Must be at least 18 years of age.

 

  • Additionally, participants must provide an official "Certificate of Good Conduct " or official proof of "Lack of a Criminal Record". This documentation (with an official seal and signature) can be obtained for a nominal fee from the local police department, county district clerk's office, or equivalent law enforcement or governmental body. Background checks conducted through online services will not be accepted.

PROGRAM FEES

NUMBER OF WEEKS

 

Volunteer in Quito

$1,170

2

3

$1,520

$1,520

4

$1,870

5

$2,220

6

$2,570

7

$2,920

8

$3,270

9

$3,620

10

$3,970

11

$4,320

12

$4,670

NUMBER OF WEEKS

 

Medical Volunteer

$1,370

2

3

$1,720

$1,720

4

$2,070

5

$2,420

6

$2,770

7

$3,120

8

$3,470

9

$3,820

10

$4,170

11

$4,520

12

$4,870

NUMBER OF WEEKS

 • Tropical Forest

 • Cloud Forest

 • Community Dev.

$1,130

2

3

$1,440

$1,440

4

$1,750

5

$2,060

6

$2,370

7

$2,680

8

$2,990

9

$3,300

10

$3,610

11

$3,920

12

$4,230

NUMBER OF WEEKS

Children's Literacy (Puerto Lopez)

-

2

3

-

-

4

$1,470

5

$1,720

6

$1,970

7

$2,220

8

$2,470

9

$2,720

10

$2,970

11

$3,220

12

$3,470

NUMBER OF WEEKS

• Wildlife Project

• Jungle Conservation

• Education-Project   Canoa

-

2

3

-

-

4

$1,210

5

$1,385

6

$1,560

7

$1,735

8

$1,910

9

$2,085

10

$2,260

11

$2,435

12

$2,610

NUMBER OF WEEKS

 

Galapagos Programs

-

2

3

-

-

4

$2,310

5

$2,760

6

$3,210

7

$3,660

8

$4,110

9

$4,560

10

$5,010

11

$5,460

12

$5,910

P.O. Box 24865

Fort Worth, Texas 76124
Skype Username: AMPED_Abroad

Skype Phone: 214.736.7654
Fax: 214.276.7727

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