This project gives a second chance to the local street children and youth. Volunteers work in a non-profit organization for children who live or have lived on the streets. As a volunteer you can be of great help assisting the children with their homework, giving hygienic education, among other activities, and off course giving the children many hugs and attention. Many of these children have had a bad start to life such as being born to drug addicted parents, living on the streets, subjected to violence, abuse or neglect, made to work selling sweets in the street etc. One of the most important parts of a volunteer’s presence at the project is to empower the children and teenagers and this can be done just telling them a nice compliment, have fun with them with playing, art, music or sport. It is very important that they feel and realize that they are important no matter they background, race, economic or educational status.
The center helps over 100 children, although they do not all come to the center at the same time. Some come in the morning and other in the afternoon. All children receive a nutritious lunch at the center and they have to brush their teeth afterwards. The aim is to stress the importance of education as a way of breaking the circle and ensuring that these children do not fall for the same way of life and temptations that their parents did before them. With the help of funding and sponsors, the project pays to send the children to school and help out with any costs that the family may not be able to cover like school uniforms, books, materials etc.
The project created also work shops, like bakery and wood crafts. You can also share your talent with creating a work shop.
The pandemic changed a bit the daily activities; however, they remained active, helping in all the possible ways giving the circumstances prepare food packages and delivered them to 100 families that needed it the most. They did this until September 2021.
Nowadays the project is supporting around 60 kids to take online lessons, via zoom, so they continue receiving education and do not quite school, as the schools remain closed for face-to-face classes and of course they do not have internet access anywhere The children present at the project also receive help and support with their homework; most of their parents cannot help them. The Children still receive lunch, but with strict biosafety protocols, they do it in shifts.
Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project. Participants should have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. Volunteers need to be flexible, open-minded and have a passion for working with children. You should also be proactive and have the ability to take initiative All volunteers must provide a clean criminal background check report prior to joining the program. A beginner-intermediate level of Spanish would be an added advantage for the participants in the program.
Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities
- Help children with their homework
- Help with food preparation, especially during the lunchtime which can be very chaotic and busy
- Assist the youngest children and make sure they clean up after themselves.
- Help in the carpentry workshop
- School visits (the centre needs to keep a check on the children enrolled at school and regularly visit the local schools to ask about a certain child’s attendance, grades, ability etc.)
- Prepare recreational activities to be carried out when the children finish their homework or during their breaks
- Assist in hygiene education such as hand washing and brushing teeth-Supervise and assist children when they are allowed to use the I.T. room for their homework
Volunteer Work Schedule
Upon arrival in Quito you will have your Meet & Greet to discuss your expectations, rules of the project and how to move in the city. You will receive information on how to go to the project (walking distance) on the first working day, usually on Mondays.
Once you arrive at the project, you will have an orientation meeting where general information about the activities during the following days will be provided. It is also discussed what the expectations are and what talents and passions you want to use as a volunteer to contribute to the project with the aim that your time in the project makes an impact for the project and yourself.
Now is time to work… please take into consideration that not all the days will be the same, so your activities will be defined depending on the daily needs, we count on your flexibility to help at the project.
At midday, you will have a break for lunch, which is served at the project. This is a great opportunity for you to get to know the people of the community and their lives.
In the afternoon, you will continue with your duties until around 4pm. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy the city. For the following days, the schedule is similar, working from 7am to 4pm from Monday to Friday.
The coordinator will indicate you where you will be most needed, and of course if you have ideas, these are always welcome!!
This is a tough project so please be patient, your volunteer work is extremely valuable and helps to keep the project running. You will learn a lot and at times you may get frustrated of the way things work in Ecuador. Organization and the pace at which things run may be very different to what you are used to but please take into account that these are cultural differences that you should respect.
Show initiative that you are willing to work hard, be happy and motivated and you will get the most out of your time as a volunteer.
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.
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.
Participants are provided dorm style accommodation in a centrally located hostel.Located in the heart of the historic center of the city, Masaya a boutique hostel in Quito in a charming colonial house, a mixture of the colonial and the urban, is the perfect place to explore the largest and best conserved historic downtown is all Latin America, sounded by the most interesting plazas and streets like La Ronda, Plaza Grande, Plaza de Santo Domingo, Plaza de San Francisco, El Panecillo, the Basilica Church and lots of museums. The hostel offers incredible and generous spaces, a large garden, bright and comfortable bedrooms, to ensure you experience and stay there is pleasant.
The hostel offers facilities such as Wifi internet, large garden, multimedia zone and a restaurant.
Our local staff will provide a comprehensive orientation session for the volunteers. The orientation would cover information about your project, routes, and buses or public transport that you can take to reach your project site. You would come to know about the culture and practices of Quito, food habits, currency and more. On the first day of the project, our volunteer coordinator will accompany the volunteer to his/her project and show them how to use public transport to and from the project. On-site, the coordinator will introduce the volunteer to the project and the local project staff and help with basic induction.
Participants are provided with lunch at the project. Other meals can be taken at the hostel restaurant by paying directly. Meals are not included in the program.
During your Free Time
Quito offers a lot of things to do and it is full of nice places to see like parks, museums and plazas. Its large historic center is a great place to spend a couple of afternoons, visiting its historic plazas, churches, and beautifull colonial streets; you can also take the cable car to go up the Pichincha volcano, where you can have amazing views of the whole city. You can also visit the Mitad del Mundo (middle of the world), Pululahua volcano´s ctrater, and much more! During the weekends you can go to the rainforest, to the very popular Mindo town or north to the famous Otavalo indigenous town.
Please Note: -An application fee of $229 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 £179 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 $299 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 €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)
What are you Paying for?
- 24 hrs Assistance and support from staff
- Comprehensive Pre- Departure Information
- Pick up from the airport
- Project Donation
- Lunch (served at the project)
- Accommodation in a nice and cosy hostel close to the project
- Day tour to Cotopaxi volcano (Bike Tour)
- Travel & Medical Insurance (Available at an extra cost)
- Certificate Of Completion (Upon Request)
What's NOT included?
- Return Trip to Airport (Can be arranged at extra cost)
- Local Transportation
- Personal Expenses
- Visa Fees
FAQ's Application and Program Details
We always recommend all our volunteers to apply in advance. This way they get time to prepare better for the trip. Applying in advance has perks like:
-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.
Usually, it takes around 10-12 working days for the application to be processed and placement to be confirmed. After the application is accepted, your placement document shall be updated in your account online and you can view the information in your account. The application acceptance depends on the availability of seats in the project as well as the eligibility criteria of the program (age, skills and experience etc.).
Below are the necessary requirements to participate in the Quito volunteering projects:
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.
Yes, you must volunteer in a group. In fact volunteering in a group has its own perks. You can get discounts on application fee and you can pool in for add-on tours and travel.
When do I need to arrive in Quito, Ecuador for my program? What will happen once I arrive in Ecuador?
Arrival dates for all projects in Ecuador are on Saturdays. Once you land in Quito, you would be picked up by one of the Volunteering Solutions’ staff and you would be given a general induction. The volunteer coordinator will brief you about the history of the program, what the project currently is involved in, additional projects that might be going on at that time that volunteers can participate in, additional safety information, information on what to do during your free time, information on how to get there and around at the project. This is all presented in a booklet format and lasts +/- 30 minutes per volunteer.
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
No matter wherever you travel to, make sure that your passport is valid for at least another 6 months upon arrival to that place. That is applicable for Ecuador too. On your arrival in Ecuador, you will get a T-3 Visa stamp. This Visa stamp is valid for 90 days. If you plan to stay longer than this, you should apply for 12-IX Visa at the Ecuadorian Embassy of your home country, before leaving. This Visa would be valid for 180 days then.
From the US to Quito, the recommended services are:
From Europe to Quito, the recommended services are:
Health and Safety
Safety is a concern for all the international travelers; however, Quito is a tourist friendly country and major incidents involving volunteers is unheard of. Both the accommodation of Host family and the Volunteer house are safe. Although, when you venture out for a visit try to be with your group. Consult your coordinator before you decide to wander alone, especially in the night.
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.
You must visit your doctor 2 months prior to your overseas travel. As a precaution, carry your yellow fever certificate and vaccinations booklet to be produced at the border crossings, if need be.
Yes, for all participants it is mandatory to have a travel medical insurance.Volunteers have the option to purchase Travel and Medical Insurance at a nominal extra cost from Volunteering Solutions. To provide the best option to our participants, we offer comprehensive insurance coverage in collaboration with a leading insurance provider.
Accommodation and Living
A member of the local coordinating team will take you to your placement and introduce you to your project after giving you a basic orientation about the program/city/culture etc. You will be told about the directions to the project from your accommodation and the mode of transport you can use.
For accommodation, volunteers can choose to stay either with a local host family or in the volunteer’s hostel. Both the accommodation options are fully furnished and provide a comfortable stay to volunteers.
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.
Yes, however, you must inform us in advance and also mention about any dietary requirement in your application form.
Volunteers typically work for around 5-6 hours in a day. Depending on the workload every day, working hours can vary. Evenings are free for the volunteers and volunteers usually get together and go out for social gatherings, eat out or just relax at the volunteer house. Quito offers a number of activities and attractions for the discerning travelers. Quito is surrounded by Cotopaxi volcano and Pichincha, Antizana, Cayambe volcanoes that make the Andean contour. Full of churches and majestic architecture and exquisite fine dining experiences, walking tour in this beautiful city is not enough. Galapagos is at a distance of half an hour from the mainland Quito by air and you can go crazy looking and experience the untouched wilderness there. Island hopping, swimming, and snorkeling are just a few of the perks!
Your program fee covers your Airport Pickup, Accommodation, Food and In-country Support.
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.
Volunteers usually work for 5 to 6 hours a day depending on their program. You will have the weekend off so you can go to travel on weekends. However, volunteers need to be flexible, open-minded and understand that work requirements can change as well on certain occasions.
You will find a number of currency exchange counters and ATMs in the airport as well as the popular tourist areas of Quito. Your pre-departure booklet will have this information, your coordinator would also guide you with this information.
Connect with Past Volunteers
How can I connect with past Volunteering Solutions Ecuador alumni as well as other former and current volunteers?
We encourage volunteers to get in touch with former Volunteering Solutions Quito program participants and also other program participants joining our projects. You are recommended to join the Volunteering Solutions Facebook Page or Facebook Group to communicate with other participants.
To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit the Meet a Volunteer section on our website.