This project is located in the Ecuadorian rainforest and works for rescuing, rehabilitating and when possible releasing animals back to their natural environment.
The centre works in partnership with the Ecuadorian Environmental Police (UPMA) and the Ministry of Environment in the fight against the trafficking, abuse, capture and hunting of wild animals. This center is very organized and volunteers can help with caring for the animals and maintenance.
This project was founded in 2006 with the aim of protecting the wildlife of the Amazon region through the rescue and rehabilitation of local flora and fauna. The animals at the center have all been abused, neglected or abandoned. Some of the animals were orphaned when their parents were killed by hunters, others were rescued from animal dealers who were trying to traffic the animals out of the country and many have been retrieved from families who had kept these animals in captivity. Unfortunately the majority have suffered some sort of physical or psychological abuse.
There are currently at least 40 different species of animals at the center which include: Ocelot, tayra, capybara, parrots, monkeys, tortoises, and caimans amongst others.
The center is also open for tourists to visit, charging a small entrance fee that is the center’s only other source of income. As animal welfare is not a high priority for many Ecuadorians, the background and mistreatment of each animal is explained to tourists, with the idea to educate local and foreign visitors about animal protection issues. In general, the visits are not guided, but tourists can read about each animal on the information sign at the cages.
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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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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