Affordable Volunteer Programs in Ecuador from $290

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About

Volunteers are needed in Ecuador to join a range of highly affordable projects for durations ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks. Based in the capital city of Quito, volunteers are welcomed to assist on a range of community-driven projects. Volunteers are accommodated in volunteer houses alongside other international volunteers. While Spanish is not required in order to participate on the program, volunteers can enjoy taking discounted Spanish lessons during their time on the program.

IVHQ Volunteer Projects Available in Ecuador:

  • Teaching English
  • Street Children Work
  • School Support Program
  • Summer Project
  • Kindergarten Project
  • Administration Support

Highlights

  • Programs available year-round, starting on the first and third Monday each month
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
  • Highly affordable program fees from $290 for 1 week
  • Community-driven projects focused on supporting local needs and delivering sustainable positive impacts
  • Superior support services both pre-departure and while volunteering
  • Free online volunteer training for all IVHQ volunteers
  • Between 20 and 40 IVHQ volunteers start in Ecuador each month
  • Weekends are free to explore Ecuador with fellow volunteers - explore Cotopaxi, the Galapagos Islands and more!

Questions & Answers

Don't overexert yourself. If you do too much too early you'll start to feel sick. But DO be active. Walk about the city with your friends, explore, travel... just make sure to take plenty of breaks as you need to. You will find that slowly but surely you'll begin to acclimate! Also: Drink lots of water! Really, it helps.

Reviews

93%
based on 27 reviews
  • Impact 8.9
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 8.8
  • Safety 8.8
Showing 16 - 27 of 27
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Gemma
10/10

Eye-opening Ecuador experience

I've just spent 7 weeks In Ecuador, volunteering in administration and working with street kids. I didn't realise how much I do would get to do that I don't get to do in England. From going to the Laundrette, jumping off a bridge, hitchhiking down an extinct volcano, taking a shower with live electric cables heating the water to meeting some amazing people, local and other volunteers! Iy was an absolutely incredible experience and I would highly recommend for anyone who is unsure to take the plunge and fully submerge yourself in the experience.

How can this program be improved?
There was quite a lot of rules, for our safety and I completely understand the need for them, but if we were given these before we entered the Country we would have more time to read, digest and ask any questions which they may raise.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Gemma, Thanks for sharing a snippet from your time in Ecuador. It sounds like you had a really positive experience and we are glad that we were able to facilitate this for you. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Yitian
8/10

Ecuadorian Kindergarten kids are so loving

The kindergarten program is a great fit for anyone who wants to see what it's like to work as a kindergarten teacher and/or to rapidly improve Spanish from nada. The kids are so loving even though you don't speak their language, and they compliment on your progress as you speak/understand more, which is very motivating. You can have a great impact if you do speak fluent Spanish, the teachers at the kindergarten give you an option at the beginning to plan lessons if you wish.

How can this program be improved?
I wish I was more involved in the teaching part at least for the English curriculum. The kids don't take much math either, the only thing tangentially related was counting.
Yes, I recommend
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Rebecca
10/10

Ecuador

This was a great program. I really enjoyed my time working with the children in Quito, Ecuador. The staff at VCE are the friendliest and most helpful people and you will really enjoy your time in Ecuador.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi there Rebecca, It’s great to hear that you had such an enjoyable experience volunteering in Ecuador. Thanks for sharing a little of your story and your thoughts about the program. It’s great to have you as an IVHQer and we hope to have you back on another of our programs soon.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Marissa
10/10

The final day in Ecuador

My last 24 hours in Ecuador were unforgettable. Waking up to a half-packed suitcase reminded my that the end had finally arrived. After four weeks, I was both excited to go home, while at the same time, wishing I could stay four more. I went to school for my program Friday morning, teaching English to middle schoolers at the public school. I was hanging out with the students in the school yard before class, getting ready to go into the classroom, when they proposed we "play a game." This game then involved blindfolding me and my fellow volunteers...but we all went along with it. They brought us to our classroom and removed the cloth to reveal a surprise goodbye party the students themselves had organized. They had some snacks and soda, a couple balloons, and a poster. I was so shocked I cried. I realized then just how much this program meant to me and how much I would miss it.
Later that night, I was headed to the airport with my friend. Time for another round of goodbyes, this time to my host mother and 5 other volunteer friends who I lived with. As sad as I was to leave them, the goodbye was not too tragic. We had become so close over the month I had no doubt I would see them again at some point. In fact, we already had a trip planned.
I just could not believe I had been there for a month, traveled so much, met such incredible people. Overall an amazing trip.

How can this program be improved?
This particular program had only half days, which worked out for people taking Spanish lessons but left a lot of free time for those who were not. I suggested potentially making a dual program with Administration. Also, there ought to be a requirement for basic to intermediate Spanish. Without such fundamental knowledge, it would be nearly impossible to connect with the students.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hola Marissa!
Thanks for the review of your four weeks in Ecuador. Goodbyes are always the hardest part of a trip, but it sounds like you had an exciting and amazing adventure! Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ - we hope you can join us on another program in the future!

Yes, I recommend
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Jacqueline
10/10

Teaching English in Quito

My husband and I taught English to 360 11 and 12 year olds for a month. We tried to help the teacher reach her goals as well as to create a stimulating and positive environment for the teaching of English. The kids were open and interested and were a pleasure to know. The program and teacher were fully supportive of our efforts. We received back much more than we gave. We were humbled and grateful for the experience. We also taught English to a group of kindergarten teachers. They were model students and we thoroughly enjoyed our time with them. They made wonderful progress.

How can this program be improved?
It would benefit all if the teaching period were longer. That however is not always possible to achieve.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jacqueline! What an amazing experience to share with your husband - we are thrilled that you enjoyed it! Thanks for your review and for volunteering - we hope to see you on another IVHQ program in the future :-)

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Safa
10/10

Review of Kindergarten Program in Ecuador

I thought this was a great program, and I liked the convenience of getting to the school everyday, about a 10 minute walk. I enjoyed working with the kids, and teaching them songs, and the teachers were very understanding and helpful when trying to learn the Spanish language.

How can this program be improved?
I would let volunteers know beforehand to come prepared with songs, both in Spanish and English, to share with their classes.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Safa, It's is great to hear that you enjoyed your time volunteering on our Kindergarten project in Ecuador. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Lib
9/10

Great experience!

It's a great experience to live with a host family, be immersed in Spanish, and see how other cultures live their lives. I am a teacher and the work UBECI is doing with these socially and economically deprived children is great. You get to help work with the kids on key skills, such as following directions, concept of print, using a pencil etc. It's very rewarding, and a lot of fun.

How can this program be improved?
I wish I could have stayed longer (I was there for a month). They allow you to come just for a week and without any Spanish, but you'll get way more out of the experience (and help the kids way more) if you have some basic Spanish and stay at least a couple of weeks.
Yes, I recommend
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global
9/10

UBECI!

Overall, my experience with UBECI has been wonderful! The staff and other volunteers are very supportive and the children we work with are so beautiful. I chose to spend two weeks working in the markets with the young children, one week with the 1-3 year olds and the second week with the 7-15 year olds. Every morning the staff would meet us volunteers at the office to head to the market together which I really appreciated. Since we spent about one day a week at each market, it was nice to see more of Quito and the different dynamics of the markets. At the same time, rotating the markets (each market location is only open a couple days a week so no choice) made it difficult to make progress with the children. Coming with parents to sell on a daily basis, some of these children are not in school and receive all their academic training from us. It was hard to repeatedly work with the young children unable to recognize basic shapes and colors we had covered the week before. At the end of the day, I had to look and appreciate the small successes in each child´s life and I am so glad UBECI is there for these children. Not only do they stress learning though books, puzzles, and lessons, they also emphasis hygiene, physical movements, and emotional wellbeing. The staff and volunteers do so much to be loving and present to these children. I highly recommend volunteering with UBECI and enjoyed my experiences in Quito with them!

How can this program be improved?
With a background in case management, I wish there was more consistent and stronger interaction with the parents. I completely understand the staff members must walk a fine line to not be too intrusive since the parents allow us to work with their children voluntarily so it is hard. This is not critical of the program so much as they challenges the program faces. I have so much respect for the staff members and long term volunteers who continue to have excitement and love for these children day after day and truly celebrate every little success.
Yes, I recommend
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Lisaz3349
10/10

Market Children Program With UBECI in Quito,Ecuador

UBECI is an amazing organization to volunteer with. The program is well structured with concrete goals. After working with the program for 2 months, I can say I really feel like I am making an impact on the children´s life here. I was orginally only going to stay one month with the program but after 3 weeks I decided I wanted to stay longer. I love the program, my wonderful host family and traveling in Ecuador. Everybody is so welcoming and for no matter how long or short you stay(or your level of Spanish) you will feel at home. Our typical day begins in the office with a short meeting on the goals for the week. We then travel by bus to one of the 4 markets we work at. Once arriving we set up tents and gather children from the market. During the first hour of our time with the children we play with them, read books and most importantly give them an opportunity to be kids! After we begin teaching the children various concepts including numbers, shapes and opposites. We then take a break in the afternoon for lunch and work again from 2-4:30. We work Tuesdays-Friday and thus you have plenty of free time to travel during the weekends as well. The children range from the ages of 1-14. So there is certaintly the opportunity to work with the age group you prefer. I usually work with the children from the ages of 4-6 and I really enjoy it. The kids are so full of life and want to get to know you as well. This program and the children in the markets have taught me so much about life and I have gained so much from this experience. I can not recommend this program enough. Ecuador is a unique country to visit and you can make a real difference here. -Lisa Zychowski

How can this program be improved?
If I could change one thing about the program I would sugest lowering the cost a bit. I know that a lot of money is going towards the program so this does not bother me but it could deter others.
Yes, I recommend
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mm0058
10/10

UBECI

I take spanish lessons in the morning, take a two hour break for lunch, then head to work in the market. The organization with which I´m affiliated is UBECI in Quito, Ecuador. I work with kids in markets throughout Quito and it´s a challenge sometimes, and difficult trying to teach the kids things, but it´s a valuable experience and I´m proud to be affiliated with this organization. They do very good things for these kids.

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change one thing, I guess I would change the neighborhood in which I reside. The neighborhood is fine and safe and all, but I would prefer to live closer to more universities more in the north of the city.
Yes, I recommend
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Tammy
9/10

UBECI

Working with UBECI has been a great experience. Volunteering with market children in Ecuador certainly has its challenges, but every day brings something new. It´s incredibly rewarding to work with children who have so little, and are so appreciative what you bring to the program, be it resources, time, affection or enthusiasm.

The staff at UBECI have been very supportive. They are always willing to listen to your questions and queries, and provide good advice to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable stay.

Be prepared to work hard - it´s not always easy to have so much enthusiasm every day! Your diet will be very different, you may struggle with the language and you won´t have all of the conveniences of home, but that is the point. You aren´t at home. However the experience that you take home will be one of the most rewarding that you can imagine. I have no problem recommending UBECI as an organisation to volunteer with.

How can this program be improved?
If you are staying for an extended period of time be prepared to feel the effects of a very different diet and being exposed to sick kids and volunteers. This is sometimes a little out of your control and that of the organisation, but bring relevant medications and if you need to, supplement your diet with fresh foods from the market.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Luca
9/10

i miss Ecuador all the time.

so many priceless memories and beautiful children! i would go back in a heartbeat.
anyone who loves kids and a wants to see a country rich in relatively untouched South American culture would love this program!

Yes, I recommend

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