FAQ Volunteering in Ecuador
Who can participate in the volunteer programs?
These volunteer projects are open for all the people who want to collaborate in the program, including high school students at least 18 years old. Students who are under 18 years are welcome to attend with their parents or tutor. Recent participants have included University and College students, recent high school graduates, gap year students, professionals, couples, and retirees.
Can I apply for a project if I don’t speak Spanish?
Yes, you can! Most of our programs are open to everyone, regardless of language proficiency. However, reasonable proficiency in Spanish is desirable for some special projects. In any case, it’s important to remember that our program offers Spanish Lessons during your participation in the volunteer program in Quito, it costs US$ 5 per hour.
What type of international communications will be available to volunteers while in Ecuador?
There are internet cafés and easy telephone access, along with post offices in the larger cities. Sometimes, communications resources are limited or unavailable in the smaller villages. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about a specific program location.
What vaccinations do I need for Ecuador?
It depends what vaccination you already have. We recommend asking your travel doctor in your home country well before you plan to arrive in Ecuador, as some immunizations require several shots over a period of several weeks . Some of the common vaccinations and inoculations include: diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, A and B hepatitis, typhoid, rabies, yellow fiver and malaria. Malaria can be a significant hazard in the many areas, so plan on taking anti-malarial medication throughout your stay.
To what city in Ecuador do I need to take the international flight?
The participants must to plan to arrive at the international airport of Quito, “Mariscal Sucre Airport”. Our coordinator in Quito, Ecuador, will pick you up from the airport with a sign with your name. All the international flights arrive and departure from the Quito airport.
You are responsible to buy all of your own airline tickets, and to pay all entrance/exit fees. Please, don’t forget to email your flight itinerary to us before your arrival in Ecuador, so we can plan your pick up at the airport. Also, a valid passport is required to enter Ecuador and to return to most other countries.
Will there be vegetarian food where I will be staying?
Yes, most of the projects offer vegetarian meals. Please notify us before your arrival so appropriate menus can be planned.
Can I visit the tourist sites of Ecuador during my free time?
Yes, you can visit the many varied tourist sites during the weekends and holidays, or after to finish your program. In your free time, you can enjoy the natural beauty and diverse culture of Ecuador through many exciting excursions and trips. You might consider visiting the Old Town of Quito, the indigenous market towns, the jungle in the Amazon, the cloud forest, the city of Banos, Cotopaxi volcano, the Pacific Coast with its warm beaches and blue water, and of course, the enchanted Galapagos Islands. Note: you are responsible for purchasing all of your own private travel tickets while in Ecuador.
What shall I to bring to Ecuador to contribute to the orphanage, street children, schools, and communities?
Your help is very important for the many charitable organization. You can bring: used clothes in good condition, cleaning products, powered milk, vitamins and dietary supplements, educational materials (Spanish and English), instructional supplies, etc. Everything is welcome to help the unprivileged people.
What hour is good time to arrive at the airport in Quito-Ecuador?
You can arrive at any time at the airport in Quito; a coordinator from the program will pick you up.
Can I arrive any day of the week?
Yes, you can arrive on any day of the week to participate in the program.
Where are the projects located?
The projects are located all around Ecuador.
Which is the minimum time that I need to participate in the projects?
Most of the projects require a one-week minimum time to volunteer. Several of the special projects require a two-week commitment.
How much spending money shall I bring for my own needs?
If the projects are located close to Quito, $50-60 USD per month is reasonable. That amount will cover transportation to/from the projects, cleaning and laundry of personal items, entrance fees to visit museums, etc. If the projects are located in the rural communities, a reasonable amount is $35-40 USD per month. Note: Ecuador uses US Dollars (USD) as a common currency, so no currency exchange or conversion is necessary
When can I travel to Ecuador?
Most of the projects receive volunteers all year long.
Do I have to pay to be a volunteer?
The Eco-Volunteer UP Foundation does not receive any economic support from any government agency or private organization. For that reason, we ask you for a donation of US$ 200 per participant and for each project. This amount helps us to cover the administration expenses of the organization, to pay for transfer from the airport to the organization office or to a host family in Quito, for informational material, and for advertising of our web site.
Do I have to pay directly to the projects for my accommodation and meals?
Yes, volunteers must pay directly to the projects or to the host families for their accommodation and meals. Eco Volunteer UP only receives the donation of US$ 200, which is used for the administration expenses of the organization.
Why are the costs of these volunteer progams lower than other organizations?
Our goal is help to improve the life conditions of the local people, and we know volunteers make a huge effort to come and help in Ecuador. Therefore, Eco-Volunteer UP picks only the best project alternatives, considering the necessity of each project and the cheaper costs for accommodation and meals.
Does Eco-Volunteer UP receive some economic contribution from the projects?
Eco-Volunteer UP Foundation does not receive any economic contribution from any of the projects with which it works; we do all of the coordination work for free, without any charges to the volunteer projects.
When do I have to do the payment of my contribution to Eco-Volunteer UP?
Eco Volunteer UP does not require that you to send any money in advance. Payment in full is requested upon your arrival in Ecuador.
When do I have to do the payment for my accommodation and meals?
You need to do it after your arrival in Ecuador. These payments have to be in cash (USD) directly to the project or to the host family.
Will the program provide any sort of insurance for the volunteers?
Eco Volunteer UP Foundation doesn’t cover insurance. Participants will have to travel with their insurances.
What is the responsibility of Eco Volunteer UP with the volunteers?
Eco-Volunteer UP is only responsible for providing the information and the arrangements to connect volunteers with the projects and find host families. Each project has its own director and its own rules. The volunteer is responsible for her/himself while in Ecuador; Eco Volunteer UP does not have any responsibility for the volunteers when they are working with their respective projects. Volunteers are expected to practice respectful, lawful, and polite behavior while in Ecuador.
Are the volunteers safe while working on the projects?
All the projects are safe and do not represent any risk for the volunteers, as long as the volunteer participants follow the safety rules recommended for each project.
Do I receive a certificate when I have done my volunteer work?
Yes, all the participants will receive an appropriate certificate when they have completed their programs.