What is the Sustainable Economic & Community Development in Ecuador project all about?
Volunteer in Ecuador on this economic and community development initiative to work alongside over 50 families, aiming to preserve their values, culture and environment, while building sustainable livelihoods for themselves. A few years ago, this location was declared to be in a protected area. In order to achieve maximum long term conservation, there has been no incentive for monocultures, the use of agrochemicals, logging, or mass tourism.The community’s families, with the support of NGOs, started a forestry project which grew to incorporate organic gardening, small dairy processing factories, jam making and ecotourism. The initiative is now supported by scientific research projects, which aim to preserve the flora, fauna and cultural specialism of the area.
Why choose this Sustainable Economic & Community Development project?
The main objective is to improve the quality of life of the local people through the sustainable use of the natural resources of the area. With a wide range of activities taking place, volunteers not only offer an extra pair of hands, but also share ideas and expertise with the local teams and the community. Volunteers benefit from being able to experience first-hand the challenges facing communities and projects trying to adhere to sustainable economic approaches. This is a great addition to your CV/Resume, especially if you have been studying a related subject.
Role of the Community & Conservation Volunteer
Volunteers will be involved in a range of activities, which will be determined by the needs of the project at the time of your placement, plus your skills and interests, but may include:
- environmental education for local children
- forestry research of non-timber industry resources, such as orchids, medicinal plants etc.
- organic gardening – planting, clearing and harvesting organic plants to support local women
- agriculture and reforestation on family farms
- community focused tasks, such as maintaining camping trails, developing composting systems, maintaining the camping area etc.
- food processing – marmalade/jam or cheese production
Volunteers will also find themselves participating in social events, sporting activities and festivals that are important to the community.
What skills do I need to be a Community & Conservation Volunteer in Ecuador?
There are no specific skills required to participate on this project. Being able to speak Spanish (level B2 Independent User of CEFR) will help you to participate in activities and to gain the most out of the project and your homestay placement. Volunteers should be flexible, patient, understanding, and creative and come with a can-do attitude. Anyone with an interest in organic gardening, horticulture, early childhood education or community development will really enjoy this placement. You will be asked to send your CV/resume before being accepted onto this project.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To share your ideas and expertise with the community
To practice your Spanish skills
To help families build sustainable livelihoods for themselves
Where will I work in Ecuador?
You will be based in the small town of Yunguilla, an hour outside of Quito. Yunguilla is set high up in the cloud forest. As it is part of a municipal natural reserve, there are always stunning views and lots of wildlife to see.
On weekends, you can venture to Quito, where there is plenty to see and do. Familiarise yourself with the country’s history and see the many wood, stone, bone and gold works of art at the city’s museums. Join the locals at night and enjoy the music, dancing and bar scene that Quito has to offer!
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2 + weeks
- Cost: £1649 / $2575 for 2 weeks
£272 / $424 for each week thereafter
- Requirements: age 16+
- Location: near Quito, Ecuador
- Project availability: year-round
- Arrival day: twice monthly on Fridays
What is included
- Accommodation: homestay with hot, running water and electricity
- Stay in a hostel in Quito, breakfast included, homestay family or volunteer house in Yunguilla
- Food: 2 meals per day
- Airport pick up and drop off in Quito
- Training: pre-departure pack, on-site orientation (on Saturday) and project induction
- Support: 24 hour support
What is not included
- Police/Government Background Check: US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies); all other nationalities must provide local police check.
- Transfers to and from your project
- Meals beyond those listed
- Optional intensive Spanish classes 1-week programme £456 / $712 including accommodation
- Optional excursion on the Sunday of your arrival weekend. Please speak to an advisor if you want to know more.
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Easy 4-step application process
Apply online and pay your application fee to apply for your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
Once we’ve received your application, we’ll review your details and be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
Following your interview, we will provide you a placement offer. Once you are ready to confirm your placement and dates, you can pay your confirmation fee to book and secure your space.
When you have confirmed your project dates we'll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
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