Community Development in the Andes

This program located in the Andes aims to improve the quality of life of the 43 indigenous communities represented, by building a fairer, more egalitarian multi-cultural society, reducing poverty, expanding the electoral participation of local inhabitants and strengthening social organisation. Volunteers in Ecuador participate according to their fields of expertise and interests. Activities include: helping with administrative work, apiculture, hydro-technical projects, environmental education, the production and sale of traditional products including handicrafts, as well as working on organic farms and supporting teachers at local community schools.

The following additional costs apply: transfers to Otavalo from where volunteers are collected - $20; the cost of any additional bus journeys or extra food is met by the volunteer.

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What to Expect?

Volunteers staying in Quito can choose to stay with a carefully vetted family, who have experience of hosting foreign volunteers. This is a fabulous opportunity to practise one’s Spanish and becoming deeply immersed in Ecuadorian culture. The volunteer project will be no further than a manageable bus ride away. Home stays includes three meals a day. Volunteers with special dietary requirements and/or food allergies are asked to inform the organisation in advance to ensure their needs are met.

In Quito only, it is possible for volunteers to live in a private apartment or hostel, although this will be more expensive, but may suit a volunteer couple. The accommodation details for projects elsewhere in Ecuador are described under their respective Project Descriptions.

With its reputation for superb exotic fruits, unsurpassed fish and seafood, and not least the numerous varieties of Andean potatoes, Ecuador offers the taste buds a veritable feast. Among the traditional dishes that volunteers might want to try whilst in Ecuador are: Seco de Pollo, Menestra and Ecuadorian Churrasco - a plate consisting of roast meat, a fried egg, chips and fried plantain - or even the great delicacy, guinea pig. For savoury main courses, the hot sauce aji is often used. Easily and very cheaply available from bakers’ shops are such filling snacks as empanadas (hot pastry pockets containing meat or cheese), llapingachos (potato and cheese pancakes) and tempting sweet pastries.

  • Program ID: # 2274
  • duration:
    Less than 1 Week
    1 to 2 Weeks
    2 Weeks to 1 Month
    1 to 3 Months
    More than 3 Months
  • location:
  • Fitness level:
    Light Impact
    Moderately Fit
    Very Fit
  • Closest Airport:
    Quito, Ecuador (UIO)
  • Costs From:
    $500 to $1000
    $1000 to $1500
    $1500 to $3000
  • Program Type:
    Community Development Projects
    Environmental & Wildlife Programs
    Learn Abroad
    Teach Overseas
    Women's & Youth Programs
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