Volunteering in Ecuador: not free but accommodation and meals at a low cost.

Do you want to volunteer in Ecuador? If you are looking for programs online you will probably be disappointed. Volunteer programs ask for huge amounts of money in order for you to work for them. We offer various possibilities:

A De schools in Montañita and Manta ask for a small one time fee of $30 to arrange the work for you ($50 if it is for a program in the medical field). Then there is a mandatory donation to the project of $35 for two weeks for all programs except for the clinics where it is $50. This money is managed by the school and used to buy things required by the program. At the school in Montañita they have appointed a full-time volunteer coordinator, Ronny. He informs you about the work and guides you in your work. In these programs, you can  start with just a little knowledge of Spanish and work no more than four hours a day, therefor having the advantage you can simultaneously have your Spanish lessons and work.

B In the Amazon region of Ecuador, you can work in Ahuano and live with a host family. The school is just a little too far away to travel back and forth every day to the prgram of your choice in Ahuano. You can stay with a host family in the village so you will avoid the daily cost and time for transporation, of course, as long as you Spanish is at a good level.  A home stay with two meals a day will cost $150 per week Ahuano. You have your own room and can use a nice balcony overlooking the river. Click here for volunteering in Ahuano in the Amazon jungle of Ecuador.

C There are two nature projects that offer accommodation and meals at a low cost. The first is Amazoonico you work with animals. Cost $250 per month where you get all meals and accommodation. Please take a look at their site for more info. The other project is called Jatun Sacha, a 2250 hectare area. It is a biological institute for afforestation and conservation of the forest. This project asks $550 for lodging and meals. Below you will find more information about these two programs.


Free volunteer work in Ecuador in a kindergarten

Volunteer in Ecuador at the aquarium ValdiviaFree volunteer work in Ecuador: pelican with broken wingVolunteer in school project






Montañita at the Aquarium Valdivia

Location Valdivia, 20 minutes away from Montañita by bus.
Description In this sea aquarium sick and wounded animals are taken care of. A local diving company will find these animals when they are diving. They treat and temporarily house among others penguins, pelican’s, seals and turtles. Feed the animals, clean their cages. Take a look here Aquarium Valdivia
Time commitment You have to be available for a minimum of 4 weeks.
Spanish level
When The nicest work is in the mornings. You can work here for 2 to 4 hours a day, so perfect to combine with your Spanish course. But if you want to work after your Spanish course, that will be possible as well.

Montañita at the Ecological Club


Location Valdivia, 20 minutes bus ride from Montañita.
Description After school care of children. The schoolchildren go to the Aquarium Valdivia in the afternoons after school and help with feeding the animals or cleaning the beach. They are also taught English and physical education and receive help with their homework. Help supervise the children when they help out at the aquarium or supervise them during the classes or help them with their homework.
Time commitment
You have to be available for a minimum of 4 weeks. Since the work is part-time, you can easily combine the work with your Spanish course. It is also possible to work here full time after you have done your Spanish course.
Spanish level

Montañita at a Kindergarten


Location Montaňita
Description Help the children from 2 to 5 years old and provide guidance with fun and meaningful games.
Time commitment
You have to be available for a minimum of 4 weeks.
Spanish level
Intermediate, you’ll obviously have to be able to communicate properly with the kids.


Montañita at an Elementary school

Location Montaňita
Description Age of the children: 5 to 11 years old. Besides the regular lesson plan you can give the children English classes, teach them sports or handicrafts. Note: you will not be helping the teacher you will be organizing your own workshops.
Spanish At least intermediate. You have to be very self-confident so you can convey your skills to a group of children.
Time commitment
You have to be available for a minimum of 4 weeks.


Montañita at a Clinic


Location In Montañita and in Manglaralto.
Description In the clinics you can help the doctors and nurses. In Montañita they also admit patients but not in Mangatalto. Medical care is free in Ecuador. Depending on your level of education, experience and length of your stay here you help contribute to the care and treatment of patients. You have to study medicine or be a doctor or a nurse.
Spanish At least intermediate.
Time commitment
At least two weeks but preferably longer.


In the Jungle at Amazoonica

Location This program is located at the Rio Napo near the school.
Description In this program they place animals confiscated by the police. There is a significant trade in wildlife that often go on in Latin America, where the animals are sold for a lot of money. A monkey can fetch $ 10,000. Some animals are put back immediately  in the jungle after treatment, others are abused or sick and have to stay in the program for longer. For example, when I visited the project a capuchin monkey that worked in a restaurant and was great at clearing tables … some animals are too accustomed to humans and can not be put back into nature and live permanently in the amazoonica. You pay $ 250 per month and for that you have all your meals and your accommodation. The work: feed the animals and clean the cages. On average there are about 15 volunteers at this program.
Spanish Starting at beginner plus.
Time commitment
At least 8 weeks but 4 weeks is possible in the months of December, June, July and August.

TapirocelottenWol aap bij project amaZOOnico


Near Tena at Juan Sacha


Location Near Tena. You live at the program with other volunteers, usually about 5.
Description Every day you have a different job and the work is fixed. On Mondays you walk around the boundaries of the park with a ranger to inspect illegal harvest. Tuesdays you work in the botanical garden. Wednesdays your maintain the paths of the botanical garden. Thursdays you teach school children how fertilizer is made. Fridays you get a tour of the area. Daily you help feed the animals they have caipibarra’s, chickens and wild boar.
Spanish Beginner plus.
Time commitment
At least two weeks. You pay $550 for the cost of your room and meals if you stay 4 weeks, but if you only stay two weeks you pay $350.


Ahuano at a school

Location Ahuano
Description Teach English
Spanish Beginner plus, you can start after two weeks of Spanish classes, but it is recommendable to continue with your classes after that.
Time commitment
Minimum two weeks


Ahuano after school care


Location Ahuano
Description The children here are between 2 and 6 years old. You play with the children and help feed and change them.
Spanish Beginner plus level
Time commitment
Minimum two weeks


Apart from our programs to volunteer in Ecuador in combination with a Spanish course, we also offer volunteer programs in Peru and many countries in Central America. Go back to the homepage to see how our site is build up into Spanish Courses, volunteer work, and tours with or without Spanish courses.