Being a volunteer for this Social Development Program in Ecuador, you'll not only be able to make a difference in the lives of girls, women, and teenagers but also spread happiness while empowering them. By providing formal and informal education, you can motivate these people to dream bigger and fulfill them. As they say, an educated society is capable of fighting against all odds!
The main focus of this program is to provide a harmonious society for the most vulnerable population in northern Manabí, through eradication of violence, decrease adolescent pregnancy, ensuring gender equity and female leadership as well as spreading environmental awareness. You can also teach sports or arts, opening up healthy opportunities for the women in this society.
The project is located in the lovely and authentic fisher’s village Don Juan in Jama, located about 190 km west of Quito, Ecuador's capital.
Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project, and must be ready to commit at least 2 weeks for this program. You need to have an open mind and a flexible attitude for working with the locals. The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference. Participants must be fit and healthy at the time of joining the program and should be prepared to work outdoors and get their hands dirty. Participants should have no criminal convictions and should provide a clean criminal background check report. Knowledge of at least basic Spanish language will be preferable.
Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities
As a volunteer for the social development program, your tasks might vary as per need. However, some of the common tasks would be:
- Helping create an organic garden
- Supporting education organizing activities with sport/art/music/theater, reading English book for the kids
- Conversations with kids & teenagers about their dreams and motivating them to achieve their goals
- Clean beaches from garbage with the kids & teenagers
- Create activities regarding recycle
Volunteer Work Schedule
Volunteers generally work for 4 to 5 hours a day, Monday to Friday. Weekends are free.While the volunteer work schedule may vary as per needs, here's a rough itinerary to give you a basic idea:
Day 1 - Sunday - Arrival day in Pedernales bus station where our Project Coordinator will be waiting for you to take you to the project (20 minutes away) and will give a first introduction of the village.
Day 2 - Monday - On Monday, the work schedule of the week will be defined (which will vary), Work can be related to organizing a class for the kids, or helping to create an organic garden.
Day 3 to Day 6 - Tuesday to Friday - Again, your work will depend on the need, but mostly you'll be assisting the coordinators with activities from the center such as put in order the books, paint walls, and prepare the material for the classes. Support with the education organizing activities with sport/art/music/theater, reading English books for the kids, etc.
Days 7 & Day 8 - Saturday-Sunday - Weekends are free for you so that you can enjoy going to the beach, playing soccer or beach volleyball with the coordinators and other volunteers. You can also go for a short trip.
Day 9 - Monday - Your work schedule will be defined on Monday. You might have to work with the locals in setting up a library for the kids, or engage the women in some livelihood activities.
Days 10 to Day 13 - Tuesday to Friday - Work will continue as per assignment.
Day 14 - Saturday - Last day of your program and time to bid goodbye to all or continue with the program for more weeks.
Volunteering Solutions is an established name for volunteering placements abroad. We ensure that all our accommodation and living standards match the requirements and comfort levels of our volunteers.
Airport and Project Transfer
Volunteers would be picked up from the Mariscal Sucre International Airport by the VolSol staff or the in-country coordinator. Volunteers who are already present in Quito can arrive directly at the hostel accommodation.
After arrival on the next day, participants travel to the project location by bus. The ride from Quito to Pedernales city takes between 5 and 6 hours. Upon arrival in Pedernales, the project coordinator will meet and escort you to the village of Don Juan.
Upon arrival in Quito, volunteers are provided accommodation for a night at a hostel.. After transfer to the project participants stay at the volunteer residence at the Intercultural Center in Don Juan. It is a beautiful bamboo house, with 2 rooms and the kitchen is fully equipped. The bathroom and bedroom are very comfortable too.
The local coordinator will provide a basic orientation and help you with the arrangements for your bus ride from Quito to Pedernales on the Pacific Coast (around 5 hours). On-site, the program staff will introduce the volunteer to the project and the local project staff and help with basic induction.
Volunteers are provided with three meals during the program in Don Juan. Only breakfast is included in the accommodation in hostel in Quito.
During your Free Time
Don Juan has breathtaking beaches where you can walk for hours.In your free time, you can visit the impressive nature reserve LaloLoor, go to the vibrant coast village Canoa or enjoy enacting with the locals and relax.
Please Note: -An application fee of $199 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of £149 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of $259 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of €169 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment)
What are you Paying for?
- 24 hrs Assistance and support from staff
- Comprehensive Pre- Departure Information
- Quito Airport Pickup
- One night hostel stay in Quito
- Assistance in arrangement of transfer from Quito to Don Juan
- Bus ticket cost from Quito to Pedernales
- Accommodation in Don Juan
- Travel & Medical Insurance (Available at an extra cost)
- Certificate Of Completion (Upon Request)
What's NOT included?
- Transfer to airport on departure day
- Personal Expenses
FAQ's Application and Program Details
-Application Fee is valid for a year and you can choose to do two three programs in the same year without paying an additional application fee.
-You can make the payment for program fee in parts.
Also, we abide by the first come first serve policy.
Intermediate or Beginner Level of Spanish is required.
Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project.
Participants must have a Clean Police Record (Criminal Background Check).
Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.
The volunteers should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
On the first day of the project, our volunteer coordinator accompanies the volunteer to his/her project and shows how public transport works to and from the project. On the site, the coordinator will introduce the volunteer to the project and the local project staff and help with basic induction.
Flights and Visa
From Europe to Quito, the recommended services are:
Health and Safety
Here are some guidelines from the project:
When using public transport keep your bag and valuables with you and not on the shelves or under the seat.
Do not bring things which are not required or are extremely expensive: jewelry, credit cards, more money than you're spending money for that day, etc.
When it gets dark, take a taxi, they are cheap here in Ecuador and will guarantee you a safe ride home.
Do not drink in the company of the strangers, until you are with your volunteer group or company.
Accommodation and Living
In Volunteer house, there is the provision of the fully functional kitchen but no meals. Volunteers can prepare meals for themselves. Meals are provided by the host family, thrice a day.
You will need to cover yourself for your personal expenses, such as local transport, telephone, the internet, shopping, weekend trips etc. However, you should carry around $50 per week for your basic personal expenses. This amount can vary and you would need a higher amount if you go on weekend sightseeing tours.
Connect with Past Volunteers
To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit the Meet a Volunteer section on our website.