Staff Spotlight: Maria Viteri

Co-Founder and Manager at Eco Volunteer UP


What are the core principles that Eco Volunteer UP strives to achieve?

To support local projects in developing skills to make volunteering a fulfilling and rewarding experience for both the projects and the volunteers. To inspire everyone to become involved and make the best contribution they can through volunteering. To provide volunteers an opportunity to help children and communities and to conserve the Ecuadorian forest.

What position do you hold at Eco Volunteer UP? What has your career path been like so far?

I am the manager in Eco Volunteer UP and I have worked in an Ecuadorian Reserve for six months as assistant of the Ecoturism department. I've worked and owner in a Traditional Ecuadorian food for 3 years, I've been a guide at a lodge for 2 years in cloud forest, I've been for 10 years manager and I´m one of the founders of Eco Volunteer UP.

What separates Eco Volunteer UP from other volunteer providers?

Eco Volunteer UP is composed of a group of Ecuadorians who work through volunteers to conserve the forests of Ecuador, to improve the communities’ economies and to give Ecuadorian children a better life. We offer volunteers real immersion in the various Ecuadorian ecosystems, and real opportunities for learning and sharing Ecuadorian cultures, customs and traditions, all the while helping different projects promote their development and changing lives through a better place to live.

As Ecuadorians we know the reality of local´s lives, we know personally the people that we are working with, we always have meetings and not just by email as other volunteer providers do. We really have interaction with the directors or coordinators of each project, the same as with volunteers. We also provide a free night including breakfast and dinner for the first night when they arrive in Quito.

What does the future hold for Eco Volunteer UP?

Eco Volunteer UP wants to help other local families, community and keep saving the forest.