Volunteer in Ecuador


Join a network of global volunteers and experience the fantastic diversity and culture of Ecuador. From the Amazon to the Galapagos Islands, we have amazing opportunities for wildlife lovers of all stripes and colours! Choose between a range of community development or conservation programs (or both) - all of which give you 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 + $500 per week (1-4 weeks), and $200 per week after this. (This includes accommodation, meals, coordination, supervision, training, airport pick up)

$250 application fee + $1447 program fee for 2 weeks. (This includes accommodation, meals, coordination, supervision, training, airport pick up)



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. In addition it is possible to volunteer in a Day Care or Teaching project at this location.

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Are you a dedicated greenie? Are you keen to learn more about the dynamics of ecological conservation? In the Conservation Project, volunteers have the opportunity to get involved in the conservation efforts at four different biological stations: Amazon, Bilsa, Congal and San Cristobal (please see the Galapagos Project for details on San Cristobal). The tasks will range from reforestation, biodiversity inventories, work in the local botanical gardens, and weekly hikes to explore the surroundings. Each biological station is different and therefore the tasks will vary depending on the location of your volunteer placement.

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Day Care

Day Care

Do you love spending time with kids? Can you provide hugs, smiles and quality care? Volunteers in our child care program will help with caring for children from impoverished communities situated on the outskirts of ecological reserves. Along with general duties, volunteers will assist in feeding and bathing babies, showing young children how to brush their teeth and wash their hands or help the older children with their homework. Generally, volunteers are encouraged to use their skills to develop motivating ideas to interest the children in learning.

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Are you driven to help developing communities gain access to better health care? Are you a doctor, nurse or medical student? In the Medical Project, volunteers will get the chance to get involved in work in hospitals, clinics and social centers for children and adults from impoverished communities. Please note that there is no medical program available in the Galapagos; only in the Amazon and Congal programs.

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Teaching English

Teaching English

Did you know that you have a great wealth that by sharing, others gain and you lose nothing? In the Teaching project, volunteers will be teaching English by designing interesting lessons that may include games and other fun activities. Learning English provides Ecuadorians with the ability to access the growing tourism market and opens opportunities for further education. Volunteers do not have to have a teaching background or a special qualification to participate in this project.

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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 19700 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

$250 application fee + $1447 program fee for 2 weeks. (This includes accommodation, meals, coordination, supervision, training, airport pick up)

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 line.
  • 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 South Africa?

As its name suggests, South Africa is the most southern country on the African continent. It is bordered by Namibia to the north west, Botswana and Zimbabwe to the north, and Mozambique to the north east. South Africa is roughly 5 times the size of Britain, and covers 1.2 million sq km. South Africa was isolated politically and economically for a long period of time, as other countries protested against their racial discrimination known as apartheid (apartness). That era ended in 1994 when the ANC (African National Congress) was elected to power, led by Nelson Mandela. Pressure from ANC, other black political organizations, and the international community forced an apartheid government to pass a referendum in 1992, for everyone to vote in free and fair election.

What is the climate like in South Africa?

In South Africa, the seasons are predominately summer and winter. The autumn and spring seasons are very fleeting. Finding itself at South Africa’s northernmost area and bisected by the tropic of Capricorn, visitors to Limpopo can expect sunshine, long summer afternoons, and dry days for most of their stay. Summer (October to March) in the Limpopo province can reach 30°C -35°C during the day. The winter is dry and very pleasant. Although the temperature can fall below 5°C at night, the days can present clear blue skies and temperatures in the low 20s.

What kind of volunteer work is available?'

Community Service: You could be one of 10 volunteers getting involved in community service tasks in our specialized program in honour of Nelson Mandela. Volunteer work includes the following:

  • Helping out at an orphanage by doing chores 
  • Offering to paint and renovate a shelter for the homeless
  • Helping fix the playground at a daycare centre 
  • Helping paint and decorating a children’s ward at a local hospital 
  • Spending time at a children’s ward in hospital talking to the children and assisting the nurses 
  • Spending a day with the elderly listening to their stories
  • Taking a bag of toys to a local hospital’s ward or a daycare centre in a rural village
  • Reading to someone who can’t read 
  • Coaching an extramural activity at a school 
  • Helping out at a local soup kitchen

What hours do I work?

Teaching assistants typically work weekdays, approximately 7 hours per day. There is a small variation in hours depending upon the time of year. The hours are generally longer during the school terms. Volunteers in childcare centres will normally have a busy afternoon schedule as children are done with school for the day, however there are some morning shifts where the children are under school age. Weekends are the normal days off.

Where will I be located?

The initial orientation and first night of accommodation is in Tshwane, Pretoria.

Participants will then travel to the rural area of Venda. This is located in the Limpopo province (the northernmost province of South Africa). Venda is about 4.5 hours north of Johannesburg within the Vhembe District, situated in Limpopo, the northernmost province of South Africa.

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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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