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Free (or Cheap) Volunteer Work in Ecuador

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Free or Cheap Volunteer Work in Ecuador


Ecuador has numerous opportunities to volunteer and we have many, many more organisations to investigate and add here.


Grassroots Volunteering in Ecuador

The organisations listed below have either got in touch with us to add their details to this or another of our websites, or we otherwise have reason to believe they are actively looking for international volunteers and charge reasonable or no fees to join in, live and work with them:

Sacred Suenos

With the aim of regenerating a small piece of mountainside into a self sufficient farm community, volunteers participate in all aspects of the community. Currently, there are two projects on the land: the founding site, now called the Seed Camp, and a new project, the Regenerative Andean Design institute (RADi). A donkey service is available to take your luggage up the mountain.

Where: Near Vilcabamba.
Accommodation & Costs: Volunteers contribute $50 per week towards accommodation and the food kitty.

Volunteering in Ecuador


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Fundación Arte del Mundo

Fundación Arte del Mundo (FAM) is a non profit arts, language and literacy organisation with the prime focus of operating a dynamic children's library, and offering activities, workshops and events in all aspects of the arts. Each afternoon children line up at the door ready to read and eager to participate in activities created and led by volunteers, while in the evening a garage space converted into a theatre, complete with a dressing room and sound and lighting systems, serves as a popular meeting place and cultural centre.

Their programmes rely on our energetic and committed volunteers, who are eager to be hands-on collaborators in projects aimed at children, youth and the community. People and/or groups of people over 18, including families with children are welcome to volunteer, and long term volunteers with arts, education or theatre management experience are always wanted. A knowledge of Spanish will enhance your experience here. A two week minimum commitment, volunteering on average four hours per day is required..

Where: Baños de Agua Santa.
Accommodation & Costs: There is no fee for volunteering but an application fee of $50 helps with office expenses. Volunteers will be asked to live on the premises in comfortable rooms above the library. Rents are $310 per month for shared rooms, single rooms $330, or sharing a dorm room for $280. Weekly rates available. The rooms are bright and have wonderful views of Baños.

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Ecovolunteer Up

An Ecuadorian non profit organisation specialising in community tourism that works with local families to improve living conditions in rural communities. Projects include a community and conservation project in the Amazon, volunteering with a wild animal rescue centre in the Amazon, childcare in the Amazon, reforestation in Galapagos, teaching English in the cloud forest, and several projects in Quito.

Where: Several locations across Ecuador, including Quito, the Mindo Cloud Forest and Galapagos Islands.
Accommodation & Costs: Accommodation and meals are included for $120 to $150 per week in mainland Ecuador, $210 per week in the Galapagos. There is also a $225 registration to cover airport pick up and other programme expenses.

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South American Explorers

US based SAE offer trip planning advice and independent information to their members. SAE can also help with finding volunteer opportunities with other organisations across South America. Volunteers and interns are often required to help staff their clubhouses, providing information to travellers in South America. Other tasks include answering phones, social media marketing, guide research, cleaning rivers, parks and treks, event planning and organising projects. Spanish lessons or lunch are offered as recompense.

Where: SAE has a clubhouses in Quito.
Costs: No fee is required. Volunteers need to arrange their own accommodation.


Other Opportunities to Volunteer in Ecuador

Urcu Puyujunda Eco Lodge Mindo used to provide information on volunteering on their website but this is gone now, as is our full listing we had for them. However, we note that they now use HelpStay to find volunteers, offering free cabin accommodation and meals. As they used to charge $80 a week for this, plus a $50 registration fee, it now works out much cheaper for volunteers to just fork out for HelpStay's membership fee. Work includes planting trees, maintaining trails - clearing them of plants with a machete; improving trails - building stairs or fences for safety and constructing new trails.


Help Exchange Networks in Ecuador

Workaway -
HelpStay -{XID_HASH}
HelpX -


Other Ways to Travel or Stay for Free in Ecuador

Stay for free in return for caring for local residents' homes or pets. Join Trusted Housesitters to live rent free as a house sitter (Americans may prefer this link). You can also get a free $25 Airbnb credit from us here.


Volunteer Experiences*

Singing Aloud and Volunteering in Baños, Ecuador - Though technically not volunteers, Melissa Ruttanai and her husband Neil were invited to join travellers and expats from around the world in helping Ecuadorian children learn English.
Settling into Life in Baños, Ecuador - Kim and her husband spend three weeks in the Andes mountains promoting literacy and the arts to local children.
Volunteering in Banos – 30 Kids and 100 Soda bottles - Jack and Jill use empty plastic bottles and the power of imagination to keep a horde of children quiet in Ecuador.
Singing Aloud and Volunteering in Banos, Ecuador - Melissa Ruttanai describes the activities of the Biblioteca Interactiva de Baños.
Volunteering in Ecuador: Recap - Pola Henderson, Greenheart Travel’s Volunteer Abroad Correspondent in Ecuador, looks back on her time volunteering in an indigenous settlement near Quito.


* not all these volunteer experiences are with grassroots NGOs or low cost organisations

Image copyright Sacred Suenos