Volunteer in Ecuador with Plan My Gap Year – an award-winning, international volunteer abroad organisation with projects in Quito, Ecuador. PMGY provides safe, trusted and affordable programs, with a range of volunteer projects in Ecuador, including Bird RescueChildcareMedical & Teaching opportunities.

PMGY Ecuador is located in the historic and bustling capital city of Quito, at an altitude of 2,850m above sea level. The Ecuador volunteer programs start on the 1st & 3rd Sunday of every month. Our projects in Ecuador run throughout the year and participants can join the program for 1-12 weeks. Volunteers in Ecuador are provided with an extensive pre-departure support service, airport pick-up and drop-off, in-country orientation, volunteer accommodation and local team support.



















Help promote environmental education and the rehabilitation of birds at this fantastic and inspiring initiative just outside of Quito.


1-12 WEEKS



Be a helping hand to a beautiful child. There is little as rewarding as teaching them how to clean their clothes, speak English or even sing the hokie-cokie.


2-12 WEEKS



Spend your days with a generation of inspired students. Incorporate English language lessons with historic influences of indigenous culture.


2-12 WEEKS



What better way to learn a language than to surround yourself with the culture interacting with its people and traditions!


1-12 WEEKS



As a medical student, witness a healthcare system unlike your own. A new insight into traditional beliefs will leave you well amazed and cultured.


2-12 WEEKS



Embark on this stunning trip across Costa Rica, Ecuador & Peru where you are guaranteed to experience all aspects of South American lifestyle and culture.

FROM 1,935 USD

6-12 WEEKS



Most Affordable – PMGY’s programs are accessible to everyone who wants to make a difference, through low fees and high-impact projects.


Best Support – Our international and local teams provide extensive around the clock services to assist you every step of your PMGY adventure.


Safety Prioritised – With safety a PMGY number-1 priority, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe and structured as possible.


Extraordinary Experiences – With PMGY, you have the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in amazing cultural and travel experiences, ensuring you leave with unforgettable memories.


Friendships for Life – Your PMGY experience not only opens up a doorway for new experiences and exciting memories, but also life-long friendships when meeting new people from around the world.



As a bird rescue volunteer in Ecuador, you will get a hands-on experience with a variety of bird life from this amazing country. This is a fascinating and inspiring local initiative situated just outside of Quito that helps to promote education, respect, and love for all bird life. As a volunteer in Ecuador, you will help with the vital activities involved in the day-to-day running of this project all while learning about the challenges facing bird life within Ecuador.


Background to the Bird Rescue Program


As in many South American countries, Ecuador is home to an abundance of wildlife with its tropical climate, diverse landscape, and abundance of rainforests. Traditionally there has been an abundance of birdlife flourishing in this ecosphere. However, due to several problems such as deforestation, poaching, and domestic care, birds now face a challenge to peacefully coexist with mankind. According to BirdLife International’s update for 2012 of the IUCN red list of threatened species, close to 100 species of birds across the Amazon region are now at a greatly increased threat of extinction.


Parrots are among the most endangered and rapidly declining bird groups, with 28% of their species classified as threatened. Traditionally many families in South American countries have kept parrots and other wild birds as domestic pets and as a result, are continually removed from their natural habitat. Amazon parrots and macaws are preferred due to their attractiveness and ability to mimic the human voice. While it is now illegal to keep a wild bird as a pet, demand is still high in rural areas where over half of coastal communities keep pet parrots. The Ecuadorian Government is playing its part in the process, and it confiscated an average of 392 wild birds annually from 2003-2019. However, with a lack of care facilities, the government often relies on local initiatives to provide additional assistance with the long-term rehabilitation and care of these animals.


The lack of environmental education in Ecuadorian schools is also a barrier to reducing parrot ownership and capture. The main purpose of any environmental education strategy is to change people’s knowledge and attitudes, and ultimately behaviours. Alone, or in combination with other conservation interventions, environmental education projects can result in a decrease in the persecution of parrots and consequently an increase in population size.


Wild birds also face a challenge trying to live within an increasingly growing urban infrastructure in Quito. As the population rapidly grows this means their environment is being displaced at an alarming rate. Living so close to a human population often results in injury and ultimately a declining number of birdlife.


Bird Recue Volunteer Placement Example


Jardin Alado – PMGY has teamed up with “The Garden of Birds” which is an inspiring project established by Paul Tufiño in 2013. This project helps to combat the environmental and social challenges facing birdlife across Quito and beyond. This is a non-governmental project that relies on external donations to help promote their goals of environmental education and the rehabilitation of birds of prey in Ecuador.


The project helps provide a safe sanctuary for birds who have often been kept as pets, mistreated, or injured in the wild. The ultimate aim is to release the birds back into the wildlife and to date, they have been successful by releasing 371 in total. Some birds have become too domesticated or have some physical or psychological damage that prevents them from ever being safely released. Therefore, these birds are well looked after at the project. The unique aspect of this project is it promotes a “cage-free” experience for birds to allow for a semi-free lifestyle.


The rescued birds are put under the care of the local staff at the bird sanctuary. As a volunteer in Ecuador, you will play a vital role in supporting the local staff. In the same vein, as an animal volunteer, you will work alongside the staff to complete core tasks at the project. Such tasks for Ecuador bird rescue volunteering include:


• Taking care of the birds
• Assisting with cleaning and general maintenance
• Support with feeding the animals
• Helping with any medical treatments required
• Assisting in any educational programs
• Help build new houses on-site


The project welcomes local visitors to help provide a revenue stream and promote education into the overall conservation and care of these species. Therefore, there is a big opportunity to connect with local guests and promote the overall aims and objectives of the bird project. Volunteer support and contributions are a big help to the project that otherwise can receive limited help. By choosing to work closely with this bird project in Ecuador, your support as a bird rescue volunteer will be much appreciated by those connected at the centre.


On a broader level, the sanctuary has a range of programs that you as an Ecuador bird rescue volunteer can support with. For example, educational campaigns at local schools and recovery projects for sick and mistreated birds. The centre is located approximately 40 minutes from downtown Quito and is one hectare in size. Other animals that live and are cared for on-site include butterflies, farm animals, llamas, and wild cats.


Our Ecuador bird rescue volunteering project allows volunteers and interns to experience their love of bird life during their time in Ecuador. Working at the centre of the project as part of your international volunteering, your daily tasks will make a positive contribution. Moreover, the care and wellbeing these rescued birds receive will greatly improve.


Your Role & Typlical Work Day


When you complete volunteer work in Ecuador at the bird rescue centre, you will be helping with the daily chores. As an Ecuador bird rescue volunteer, you will help with cleaning and feeding. Other activities include enrichment activities, medical assistance, and general support for the local project staff. The volunteering hours are typically from 8am-4pm on a Monday-Friday basis.


To reach the bird rescue project, you will need to catch the public bus, and this takes around 40 minutes. The bus stop is located either just outside the volunteer accommodation or the Spanish school. Furthermore, the local team will assist you in learning the routes to your volunteer project. As a result, you will be acquainted with how to get to and from your volunteer project.



As a childcare volunteer in Ecuador, you will provide additional support to childcare projects within the city of Quito. Not only this, PMGY’s Ecuador volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. Provide a helping hand for the children and local staff. Plan activities and games, help with meals times and be sure to improve your Spanish as you volunteer with children in Ecuador.


Background to the Childcare Program


Ecuador is home to over 200,000 neglected children due to abandonment, death and alcoholism. Many children are forced into homes and living on the streets due to dysfunctional settings or abuse within their own families.


A major reason for neglected children is the cultural acceptance of child marriage. This results in an increased rate of births to mothers 10-14 years of age. The lower aged mothers result in a decreased level of familiarity on proper health and nutrition for infants. In the indigenous population, over 50% of children have a high level of chronic malnutrition. As a result, they are removed from their homes due to neglect.


Along with forms of neglect, there is the prevalence of abuse at high levels in countries of South America. Major areas of abuse are domestic violence and corporal punishment to women and children in the rural/indigenous communities. Children in childcare homes across the nation are subjects to many forms of abuse. The most prominent abuse is that of physical conduct by a male counterpart within the home.


These actions have been termed ‘illegal’ in the new constitution of Ecuador. However, the use of this punishment stills carries on within the family culture. Violence towards women is one of the highest among the population with 7 out of 10 being victims in their life. Therefore, please note that as international volunteers you may be working with children from vulnerable backgrounds.


Volunteer opportunities in Ecuador provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform to make a positive impact. When working at our childcare volunteer abroad projects in Ecuador, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. For the reason that many of these children will be seeking the care and attention that you as a childcare volunteer in Ecuador can bring. To work with children in Ecuador, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people.


Childcare Volunteer Placement Examples


Orfanto San Vicente De Paul – A religious institution founded in the late 1800s, Orfanto San Vicente De Paul aims to provide quality living for young children. The home serves as a protective destination for those that have been abandoned or mistreated. The rate of adoption in Ecuador is low but possible, so this location is a temporary home for children.


Working with children is one of the most fulfilling jobs. The volunteers will have the chance to interact with the kids in a variety of ways. This includes organising games, manual activities and other things that will keep the children busy. Taking the initiative and applying creativity is an important skill to have in this kind of work. As you complete your work in Ecuador at this project, you will play a key role in supporting the more limited local support team.


The work schedule is flexible and will be set between you and the local staff at the project. Thus volunteers will have the chance to make the most of their time. Please keep in mind that the centre’s resources are limited. It is important that you know you may have to face adverse situations. Please be respectful and responsible in your work, keep in mind you are a role model for these children! This volunteer project aims to instil in children important values such as care, respect and love for learning.


Alejo Sans Day Care Centre – Founded in 2003, Alejo Sans Day Care Centre is a community-based project. The origins behind the project are to provide a safe fun learning environment for young children. These children would previously spend time out at the markets with their working mothers. Consequently, they would be stuck in the sizzling heat with no daily structure or wellbeing.


Beginning as a small project with only one small room, the project has expanded quickly. As a result, the daycare centre has five large classroom formats home to 100 children. These children range from 1-3 years. The project runs across the day, but participants will usually join in the morning. Usually, this is for a 4 hour period before the children take their afternoon nap.


At the project, participants will teach about hygiene, read stories, play music and sing songs. Participants will also be expected to lead arts and crafts activities and help local staff with snacks and breakfast time. There are usually 1-2 local staff members in each classroom for participant support.


Your Volunteer Role & Typical Childcare Day


As a childcare volunteer in Ecuador, your role involves supporting local staff with daily chores. Examples include providing support at mealtimes and with cleaning tasks. This extends to more creative support in singing songs, teaching English and improving hygiene skills. Playing with children in a recreational setting outdoors is also a big part of the role. This because of the limited time the caregivers have to do this.


The work schedule is flexible and will be set between you, the centre and our coordinator in Quito. Thus participants will have the chance to make the most of their time. You will be volunteering at the project Monday-Friday. Please plan for at least 3-5 hours on the project.


If you are up for it, take a 1 hour walk through the heart of Quito to reach your childcare volunteer placement! Alternatively, you can take a 30 minute bus ride to reach your childcare project. The bus stop is located nearby to the accommodation. Furthermore, the local team will assist you in learning the routes to your project. As a result, you will be acquainted with how to get to and from your volunteer project.



As a volunteer teaching English in Ecuador, you will provide additional support to local teachers across the schools in Quito. Not only this, PMGY’s Ecuador volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. Incorporate English language lessons with historic influences of indigenous culture as you teach English in Ecuador.


Background to the Teaching Program


Based on the Global View, Ecuador has a very good school system. The education system is recognised as one of the most developed in South America. Ecuador requires all school-aged children to attend classes until they achieve a basic level of education.


This is not just focussed to mainstream education. The government and local organisations have improved the quality of education for special needs students across the nation. There are now programs from pre-primary to professional studies for over 30,000 students with special needs.


Within mainstream education, the public school system has a high level of enrolled children reflecting that government requirements are met. Unfortunately, the level of participation in high school ages (15+) has decreased over the years, particularly in rural communities.


Education is provided by the government for primary and secondary public students. However, families are facing significant additional costs for extra classes and transportation. Due to this, many are not able to continue into higher education. As a result, they do not have the ability to speak English properly. Finding work in more prosperous areas like the tourism industry becomes ever more challenging.


The private-school system tends to have extended student involvement. Consequently, this then provides the necessary requirements for higher education levels such as university or training courses. Many of these institutions are run by churches requiring courses in religion along with maths, science, Spanish and other languages. There is an increasing number of private and international schools that offer courses in English, but the spaces are limited.


Volunteer opportunities provided by PMGY offer a platform to make a positive impact when you teach English in Ecuador. When working at our volunteer teaching English abroad in Ecuador, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Many of these students will benefit from having someone who is fluent in the English language teaching them in Ecuador. As a volunteer teaching English in Ecuador, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people.


Teaching Volunteer Placement Examples


The Federico Gauss Secondary School – A typical classroom setting, Federico Gauss Secondary School displays many cultural influences of indigenous beliefs. More specifically, it is a private institution school that applies indigenous beliefs alongside a creative curriculum. The project teaches young adults with slight behavioural issues or misconduct in the public or private school setting.


The classrooms are in group settings of 8-24 students based on their ability (ages 12-18). Courses can include general maths, science and English, while arts are very important including computer science, media and history. The teaching program lasts from 8am-12pm. Yet, there are many opportunities to join in the afternoon for tutoring as the school day finishes typically at 2pm.


The project’s top priority is to improve the level of English of future generations of Quito. Many of the people in the schools in Ecuador take English from primary school. However, this is constructed with a very basic curriculum including minimal vocabulary and limited verbal skills. Most primary schools are understaffed leaving children without a proper understanding of the material to move forward in their education.


Participants in this project work with the teachers during the class schedule. This incorporates helping to prepare classes, assist with marking, tutoring students and interacting during class breaks. There is a sports yard at the school where volunteers can help with physical education activities.


Those with experience in media or computer science may have opportunities to educate and assist the students learning in this area. More specifically, this includes supporting with film assignments by instructing interviews, broadcasting or equipment used while recording.


If participants want to provide assistance with software then the school is always in need of such support! Examples of this include helping with Microsoft office and video design or simple lessons about the use of a computer. The students love to expand their knowledge of the arts in any area when you are teaching in Ecuador.


This is the most common and structured placement where PMGY volunteers teach English in Ecuador. This is because feedback suggests that participants feel most useful and productive when working at this teaching project.


The Instituto Mariana De Jesus – A school for special needs students, classes at the Instituto Mariana De Jesus are specialized for blind and deaf children. More specifically, participants provide local staff with assistance in language skills, sign language, occupational skills and training for family members.


Students that are deaf or blind will engage in activities that further enhance their other senses. This allows students to express themselves in an appropriate way to caregivers. Activities that the deaf children are involved in are story strips, jigsaw puzzles and visual diaries. Children that are blind are encouraged with activities such as texture matching and braille. All of these activities require assistance.


The daily routine is essential for many of the children within this institution. Your assistance in the school is greatly appreciated by both the teachers and parents. Volunteers will be involved with groups of 1-4 children based on their level of need. The tasks may include one-on-one assistance for classroom projects and educating children in general education.


Your Volunteer Role & Typical Teaching Day


Your work as a volunteer teaching English in Ecuador will involve supporting the local teachers during the class schedule. This involves helping to prepare classes, tutoring students and interacting with them during class breaks. We expect participants to spend an hour or two each day preparing for lessons if requested by the teacher.


For volunteers teaching English in Ecuador, the projects are typically quite well resourced. If participants feel basic supplies are not easily available they are encouraged to speak to our local team. The team will then do their best to support where possible. If participants are wishing for additional resources, there are some great shops in town. The teaching program typically lasts from 8am-12pm on a Monday-Friday basis. However, there may also be opportunities to join in the afternoon for tutoring.


If you are up for it, take a 45 minute walk through the heart of Quito to reach your English teaching volunteer placement! Alternatively, you can take a 25 minute bus ride to reach your English teaching project. The bus stop is located nearby to the accommodation. Furthermore, the local team will assist you in learning the routes to your volunteer project. As a result, you will be acquainted with how to get to and from your volunteer project.



Ecuador volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. Delve deeper into the traditional healing beliefs of the local people. Focus your time and energy into specific departments at the hospital as a medical volunteer in Ecuador.


Background to the Medical Program


In the late 1990s, Ecuador suffered from an extremely weak government with one of the worst financial systems in South America. The healthcare provided was that of the middle ages. For the reason that healthcare costs could never be met by the average monthly salary. Furthermore, unemployment was at over 10% of the population and 20% of people were living in poverty. The system was failing and people were faced with little to no solution.


In 2000 Rafael Correa took office. During his early years, although hit with crisis after crisis, he established one of the strongest healthcare systems in the continent. At the beginning of his time, there were few hospitals and medical care providers in the city. So much so, that the patients were receiving the level of care similar to the standard of a rural clinic.


Due to these measures, Correa invested over 2,000 million USD into the healthcare budget. As a result, 18 new hospitals in major cities were commissioned. Furthermore, 250 healthcare centres and health clinics were built in rural villages nationwide.


Since these changes, locals describe all care to be equal across the country. Whether they visit a rural village clinic or a major hospital in the city of Quito, consistency in care was achieved. The care will be nearly the same quality with only a difference in the availability of specialists in the small facilities.


Changes to the healthcare system are also reflected by the levels of coverage. The system is broken down into four parts; private, public, social care and no coverage. Those with private care are the working class; this care is provided under a purchased insurance plan. In addition to the private system, there is the Social Care system. Such a system is similar to the Social Security system of the United States.


This system applies to citizens that have applied portions of their income to the government care plan. Consequently, they are provided with coverage allowance for healthcare. The public system is free to everyone who has been denied care. In most cases, this is for those with a terminal illness, over the age of 60, under the age of 10 and impoverished.


Volunteer opportunities in Ecuador provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform. Such a platform that allows for valuable exposure to medicine and healthcare projects within a new culture. For the reason that many of the facilities, procedures and operations you observe will be completely new to you.


More specifically, they will be completely different from how things are done in your home country. As a medical volunteer in Ecuador, you will need to schedule your time and skills effectively to make the most out of your project time. This is to ensure you can maximise your exposure and learning opportunities at the project.


Should medical volunteers in Ecuador wish to consider alternative or additional projects, our medical volunteer in India program is recognised as our leading medical volunteer opportunity. For the reason that participants receive high exposure and involvement across a range of placement and project settings.


Medical Volunteer Placement Example


Hospital Enrique Garces – PMGY medical volunteers in Ecuador apply their time in a public hospital in Quito. The project is at Hospital Enrique Garces. This is one of the few care centres offering free healthcare for the people in and around the capital. This is one of the biggest public hospitals in Quito. The hospital provides participants with the opportunity to join in 8 different wards. Such wards include:


Internal Medicine (speciality departments), Paediatrics, Gynaecology, Occupational Therapy, Trauma, Out-Patient, Surgery Consult Department


The hospital is very happy to have university students and medical volunteers, but they take the position quite seriously. Volunteers on this project are not required to have any medical education. However, participants are advised to have some form of volunteer work experience. Examples of this can include in a community care setting or clinical volunteering hours.


The project does accept school leavers with no experience looking to enter the medical field. However, such participants should be prepared with questions and learning objectives for the doctors and nurses. Furthermore, such participants should adopt a positive attitude to gain what they can from the program.


The minimum time in any department will be 2 weeks. The ward will be assigned based on your level of Spanish. The recommended time for this medical project is 4+ weeks to properly apply yourself in the listed departments. When assigned to a department, on the first day you will meet and be introduced to the head of that department.


Medical students are advised to note that all of the staff at the hospital typically only speak in Spanish. Thus, they have little to no English. So participants will need to have a good level of Spanish to communicate efficiently with the local staff. Otherwise, participants will incur a high language barrier and thus a frustrating learning experience.


Participants will join the program Monday-Friday. The project will begin at 7:30am each day to ensure you get a busy morning. The average time on the project will be 5 hours finishing in the early afternoon or time off requested completion. An example of a day on the paediatric ward could be as follows:


7:30am-8:30am – Report to the paediatric ward. Observe inpatient rounds with a nurse for medication, consultation and viewing.


9am-9:30am – Observe injections for children in need of updated vaccine charting.


9:30am-10:30am – Assist care provider by engaging children in games or play while they provide necessary treatment for external wounds, infections or therapy due to disabilities.


10:30am-11am – Break time.


11am-12pm – Shadow doctor during rounds providing consultation and admission to the hospital.


12pm-12:30pm – Assist care providers with counsel and care planning with family for patient discharge plan.


While volunteering in Ecuador you may encounter a variety of illnesses. Examples include acute respiratory infection, diarrhetic diseases, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, depression, malnutrition, physical abuse and altitude sickness. As this is a facility for those with low-income or unemployment the severity of illness will vary. This hospital provides care to those within the city and also the surrounding rural developments.


As a medical volunteer, you may encounter indigenous people that rely on holistic methods of care. The belief of the Incan people is to be one with Mother Earth and live a balanced life. The use of western medications or treatments doesn’t meet that of their traditional belief system.


At times you may encounter people that have received many holistic treatments. These are people traditionally from a more rural or indigenous area. They are brought to the hospital in a severe state and in desperate need of antibiotics and other medications. The hospital system, in general, is centred around prescriptions of western medications for treatments.


Your Volunteer Role & Typical Work Day


International volunteers will spend most of their time observing on the wards assisted by nurses and doctors. In some cases, they will be asked to assist in engaging small children with activities while they receive treatment. There is a chance if participants speak Spanish to get involved with counselling. This can extend to helping local doctors with care plans for families with patients in the hospital.


In general, you will work as a medical volunteer abroad in Ecuador from Monday–Friday. The project will begin at 7:30am each day. This is to ensure you get a busy morning and can help the medical staff out appropriately. The average time on the project will be 3-5 hours finishing in the early afternoon.


You will be required to take a 45 minute bus ride to reach the medical project. The bus stop is located nearby to the accommodation. Furthermore, the local team will assist you in learning the routes to your volunteer project. As a result, you will be acquainted with how to get to and from your volunteer project.




After confirming your place on a PMGY volunteer program, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This is since it will help ensure that you get the lowest airfare. You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you with arranging them. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries. Therefore, we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. Therefore, if you would like any assistance booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during your online application. Alternatively, feel free to contact us on the phone or by email.


For your volunteer trip to Ecuador, you should book your flights to Mariscal Sucre International Airport. The airport code UIO and it is located in Quito. Participants travelling to Ecuador can arrive at any time on their designated Sunday program start date.


Travel Insurance


Importantly, having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. Therefore, it is mandatory for all of our international volunteers to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. This includes your travel to and from the host country, as well as any onward travel. Although PMGY does everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong. Therefore, having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.


We have partnered up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive optional policy. This has been designed with our international volunteers in mind, to cover our participants for all of their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone across the globe, up to the age of 65 years. The document will cover you for your time on any PMGY destination and any onward travel (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.


Our International Team will work hard to provide extensive levels of support in the build-up to your trip. From our online chat service to email support and telephone conversations, our team are always ready to help. All international volunteers with PMGY will receive a Volunteer Handbook. This detailed hand guide will provide you with all you need to know in the build-up to your trip. From visa guidance to suggested packing lists, this will be the ultimate guide, helping you plan for your volunteer trip abroad.


We have Facebook groups for each of our destinations. Here you can find members of our international and local teams, as well as past, present and future participants. These pages, therefore, provide a great forum for participants to network, share experiences and community updates year-on-year.


Sometimes it can be difficult to picture yourself abroad without yet being there. We, therefore, do our best to further manage expectations before you arrive through a variety of informative and action-packed videos on our PMGY Vimeo channel. These clips help provide you with a visual perspective of what you can expect during your time volunteering with us. Our webinars are not to be missed either. Running on selected Tuesdays, at 4pm UK time, our International Team provides invaluable advice for your upcoming trip. Each webinar covers something different. Our pre-departure webinar covers all of the essentials you need to know and do before joining us abroad. Our program preparation webinar is more project-specific, with advice and information for the time you will spend on placement. Finally, our safety webinar offers you some top tips on how to manage your safety and wellbeing across the pond. For those who are simply interested in learning more about PMGY, our team also run an introductory webinar. This provides an introduction to the volunteer organizations, our background, goals and volunteer opportunities overseas.


Teaching and childcare volunteers may wish to take their program preparation even further, through a 60 hour online TEFL course. This is the perfect introductory course for working with children and teaching English abroad. Participation in this course enables international volunteers to acquire key skills whilst working towards an internationally accredited certificate.


Volunteers in Ecuador are based in Quito, the country’s capital in the Andes Mountains. The city is the highest official capital in the world, resting at an elevation of 2,850 metres above sea level. Quito is classified as a UNESCO heritage site, still upholding many of its historical features that date back hundreds of years. This city’s location among the mountain tops leaves volunteers in Ecuador with majestic views of city life, wilderness and history.


Quito is a unique and centralised location to live and work in. It has all the amenities you could require, such as banks, hospitals, nightlife and shops. There is also a central bus and train station to take you to the many different regions of Ecuador. During your time, you can find yourself at a prime spot to visit the earth’s equator or perhaps enjoy panoramic views from the Teleférico. Perhaps you could even squeeze in a flight to the Galapagos Islands for a long weekend.


Our programs in Ecuador run from 1-12 weeks beginning on the first and third Sunday of each month.


PMGY’s volunteer opportunities in Ecuador program are run by our dedicated and experienced in-country local teams.


All staff have been fully vetted by our International Team. The committed local community networks provide the structure for your stay with us as a volunteer in Ecuador. Our local team will arrange your accommodation, airport pick-up and drop-off, in-country orientation and 24/7 emergency support. Whether you are teaching English in schools or interning in a hospital, our local team will support you. Our team provides a great framework for you to enjoy a unique volunteering experience with us in Ecuador.


Your orientation for your volunteer program in Ecuador will begin on Monday. Our local team will teach you about life in Ecuador, the ‘dos and don’ts’, the local culture and religion. Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the transport system, safety advice and all the volunteering opportunities in Ecuador. You will also learn about the history of the Spanish school and its origins. Most noteworthy, you will find out about the learn Spanish in Ecuador schedule should you have signed up for Spanish lessons. Alternatively, if you are yet to sign up for Spanish lessons then you can arrange this during your orientation day.


Following this introduction, you will be taken on a walk around the city. The walking tour will introduce you to some important spots in Quito. This trip will include identifying the local supermarket, popular cafes, restaurants, ATMs and places to change money. In the evening, you will then meet with the program director. You will need to have your passport and evidence of insurance documents at hand. The local team are required to make copies of these.


The director will teach you more about Ecuadorian culture, emergency information and all the foundations you need for your program. In addition, you will also have the chance to learn about cultural activities available in the local area. As a result, you may choose to get involved in such opportunities during your free time. Your evening is then free to relax, catch up on sleep, and get to know your fellow participants!


Please make sure you arrive into Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito (UIO) on Sunday.


Day 1 (Sunday) Arrival


Welcome to Ecuador! You will be met at Quito airport by a member of our local team who will be holding a name sign. The journey to the accommodation will take around 45 minutes, depending on traffic. You will have the rest of the day to relax and settle in.


Participants are advised to note the local team does not work on Sunday. Moreover, the accommodation is more designed for independent living. Should participants need any food or supplies for the rest of the arrival day they will need to plan ahead. Therefore, international participants are advised to withdraw or change a small amount of money at the airport. In addition, participants should ask the pickup driver where they can find the supermarkets and food outlets. They are usually only a short walk from the accommodation. As a result, participants will not go hungry on their arrival day as a volunteer in Ecuador!


Day 2 (Monday) Orientation


Your orientation as a volunteer in Ecuador will begin on Monday. Our local team will teach you about life in Ecuador, the ‘dos and don’ts’, the local culture and religion. Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the transport system, safety advice and all the volunteering opportunities in Ecuador. You will also learn about the history of the Spanish school and its origins. Most noteworthy, you will find out about the learn Spanish in Ecuador schedule should you have signed up for Spanish lessons. Alternatively, if you are yet to sign up for Spanish lessons then you can arrange this during your orientation day.


Following this introduction, you will be taken on a walk around the city. The walking tour will introduce you to some important spots in Quito. This trip will include identifying the local supermarket, popular cafes, restaurants, ATMs and places to change money. In the evening, you will then meet with the program director. You will need to have your passport and evidence of insurance documents at hand. The local team are required to make copies of these.


The director will teach you more about Ecuadorian culture, emergency information and all the foundations you need for your program. In addition, you will also have the chance to learn about cultural activities available in the local area. As a result, you may choose to get involved in such opportunities during your free time. Your evening is then free to relax, catch up on sleep, and get to know your fellow participants!


Days 3-6 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins


You will start your volunteer work on Tuesday morning. Should you need anything whilst at the project, our local team are only a phone call away. You will see Ecuador coordinators throughout the day at the Spanish School. The school is located close to the accommodation and the local team are always happy to help.


Our local team will usually show you the routes on how to get to and from your project. This usually involves taking public transport. In the same vein, the team will introduce you to the volunteer project staff. The local project staff be your main points of contact when you complete volunteer work in Ecuador.


Across the week, the local team offer optional afternoon and evening activities for participants to enjoy and partake in. Activities include salsa classes, Ecuadorian cuisine classes, trips to nearby mountainsides or even a cocktail hour!


Such activities usually run a couple of times each week and change on a weekly basis to keep the variety. Some of the activities may have small fees associated with them for logistics and materials. In addition, the activities usually require a minimum number sign up to ensure they run. The best part of these activities is that you are interacting with your peers and other Spanish speaking locals. Such an experience allows volunteers to learn Spanish and the culture of this beautiful country.


On the final Wednesday of each month, the local team will hold a meeting with all the participants. Moreover, they will check in with all the volunteers to see how everything is going on the volunteer placement. As a result, the team can get valuable feedback on participants Ecuador experience.


Days 7-8 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend!


After a week of volunteering, it is your time to explore the wonders of Ecuador. Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend by the beach, some adventure activities in the Amazon, a long weekend in the Galapagos Islands or a more cultural experience locally – Ecuador has it all! As a volunteer in Ecuador, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips.


The Following Weeks


Your next week(s) will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Friday. Weekends will be free to travel. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.


Last Day (Saturday)


Saturday is your last day with PMGY. If you are heading home then we can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is included in your Program Fee. Consequently, you should speak to the coordinators at the Spanish school to arrange your airport drop off.


If you have not travelled much before, it is really hard to know what to expect. When anticipating their time overseas, many international volunteers (and their loved ones) are often concerned about safety and security. Although we can never guarantee experiences to be 100% trouble-free, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe as possible. Every program that PMGY offers has been personally inspected and selected by a director of PMGY. We have lived in the accommodation, experienced the orientation and worked on the conservation projects. Through our frequent visits and daily communications, we have built strong, trusting relationships with our local staff.


In the unlikely event that something was to happen, participants have various layers of support available to them:


• Volunteer in Ecuador Local Team
• Project Staff
• PMGY International Team


Projects are monitored on an on-going basis to gauge participants’ experiences. With the help of feedback, we are able to continually improve our placements and volunteer opportunities. Security and safety are frequently assessed as part of this. We ask our participants to raise any concerns with our local or International Team. This ensures that these can be addressed and/or resolved as readily and appropriately as possible.


Through pre-departure and in-country guidance, we do our best to prepare our international volunteers for their time in Ecuador. All participants are provided with a comprehensive safety briefing during their orientation period. Our local teams will go through everything from project introductions, to emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. During this period, our team also provide participants with a full list of the important contact numbers.


Listed below are some general safety tips:


• Be modest with the amount of jewellery worn in public
• Do not drink tap water
• Be cautious of beggars or crowds. Incidents can occur when is confusion to distract you.
• Be cautious about removing money in public
• Always try to know where you are going before you attempt long journeys. Be especially careful at night
• Use reputable transport only. Our local staff will be able to recommend some during orientation
• Try to keep in groups at night and never walk alone along dark, empty streets
• The recognised tourist areas can be considered potentially high-risk areas for pickpockets and thieves
• Leave your valuables behind before a night out in the town
• For traffic safety, always keep looking to the left and right and walk slowly when crossing the road
• Do not accept drinks or food from strangers


For such a small country, Ecuador’s climate is rather complicated! This is largely due to the fact that the land is affected by such drastic levels of altitude. It’s worth bearing in mind that the basic pattern described below can vary significantly from year to year. This is particularly true with global warming, which has already disrupted these already complex weather patterns.


The country has various different weather patterns based on the region and atmosphere. For example, the coastal areas are typically warm with temperatures around 25-degrees Celsius and high humidity. In the mountainous areas, the temperatures are mild year-round and very dry. If you take a trip to the Amazon, plan to experience high humidity, lots of rain and temperatures around 28-degrees Celsius.


Ecuador’s position right on the world’s equator means that temperatures and daylight remain fairly constant year-round. Quito is in the northern region of Ecuador. In this mountainous city, the weather can change quickly! The mornings tend to be sunning with limited clouds in the sky, leaving you comfortable in a T-shirt and jeans. But be sure to watch out, with the afternoons sometimes becoming a bit grey with long breezes. You may find yourself wishing you had a scarf or hat. It is, therefore, best to carry a day-pack with you to ensure you are ready for sun, wind or rain. But don’t let the crazy weather keep you away. The cloudy days are hit or miss. Most of the days are beautiful and will leave you with a breath-taking view of the city! Due to the proximity to the equator, the sun’s rays are quite strong. This means that rain or shine, it is best to apply sun cream, factor 20+ (SPF 20+).



Volunteer House


During your time on the Ecuador volunteer programs, you will live in our Volunteer House. This is located in central Quito, the country’s capital. You will find restaurants, convenience stores, cafés, pubs and ATMs all within walking distance. You’ll be living with other participants from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.


The accommodation is comfortable with free Wi-Fi. Each room has single/bunk beds with up to 3 people per room in same-sex rooms. Participants are provided with cupboard space and bed linens. Bathrooms are shared but have a shower and western style toilet. The majority of volunteer projects are not within walking distance. Consequently, the local coordinators will educate you on the bus routes for your daily commute to your project.


The Volunteer House has a communal area for participants to hang out after completing volunteer work in Ecuador. We encourage you to bring some small padlocks and/or store any valuables in your own bags. In addition, there is fridge space available for participants to store any chilled items. The Volunteer House is a quick walk from laundry services.


Once a week there will be a communal cleaner who comes to the house. Subsequently, the communal cleaner will be on hand to change bedsheets as well as clean the toilet and shower area. However, the kitchen and communal areas, as well as personal spaces, are international volunteers responsibility to keep clean. In short, it is the participants’ responsibility to respect the environment they are living in.


Participants are housed within a hip area of Quito. For instance, the house is encompassed with restaurants, cafes, boutiques and pubs. The house will have a security guard on-site to ensure that participants are safe. There are fully equipped kitchens to prepare all of your food within the house. To sum up, the accommodation setup offers participants a unique experience. That is, you get the opportunity to live with other participants as well as an independent living environment.


During our busiest months (June to September) on the volunteer in Ecuador program, you may be placed at alternative accommodation. For instance, you could be placed in a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.


During your volunteer trip to Ecuador, meals are not included. However, the Volunteer House will be equipped with a kitchen including all the appliances and items needed. As a result, you will be able to prepare yourself three nutritious meals a day. In addition, you will be able to interact with other international volunteers in a communal setting when preparing and eating meals.


The Volunteer House is located in a great area. This hip spot has small food markets and large convenience stores. Therefore, whether you are preparing a frozen pizza or frying some fish and chips everything is in close proximity. If you have any questions about the kitchen or where to buy items the local team are always on hand to help.


Participants tend to put their heads together and arrange to cook together on certain nights. In the same vein, participants will then split the costs involved for the food items. If you are up for some communal cooking, get involved! Usually, on a weekly basis, the local team will host cuisine nights that you are able to attend.


Local transport to and from the project each day is not included in your Program Fee. As a volunteer in Ecuador, most volunteer placements will require a bus ride. The bus stop is located nearby to the accommodation. Furthermore, the local team will assist you in learning the routes to your volunteer project. As a result, you will be acquainted with how to get to and from your volunteer project.


PMGY welcome participants of all nationalities and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 18 and there is no upper age limit. All participants need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. We recommend that volunteers in Ecuador speak a basic to intermediate level of Spanish. Participants engaging in volunteering opportunities in Ecuador are only required to speak a basic level of Spanish. However, we find that the ability to speak a good level will greatly enhance your overall experience. English is generally not widely. Consequently, if you do not speak a reasonable level of Spanish, you may find it difficult to communicate. This may make your experience on the volunteer programs in Ecuador frustrating.


All participants must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of volunteering with us abroad. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation! Volunteers in Ecuador on the medical project may be required to provide additional documentation before participation begins in-country.


In order to confirm your place on a PMGY program, you need to pay your Registration Fee of 249 USD. The remaining fee is then due no less than 45 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge.


Please check out our Application Process for more info on how to join our conservation projects overseas.