Volunteer in Ecuador


Join a network of global volunteers and experience the fantastic diversity and culture of Ecuador. As a volunteer, you can fly to the San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos where you can dedicate your time to the conservation efforts our partner organization continues. This project is perfect for wildlife lovers of all stripes and colours as volunteers are given the opportunity to explore the magnificent Ecuadorian landscape and assist in the development of impoverished communities.

I had the most unbelievable experience. It was hard work but hugely rewarding and after 6 weeks I didn't want it to end. I met so many great people and learnt so much about the environment. By the end it felt like my home; an experience I will never forget and recommend to everyone.

Catriona | Ecuador Volunteer


Thank you so much everyone for making this such a fantastic experience! I came here with no idea what to expect, and I am leaving after 8 weeks that were better than I could have ever imagined. This is such a incredible place and the work being done is truly inspiring. I think I'll start a little garden of my own when I get home. Keep up the good work and hopefully I'll visit again one day! Muchas Gracias!

Isabelle | Ecuador Volunteer


Just Choose a Project and Apply!


You have a unique opportunity to learn a different way of living in a new culture, and to experience the traditional Ecuadorian diet. Accommodation in cabins on one of the four biological reserves have been selected to ensure volunteer well-being and comfort, to maintain safety and security, and to guarantee you get the most out of your time in Ecuador.

GVN Projects: Only $250 application fee + $495 per week (for the first four weeks of placement), and $200 per week after this. This includes accommodation, meals (as specified below), coordination, supervision, training, airport pick up and it is due at least 10 weeks prior to your arrival.

Galapagos Conservation

Galapagos Conservation

Do you dream of following in Darwin's footsteps? The San Cristobal Biological Station is located on the Galápagos Islands, off the west coast of Ecuador. The reserve was established on a 200 hectare site in the highlands of San Cristobal Island. Volunteers will work on habitat restoration and agricultural sustainability while at the reserve.

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Ecuador Application Form


Apply Now: Step 1 of 3



Why GVN?


Our vision is to connect people with communities in need, with a particular focus on vulnerable women and children. We do this by supporting the work of local community organizations in countries through the placement of international volunteers.

We are excited to get your placement under way where you will:

  • Be a part of GVN's efforts to inspire learning, innovation and action to unlock the potential of vulnerable communities around the world. Work with exceptional grassroots projects in community development, conservation and wildlife, personal development, fundraising and physical challenges.
  • Have the 24/7 support of a non profit with 14 years experience in placing 20160 volunteers that will provide you with an affordable and rewarding placement.
  • Volunteer with a world-class organization which is recommended by Bill Gates and CNN.
  • Be a part of progressive non profit that has raised over $2 million to help women and children in need.
  • Have the comfort of knowing that GVN staff have collectively flown over 1 million miles to ensure you get a quality placement.
  • Make a long-term impact in your community of choice - it's not just a vacation.




How GVN works...


The first step is to fill out an application to see if we have a place for you. Then if your application is successful you will be accepted and we will then get to work organizing your placement.

GVN is a registered Charitable Trust, so volunteers finance themselves, or can fundraise online with our unique GVN platform, with US donors receiving tax receipts. The Program Package provides you with all that is listed below, along with personalized support from our expert staff and the knowledge that you'll be working with a reputable and registered charity with over 14 years experience in the field.

At the heart of our work is the communities our volunteers work to support - we ensure that these communities truly benefit from your time in Ecuador and that the Program Package fully supports you financially while you're volunteering.

Program Package

GVN Projects: Only $250 application fee + $495 per week (for the first four weeks of placement), and $200 per week after this. This includes accommodation, meals (as specified below), coordination, supervision, training, airport pick up and it is due at least 10 weeks prior to your arrival. due date.

The Program Package also includes a project donation, which supports the work the GVN Foundation does in addressing nutrition, education and healthcare needs, as well as supporting longer-term development approaches, including income generation activities and microfinance.

Your program package includes:


  • Personal support from your Program Specialist throughout the preparation process.
  • Your Program Guide, with all the details on Ecuador and your placement.
  • Fundraising strategies and access to our crowd funding platform where you can raise up to 100% of the cost your trip, with tax receipts for your US based donors.
  • Access to Your Own Online Journal: which helps you to communicate effectively and easily with your family and friends back home.
  • Opportunities for Preferred Pricing and Personalized Service when booking Airfares: through our travel partner GYT Flight Centre who go the extra mile to support GVN volunteers.


  • Accommodation: Volunteer house or shared cabins.
  • Meals: 3 meals daily.
  • Training: In-country orientation.
  • Supervision: In-country staff supervision.
  • Support: Pre-departure personal support from your volunteer coordinator, 24/7 in-country support from partner, and 24hr emergency e-mail.
  • Extra: Please be aware that what you pay to stay at the station is not only for your room and board, but also goes towards the salaries of the forest guards, purchase of land, and to pay land tax.


  • An opportunity to debrief and provide feedback
  • Free access to GVN Changemakers program which alerts you to future internship/job opportunities at GVN.
  • A Letter of Completion in Volunteer Service.
  • The opportunity to stay connected with your project.
  • Global advocacy and fundraising campaigns to continue your part of the movement for social change with an international non-profit that has granted over $2 million to our partner organizations.

The program package does not include: Flights to Ecuador, flights to San Cristobal if doing the Galapagos program - approx US$600, insurance, visas, vaccinations, accommodation in Quito before the program starts, bus transport to the reserve and departure from the program.

We recommend you allow a weekly budget of US $35 for your other expenses such as bottled water, personal items, beverages, transportation, and entertainment.




Tell me more about Ecuador?

Ecuador is bordered by Colombia, Peru, and the Pacific Ocean. There are three distinct zones: the Sierra or uplands of the Andes, the Costa, a coastal plain between the Andes and the Pacific with plantations of bananas, cacao, coffee, and sugar; and the Oriente, the upper Amazon basin to the east, consisting of tropical jungles threaded by rivers. Quito, the capital city, is in a setting of great natural beauty, overshadowed by the volcano Pichinca with its twin peaks of Ruca and Guagua. For more information we suggest you purchase the Lonely Planet’s guide to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

What is the climate like in Ecuador?

The Ecuadorian climate is extremely diverse and because each reserve is located in varying altitudes and geographic zones, they all have different climatic factors to be considered. The temperature in Quito averages 14 degrees celsius throughout the year; June through to September is the driest period, while April often has torrential downpours during the afternoon.

What kinds of volunteer work are available?

Volunteers can participate in research assistance, education, community service, station maintenance, plant conservation, and agro-forestry activities carried out by the Amazon, and San Cristobal biological stations.

You can be involved in:

Conservation: collecting seeds, reforestation, medicinal plant garden development, nursery work, and clearing areas of invasive species, implementation of sustainable agriculture and aquaculture projects, crafts, and agro-forestry, implementation of sustainable agriculture and aquaculture projects, crafts, and agro-forestry, assisting in collecting data for local research, monitoring projects with birds and bears.


Is the program available year round?

The program is open all year round. Nevertheless, during Semana Santa (Easter) in March/early April the whole country shuts down for 5 days.

When will I know specific details about my placement?

After you have joined the program, you will be sent the program guide with more details about the program and your Program Specialist will begin making arrangements for your placement. Once you’ve confirmed your placement, you’ll be put in touch with our partner organization who will provide you with more specific details.

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About Ecuador



Ecuador shares it's borders with Colombia in the north, and Peru to the East and South, and the Pacific Ocean at the Equator for which the country is named.

Ecuador is a country of many geographical contrasts, extending from the Amazon rainforest of the Oriente and the high altitude forests of the Inter-Andean region, to the forests and beaches of the northern lowlands and the Galapagos Islands. Biological reserves are located in each of these different regions, many in extremely threatened areas, where the land in the reserve is among the last remnant of an area high in biodiversity.

Volunteer Impact

The principal aims of the reserves are the conservation of eco-systems and cultural diversity, environmental education, sustainable development projects, and research that promotes the improvement of the quality of life of people living in the zones of influence of its activities. The volunteer program is intended to provide practical experience for people interested in contributing to our partner's conservation activities and projects.  Volunteers work on a variety of projects alongside the resident researchers, environmental education instructors, and administrative staff of each reserve.

What else can I do in Ecuador?

Visitors to Ecuador will be amazed by the geographical diversity of this country.

A nature and adventure lovers delight, Ecuador offers trekking, hourseback riding, and a variety of exotic flora and fauna (and some strange insects!).  If you're a culture lover you can shop for hand-woven textiles at local indigenous markets, or browse the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Cuenca and Quito.

Online Spanish Lessons

Global Volunteer Network has established a partnership with the Spanish school Instituto Exclusivo, which offers GVN volunteers a 5% discount off their online Spanish lessons. This is not like other courses which give you pages of web material or recordings of various phrases to repeat. You will speak to, and see your instructor as he/she is giving you a private lesson, tailored to your level of Spanish. Learn spanish before you go.


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