Depending on your program, you will work sometimes in the weekends as well. It is a full program with much variety in activities and an average workday of 6-8 hours. It is important that you are on time and punctual to work.
During the week (Monday to Friday) you will get to work hands on with data collection and analysis. You will have four outings to the ocean to collect data varying between a half and full day trips depending on the schedule. Afterwards you share and analyse all the research material (cameras, gps, sound recording etc.). Spanish lessons are held at the project location and will be distributed during the week depending on when you go out to the sea and how the weather is. On Saturday you will go over the results and conclusions.
This project is located in the town of Puerto Lopez in the province of Guayas. You will have to travel first to Ecuador’s biggest city, Guayaquil and then on to Puerto Lopez. Travelling in bus from Quito it will take you approximately 12 hours to reach. However you could always take a flight from Quito to Guayaquil to cut down your travelling time considerably.
The climate in the coast is hot and humid. The weather can change however it is often quite hot and sunny. Items that we recommend you bring are:
- Cotton (fast-drying) trousers, shorts, short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts, rain jacket, cardigan
- Sunglasses, sunblock and swimwear
- Mosquito repellent
- Small daypack
- Prescription medication (if applicable)
- Work gloves
- Lightweight, long and quick drying work pants
- Rubber boots
The project is closed on the following public holidays in 2019:
08-11 August: Ecuadorian Independence
10-13 October: Independence of Guayaquil
Minimum age of 18
All foreigners entering Ecuador are obliged to have a valid health insurance
Basic Spanish is an advantage, but not required
If you have the time, we highly recommend starting with an Introduction Week in Quito so you will go well prepared to your project. This first week gives you an idea about life in Ecuador, shows highlights of the city and its surroundings, includes 20 hours of Spanish Group lessons, an in-depth volunteer preparation including language specifics, and other fun elements such as a private salsa lesson, a city tour, and visit to the Equator.
Saturday: Airport transfer and accommodation in Student House in Quito
Sunday: Free day
Monday: 4 hours of Spanish Classes. Afternoon homework time. Welcome cocktail in afternoon.
Tuesday: 4 hours of Spanish Classes. Afternoon homework time. 1 hour of private Salsa classes in afternoon.
Wednesday: 4 hours of Spanish Classes. 2 hours of practical volunteer introduction with Spanish terminology according to project chosen.
Thursday: 4 hours of Spanish Classes (eg. Market visit, museum visit, etc.) to use the Spanish language in a practical situation. Afternoon homework time.
Friday: 4 hours of Spanish Classes. 2 hours city tour through the Old Town of Quito with a Spanish teacher.
Saturday: All-day tour to Cotopaxi is included.
Sunday: Introduction to the volunteer work program.
Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.
Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.
Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.