About two decades back, the people living in community el Rosal realized that the promises made by the authorities to provide schools, clinics etc were all fake and no advancement was taking place. In an effort to change the societal structure, people came together and experimented with making different products, which they could sell in order to get money and thus, improve their lives. They started with making soaps from Aloe Vera, which grows in abundance in that area. Later, they continued to make other products, shifted to organic farming, started coffee plantations and eventually brought a sustainable change into their lives.
As a volunteer for this program, you will mainly focus on fieldwork, learn how-to live-in harmony with nature, and indulge in environmental care. Spend your days collecting fruits and vegetables, go for fishing and learn how to make coffee and soaps. You'd also get to learn how to make natural cosmetic products.
The project is located in the Intag Valley, a remote and mountainous region of the Andes, in the province of Imbabura, in the Cotacachi canton, very close to the province of Pichincha. This place is unique due to its beautiful landscapes, fertile lands and varied climate.
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
The tasks assigned to volunteers might differ from one season to another. Here's a short snippet of what you'd mostly be doing:
While working at the coffee plantations:
From May to September
• Collecting beans
• Washing and fermenting process
• Drying, selection & production of coffee (Coffee tea & Organic coffee supplies)
From October to April
• Maintenance of coffee
• Preparation of organic fertilizers
Volunteers engaged in making organic cosmetic products will be engaged in:
• Collecting Aloe de Vera
• Cutting, mixing and boiling the ingredients
• Preparation and packaging of organic products such as: soaps, creams, shampoo, etc.
Other activities include:
• Cleaning and cooking
• Harvest of fruits and vegetables is available all year, depending on the plants
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 the project takes between 5 and 6 hours with public transport to Garcia Moreno community (around $5,00). At the square in Garcia Moreno the project coordinator will pick you up and brings you to the project (around 15 minutes from Garcia Moreno).
Upon arrival in Quito, volunteers are provided accommodation for a night at a hostel.. After transfer to the project in Intag Valley, volunteers joining this program will be staying at the in-country program coordinator’s house, where rooms will be provided on a sharing basis. There’s a shared bathroom with warm water available, and meals (thrice a day) will be provided to you at the accommodation. WiFi is available.
The local coordinator will provide a basic orientation and help you with the arrangements for your bus ride from Quito to Intag Valley. 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 freshly prepared meals directly with community products. A variety of grains, fruits, legumes, meats, etc.Participants with special dietary requirements can inform in advance.
During your Free Time
While at the project during free time volunteers get to explore the beautiful landscapes of the Intag Valley. Wi-Fi is available to volunteers during their free time as well however it can be intermittent.
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 Intag Valley
- Bus ticket cost from Quito to Intag Valley
- Accommodation in host family
- 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.