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Community Projects in Ecuador - Global Volunteer Network

Updated on July 10, 2014

The Program

The Global Volunteer Network currently offers volunteer opportunities through our partner organization in Ecuador.

Volunteers have the opportunity to participate in the programs of different biological reserves, contributing to biodiversity conservation, community development and sustainable use of natural resources.

GVN serves you to arrange an affordable volunteer opportunity with peace of mind, finanical security, and is a great way for you to contribute to the global community, gain experience, and also fosters personal growth.

Our vision is to support the work of local community organizations in developing countries through the placement of international volunteers. We believe that local communities are in the best position to determine their needs, and we provide volunteers to help them achieve their goals.

Why Ecuador?

Ecuador is a country of many geographical contrasts, extending from the Amazon rainforest of the Oriente and the high altitude forests of the Inter-Andean region, to the forests and beaches of the northern lowlands and the Galapagos Islands.

Biological reserves are located in each of these different regions, many in extremely threatened areas, where the land in the reserve is among the last remnant of an area high in biodiversity.

The principal aims of the reserves are the conservation of eco-systems and cultural diversity, environmental education and sustainable development projects, and research that promotes the improvement of the quality of life of people living in the zones of influence of its activities.

Map of Ecuador

Map of Ecuador
Map of Ecuador
Child care
Child care

Day Care Project

Volunteer Activities

Volunteers will be working with children of different ages, ranging from babies to 5 year olds, at childcare centres in some of the poorest pockets around the biological reserves. There is a range of activities that volunteers can get involved in. The children at the centres come from poor backgrounds and require a lot of care, attention and most importantly, companionship.

Whilst the exact nature of the roles will change, volunteer work will generally consist of providing individual attention, feeding and bathing babies, playing with children, organising games and activities, educating children regarding hygiene, and assisting with home work. Volunteers are also encouraged to use their creativity to develop fun activities to make learning interesting.

Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands


San Cristobal

The Galapagos Island is home to the San Cristobal Biological Station.

Volunteers can become participate in Day Care, Teaching and Conservation projects.

Volunteer Activities

Day Care

* Organise and play games

* Involvement in art workshops

* Teaching and singing of songs with the kids

* Support of movement development with the help of dancing sessions

* Promoting hygiene by teaching how to wash hands and brush teeth

* Help with homework

* Many more..


* Teaching English

* Teaching basic computer skills

* Organising fun activities

* Playing games (both educational and recreational)

* Many more..


* Clearing land of invasive plant species in the wildlife corridor established on the Reserve

* Digging and planting new gardens

* Recognizing and collecting seeds from native plants

* Identifying and tagging native plants

* Making fertilizer

* Construction of volunteer housing, and repair and maintenance of the Reserves water supply.

Medical Project

In the Healthcare project, volunteers will get the chance to get involved in work in hospitals, clinics and social centers for children and adults.

Medical placements can either be focused on work in clinics, both public and private, or they will have an emphasis on health education (such as HIV/AIDs awareness campaigns of young adults).

These placements are available in the Amazon and Congal reserves.

Teaching English

In the Teaching project, volunteers will be teaching English by designing interesting lessons that may include games and other fun activities.

Volunteers can also participate in the recreational activities during recess. Volunteers do not have to have teaching background or a special qualification to participate in this project.

The Teaching project only takes place for 4 hours per day and volunteers are encouraged to participate in the conservation activities in the afternoons.

Placements in this project are only available during certain times:

From March until December: Bilsa, Congal and San Cristobal (please see San Cristobal Project for details)

From September until June: Amazon

Conservation Projects

In the Conservation project, volunteers have the opportunity to get involved in the conservation efforts at four different biological stations: Amazon, Bilsa, Congal and San Cristobal (please see the San Cristobal project for details).

The tasks will range from reforestation, biodiversity inventories to work in the local botanical gardens and weekly hikes to explore the surroundings. Each biological station is different and therefore the tasks will depend on the location of your volunteer placement.


Volunteers can participate in projects including mangrove and forest restoration; working in tree nurseries; weekly overnight trips to Congal Island by canoe; community outreach projects such as teaching at the local in Bunche, helping on local farms and making handcrafts with local women; construction and maintenance of reserve facilities; organic farming; participation in shrimp, fish and crab harvests from aquaculture ponds.

San Cristobal

Volunteers usually work on an activity for an entire day. Activities include building an organic garden, reforestation, water system maintenance, construction of drainage channels, elimination of invasive plants, construction of a compost area, and guided hikes through the reserve and island.


Most of the time volunteers are assigned a project, depending on their specific interests. On the project days volunteers normally work together in groups of 2 or 3. Project activities can include seed collection, selection and planting; maintenance of nursery beds, trails, orchard, medicinal plant garden, banana plantation; natural regeneration studies in primary and secondary forest; construction of signs and furniture for cabins (carpentry); making inventories of birds within the reserve.


At the Amazon reserve the work schedule is flexible and volunteer activities include: maintaining the Botanical Garden, compost, vegetable garden, tree nursery, vegetable garden and trails; seed and seedling collection; soil preparation; construction of new trails and cabins when required; and reforestation within the reserve and also at nearby farms. Volunteers are also required to help in the reserve kitchen which runs on a rota basis. For those with good Spanish who are staying longer than 8 weeks there is also the possibility of teaching English 2 mornings a week to local school children (between October and June only).

Apply to the Ecuador Program

To find out more about the Ecuador program offered through the Global Volunteer Network and to apply online, please visit this link.

Volunteering is a great way to contribute to the global community and gain experience.

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