Finding a volunteer opportunity in Ecuador is easy, finding one that doesn’t charge you is another story.
Volunteering is an outstanding way to get a look at Ecuador from an Insider’s perspective and really see how people live. It can help you learn Spanish, meet cool people, and experience new things all while helping someone.
The problem is that most foundations down here charge foreigners a pretty hefty fee for the “experience”.
In order to find a program that doesn’t charge you for the volunteer experience you will need to look a little harder.
I wouldn’t even bother looking on the net, the programs you’ll find there are likely to charge you, often around $800 per month for the whole package, food, housing, transport, etc. Not a bad deal, unless your budget is tighter.
In that case, I would recommend you wait until you arrive in Ecuador to look for a volunteer opportunity.
Once in Ecuador, ask your hotel to lend you a local yellow pages where you can find dozens and dozens of non profits and their contact info if you look under “Fundaciones”.
You can call around or visit until you find an opportunity you like that doesn’t charge…
Another idea is to visit the UNICEF offices in Quito. They regulate the non profits that work with kids and can help locate you in a serious organization for no, or a small, fee.
Their office number in Quito is 2 460 330 x2414 or x2413.
Two organizations I recommend in Quito are the PAE which helps street animals and the Fundacion Triangulo which helps kids with disabilities.
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