Volunteer work in Quito
If you have enough money to live on for a while and you want to do something useful, voluntary work might be an option. There are a lot of opportunities in for example community work, environmental work, health care, working with street children and organic farming. Other options are prison visits, teaching English, working with animals and planting trees. Some projects do require volunteers with qualifications, others take just about anyone. Some projects provide accommodation and food.
The best option is to go to Quito and to organize it on the spot. Then you have a better impression of the project and the people you will work with. However, it is also possible to organize it in advance, surfing the web is the best way.
The South American Explorers Club (Jorge Wahington 311 y Leonidas Plaza, tel. 225228) has a lot of information on voluntary projects. For members they have a huge archive with very specific information on projects that are looking for volunteers. They also have reports with experiences written by people who have volunteered for the organizations before. Membership costs $50 a year and also gives you a subscription to their magazine and use of the trip planning services.
Non-members have access to a folder with general information on projects that regularly place volunteers.
The South American Expolorers Club itself is run by volunteers and therefore it might be an idea to ask for voluntary work opportunities at the club.
Many internet cafes and hostals in La Mariscal have notice boards with information on voluntary projects.
The following organizations regularly place volunteers:
Fundación Brethren y Unida
(Rural Developement and Agro-Ecological work, www.fbu.com.ec email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
The FBU is a non profit NGO who runs volunteer programmes in Ecuador. The foundation has worked for 50 years in the area of rural development and with its strong community links offers the opportunity for volunteers to live and work in rural communities. This is a rare opportunity to live and learn the diverse Ecuadorian cultures,
as well as subjects such as agro-ecology, reforestation and natural resource management.
(This is a language school that organizes voluntary work for its students, www.quito.org/bolivar)
(This US based organization places a lot of volunteers in Quito in a wide variety of fields, www.peacecorps.gov/countries/ecuador)