Volunteer in Ecuador
The Volunteer Abroad program in Ecuador will allow you to experience Ecuadorian culture first-hand while working on projects* that have an immediate, positive effect on the community.
Care and Mentorship for Orphaned Children
Provide Love, Care and Attention to Children in a Quiteno Orphanage:
Volunteers will spend time interacting with children ranging in age from newborn to 13, providing physical and emotional support, spiritual nurturing, and lots of TLC. Volunteers will play, read, hug and interact with the children, helping them to feel safe, special and loved.
*Community-driven projects are at the core of Ayusa's mission, so the project you will be working on will depend on the needs of the local community at that time
Your adventure as a volunteer will be centered in Quito, Ecuador’s spirited capital city. It lies on a high altitude plateau against the magnificent backdrop of the Pichincha volcano and Andean mountain range. Historical and modern features blend together here to create a dynamic environment. Quito boasts the best preserved historical center in Latin America and a plethora of stunning colonial churches while also fostering a thriving modern culture.
You will have the opportunity to engage with these communities by participating in service projects within the city and nearby towns. Your efforts will aid local communities in grassroots projects that are essential in helping the country face its current challenges of creating a sustainable community-based economy, protecting its natural environment, and promoting positive social development. This meaningful service work will allow you gain a greater understanding of your global responsibility while simultaneously immersing yourself in Ecuador’s intriguing culture.
During Ayusa’s Service Learning Program, you will collaborate with our community hosts and established NGOs on a development project designed to serve the specific needs of the local people. Depending on your skills and interests, you might be involved in environmental conservation, education, or light construction for schools or health centers. As you work to increase the overall quality of life for the community, you will also be gaining valuable practical skills, building self confidence, and learning first-hand about life in Ecuador.
This hands-on learning will be supplemented by relevant curriculum, ensuring that you get the most out of your experience. Each day you will receive one hour of Spanish language instruction from a certified teacher so that you can better interact with community members. Volunteers will also attend cultural lectures by local educators and nonprofit workers, and take part in our customized Global Initiative Curriculum. This curriculum is designed to link your service work experience to greater global concepts, allowing you to fully understand and appreciate the spirit of international volunteerism and the impact of your work.
Ayusa programs offer a rare full immersion experience where you will be deeply involved in Ecuadorian life and culture, and develop meaningful relationships with families and community members. You will further engage with locals and your fellow volunteers by working together on community development projects that will directly impact the people you are living and working with.
Once a week, Ayusa volunteers will also participate in cultural excursions and other group activities. Day trips to cultural and historical sites, hikes through nature reserves, or guided tours will enrich your experience of the country. These excursions will culminate in an unforgettable two day trip to the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve in the Amazon Basin.
Through this multifaceted approach involving experiential and academic learning, hands-on development work, and cultural immersion, volunteers will grow as individuals and members of the global community. Your adventure in Ecuador will enable you to see yourself and the world from a new perspective, and give you invaluable experience to carry with you on your future endeavors.
Travel and Activities:
During their stay abroad, students will be embarking on weekly cultural outings. Possible excursions may include:
The Mindo Cloud Forest – a private ecological reserve where visitors can experience a butterfly green house, orchid gardens, the Nambillo waterfalls, and a demonstration on the making of local, organic coffee.
Cotapaxi National Park – a breathtaking nature area with hiking trails that will lead you past spectacular views of the Andean landscape and volcanoes, high altitude glaciers, and the refreshing Limiopungo Lake.
Program Finale: In a two day trip to the northern towns of Otavalo and Cotacachi, students will get to explore vibrant local markets, learn about indigenous medicine and music, touch the Equator line, and take a boat trip around the Cuicocha Lake at the foot of an extinct volcano!
Students will stay with carefully selected host families for the duration of the program. A home stay provides full immersion into Ecuadorian culture and invaluable personal contact with locals. Experienced onsite coordinators will be available to assist with adjusting to host family life. While traveling with the group, students will stay in hotels or hostels.
- 15–18 years old
- 2.5 GPA or higher (4.0 scale)
- Sound and stable mental and physical health appropriate for international travel and rural accommodations
- Flexible and mature personality, desire to be challenged, ability to remain open-minded and tolerant of cultural differences
Program fees help support ongoing development projects and include:
- Full time dedicated onsite coordinator
- Full room and board
- All domestic transportation upon arrival
- Global Citizen Initiative curriculum delivery
- Round table discussion with community members
- Community project planning, set-up, execution and follow-up
- Project donation and purchase of project materials
- Cultural and adventure activities throughout the program
- Pre-trip organizational discussions, orientations, and program materials
- Extensive staff support throughout all phases of the program