Volunteer in Ecuador: Most Affordable & Real Impact!

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About

UBELONG offers 1-week to 6-month volunteering opportunities in Ecuador in three incredible locations: Quito, the Amazon and Galapagos!

Volunteer in one of these world-class projects:

ENVIRONMENT
--> Forest conservation (Amazon)
--> Forest conservation and sustainable farming (Galapagos)

CAREGIVING
--> Assisting at a day-care center (Quito)
--> Caring for the elderly (Quito)

EDUCATION
--> Teaching English (Quito)

MEDICAL
--> Medical assistance (Quito)

CONSTRUCTION
--> Light painting and renovation (Quito)

Visit ubelong.org for more detail - the journey of a lifetime starts there!

Highlights
  • **24/7 in-country support
  • **Volunteer on projects that truly need you
  • **Live in the heart of Quito, the Amazon or Galapagos and enjoy delicious meals every day
  • **Go with a US based organization - legitimacy and peace of mind
  • **The #1 program in Ecuador and with the best reviews!

Impact

Questions & Answers

No age limit, you can volunteer with your daughter.

Reviews

96%
based on 40 reviews
  • Impact 8.9
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 16 - 30 of 40
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Brie
9/10

UBELONG in Quito - College student, first time out of the country

My experience with UBELONG was great because of the affordable price, support, and friendly staff who always replied promptly. As a college student and traveling by myself for the first time, I felt very well-prepared between the resource packet I was provided with and talking to my mentor. The project itself, teaching English, was both fun and challenging, and the teachers and students were so friendly and welcoming. The volunteer house and host family were wonderful as well, and I loved being able to meet so many new people in addition to volunteering. In the future, I would love to volunteer with UBELONG again!

How can this program be improved?
I felt a bit pressured to use the host family's taxi services, but that was just a minor blip.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Dipabali
10/10

Highly Recommend!

As a college student with a limited budget but an immense love for cultural immersion, I didn't know where I could find a reasonably priced international experience until I stumbled upon UBELONG. UBELONG made my volunteer service trip to Ecuador so stress-free. The process was very well organized and everyone on the team was incredibly friendly and answered our questions within minutes. My experience working alongside a local teacher in Ecuador was invaluable. Teaching English to a classroom of about 10 students in Spanish gave me a taste of an education system different from my own. As someone with intermediate Spanish proficiency, the task was challenging however so rewarding. Even though I was just there for a week, I made some meaningful connections with not only the students but the teacher and the principal of the school. I would highly recommend UBELONG to anyone either looking to make an impact or anyone just looking for an adventure!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Beatrice
10/10

UBELONG Ecuador

After my first excursion with UBELONG in Ghana, I fell in love with the message that UBELONG was representing and wanted to be apart of it again. My first experience with UBELONG was filled with passionate people that shared a love for the work we were doing. UBELONG encouraged us to see beyond the differences in each person and left me with every lasting friendships. The care that the mentors have for their volunteers continually gave me confidence that I could make an impact. I really enjoy all of the mentors and their devotion to the program.

How can this program be improved?
The program was great, I have no negative feedback
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Danielle
9/10

UBELONG: Quit, Ecuador

I had an incredible experience volunteering through UBELONG in Quito, Ecuador for four weeks this summer. It was my first time out of the country, but all of the information and assistance along the way helped to prepare me ahead of time. The family at the volunteer house was so welcoming and really made me feel like I as at home in Ecuador, and the other volunteers I met were fantastic. I would highly recommend UBELONG to anyone wanting to volunteer in another country because I couldn't have asked for a better experience.

How can this program be improved?
If I could change one thing I would recommend that those who volunteer in Quito are aware that almost no one speaks English, so I feel it is necessary to either have a fair amount of Spanish background or be well prepared to deal with the language barrier.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Pieter
8/10

UBELONG

Thanks to UBELONG's organization and help, my humanitarian trip to Ecuador was a complete sucsess. I cannot express my gratitude towards Cedric and the rest of the staff for sticking through and helping me finalize my trip plans amidst all the chaos of my summer this year. I am thankful for all the information they provided to tell me how to properly prepare for the jungle, what to expect, and how to behave as a responsible advocate for volunteering work. UBELONG gave me the sense of security I had so that I was able to truly enjoy Ecuador, meeting locals and volunteers and doing work that taught me so many things that a classroom couldn't. Already my family and I are planning the UBELONG trip for next year. I sincerely recommend this organization over any other because it addresses humanitarian work with the volunteering aspect first, unlike so many of the more expensive sites.

Again, I want to thank you so much for helping to plan this trip. My brother and sister and I are already all planning to do another UBELONG trip to Vietnam next summer, in Hanoi, and my parents are considering teaching english in South-East Asia too (we just moved to Singapore). We want to become more active than before, so almost definitely we will be in contact again sometime later this year.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
amoretall
10/10

Rewarding & Excellent Experience

My experience with UBELONG was fantastic from start to finish. The application process was swift, the feedback did not take long and once I was accepted, I felt prepared and comfortable for my trip. The interactions with my mentor, Adriana, were very helpful as was the Preparation Booklet which did an excellent job of addressing almost all of my questions and concerns ahead of the trip. Anything that wasn't in the booklet, Adriana answered quickly and thoroughly.

The living situation in Quito is a home-stay which houses many volunteers, allowing you an intimate view into Ecuadorian life while also being in the company of other volunteers. Many volunteers stop in Quito for a few days on their way to the Galapagos Islands or the Amazon so I was able to meet many different people from all over the world, a very cool experience. The opportunity to get to know an Ecuadorian family while also making new friends with the other volunteers could not have been better.

Teaching English to Ecuadorian children was really fun and rewarding and it was a great way to get exposure to Ecuadorian society. The kids are incredibly cute and so good-natured, and it was amazing to see how quickly they warmed up to the volunteers. I felt a strong bond with the students and I was very sad to leave them on my last day. My UBELONG experience was an amazing way to really get to know a new place and I plan on traveling to other parts of the world with them in the future.

How can this program be improved?
A little more clarity about the program ahead of time is the only thing I can think of, but if I was more active about reaching out to organizers or people in the facebook group I could've found out almost everything I wanted to.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Eugene
9/10

A great way to visit the Galápagos

I signed up for the forest conservation project in the Galápagos Islands and spent three weeks there. In the period leading up to my trip, as well as throughout my time on the Islands, I received plenty of support from Cedric and the rest of the UBELONG team. I had a wonderful and enriching experience while participating in the forest conservation project and I am extremely grateful to UBELONG for putting together my volunteer trip in such a dedicated and professional manner.

That said, to really benefit from the trip, one should have realistic expectations. Do not expect to gain a lot of technical or scientific expertise as most of the work you will be doing is relatively simple and manual, like cutting down plants or harvesting fruits. Nevertheless, they can be really fun as well. And it is a good way to bond with other like-minded volunteers who share a passion for nature, travelling and just having a good time.

Yes, I recommend
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Lewis
10/10

All Around Ecuador

Having gone to several different reserves around Ecuador, I met many people who had set up their trips through organizations other than UBELONG. What I found was that, compared to these volunteers, I was much more prepared and understanding of what I was going to be doing, had better contact with my mentor, and even paid less than most. Overall then, my experience with UBELONG was nothing but positive and I would easily recommend it to anyone looking for a supportive network for volunteering abroad.

How can this program be improved?
I would reduce the cost.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
AshleighA
10/10

An Amazing Organization

During the spring of this year I spent three weeks in Quito, Ecuador. This was my first time traveling outside of the United States by myself for an extended period of time, and Ubelong helped make for a wonderful experience. Before I left I received a very helpful and detailed briefing manual that helped answer most of my questions, and any that were left unanswered, my mentor was able to quickly respond to via email. Also, before I left, I had a Skype safety meeting with my mentor that went over how to keep safe in the field and really helped to calm some of my nerves.Once I arrived in Ecuador the host family I stayed with was wonderful. I was immediately welcomed and made to feel like part of the family, which made for a very unique experience. The teaching project I worked on was something that I will never forget. Not only did I help the children learn English, but they also helped me learn so much about who I am and who I want to become. With full confidence, I recommend Ubelong to anyone who is looking to volunteer abroad. It is a family that I am so proud to be apart of!

Yes, I recommend
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Jeri
10/10

It was great!

My experience with UBELONG was phenomenal. There was a lot of communication with my mentor prior to the trip, so I felt very comfortable when I arrived in Quito. This was my first service trip abroad and I can't wait for my next with UBELONG!

Yes, I recommend
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Jake
10/10

Amazon Project

Last summer I received a grant from my college to study ecotourism in Ecuador. I quickly discovered UBELONG through my research, and after learning of the project on the Galapagos Islands, I quickly signed up. My two weeks there completely changed my attitudes towards environmentalism and I returned home a better person. Talking with my peers persuaded me to lead a group of students from my college for an alternative spring break trip in the Amazon. Working with the UBELONG staff made at what seemed like a daunting task of planning both informative and encouraging. From the airport pickup, to a home-stay in Quito, UBELONG delivered on their promises of safety and logistics. The project itself in the Amazon exposes the volunteer to a variety of culture and environmentalism, and working under the guidance of experienced locals, a volunteer can come back with the greatest souvenir one can obtain from Ecuador, a feeling of self-accomplishment and unique cultural exposure. You can really make a difference by becoming a UBELONG volunteer, and you can learn more about yourself in the process. I have confirmed my passion for environmentalism through UBELONG and made friends from all around the world that I continually stay in touch with. I encourage those seeking to travel to check out the UBELONG experience, you won't regret it and you will gain this unsatisfiable quest for global volunteer work.

Yes, I recommend
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Alexander
9/10

UBELONG Prepares Peace Corps Volunteer

As a future Peace Corps Volunteer, UBELONG has given me the incredible opportunity to do volunteer work in the continent where I would be living these next two years. Their connections were great and the experience overall was fantastic. I never could have had this experience without their connections and resources.

How can this program be improved?
I think that a lot of responsibility rests on the group leader insofar as mentoring the group actually on the trip, and in terms of reflecting while there.
To affirm this idea of on-trip reflection with the group leader would be a good course of action in the future.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
jopie
10/10

A fulfilling, transformative, enlightening opportunity!

My experience with UBELONG has been overwhelmingly positive. As a student, I don’t have a huge budget, and from my research into other volunteer opportunities I know that UBELONG keeps costs incredibly low. From my experiences as a UBELONG volunteer, I know that this low cost comes with a high quality experience. UBELONG supported me before, during, and after my adventure, providing plenty of information, open lines of communication, and friendly, knowledgeable staff. At the same time, though, I had plenty of flexibility to ensure that my volunteer trip aligned with my personal goals and interests.One of my favorite aspects of UBELONG is their general approach to volunteering abroad. As someone with a keen interest in sustainability issues, I understand that we can’t progress as a planet without valuing all cultures and ways of life. I really appreciate that UBELONG’s volunteering approach is non-intrusive, respecting local norms and knowledge; I felt that, as a volunteer, I participated in a holistic process, working with local organizations toward environmental goals that benefit everyone. This type of atmosphere made my experience all the more fulfilling, transformative, and enlightening. I would not hesitate to volunteer with UBELONG again!

How can this program be improved?
If I could change one thing about my experience, I would stay longer. I do feel that, at least in the case of my specific program, the experience really grows richer with time, as volunteers there for longer durations develop their own projects and focuses. As a short-term volunteer I didn't have as much of a chance to do this; perhaps the local volunteer organization could develop more specific short-term projects. However, I also feel that perhaps utilizing short-term volunteers for varied tasks is a good way to give a broad experience in a short time, and also is an efficient use of labor. In short, go for as long as you can!
Yes, I recommend
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Caryn
9/10

Thoughtful & Idealistic Program

Before I signed up to volunteer in the Galapagos, I looked at a lot of volunteer websites. What struck me about Ubelong's website was its commitment to providing guidance and support for a meaningful experience in one's chosen community.

Because Ubelong is not reinventing the wheel but is aligning itself with well-established volunteer programs, you can jump into an ongoing effort and feel useful from Day One. There is also a guest house in Quito available to volunteers that is an immersion experience in itself. The host family is generous, kind, and helpful to the point that you may not want to leave.

It's true that the conditions at the biological preserve were somewhat, well, rustic, but the community was open and accepting and the overall vibe was very positive. I say that as an older volunteer who found myself among students and other much-younger people. We laughed a lot. I am considering participating in another Ubelong project in the future--it is an affordable, effective, and open-hearted volunteer program.

How can this program be improved?
Keep the mosquitoes out--bar them from Galapagos, make them wear their own nets, send them back to the mainland, or surgically remove their proboscises!
Yes, I recommend
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Melanie
10/10

Great organization

I had a great experience in Ecuador with UBELONG. I worked in Quito for three weeks on the Tumbaco education projects and found it to be challenging yet very rewarding. I found everyone to be friendly, eager to help and supportive of me. A great organization that offers busy people like me the opportunity to take a break and do some good. Thanks.

Yes, I recommend

About UBELONG

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