The 1970s TV adaptation of Day of the Triffids imagined that the enormous carnivorous mobile vegetation come from Ecuador. It’s the sort of remote jungle location, complete with smoking volcanoes, where script writers feel they can plausibly find lost cities, long extinct dinosaurs and walking foliage.
More realistically though it’s the sort of place that adventurous working travellers can find some inexpensive volunteer work.
Teach English, Volunteer
Aiming to attract English teachers to primary schools in the Andean province of Chimborazo, this officially endorsed programme costs nothing to join. Food and accommodation is provided by a local family. Volunteers should have basic Spanish and be able to stay for six months between September and June. Teaching experience, or working with children, and a TEFL diploma are desirable.
A bed and food are offered in exchange for participation in three different volunteer roles. These are helping out at the hostel itself, teaching in local schools, or working at a nearby dairy farm.
With the aim of regenerating a small piece of mountainside into a self sufficient farm community, volunteers participate in all aspects of the community. Volunteers are asked to stay for a minimum of three months and contribute a small amount towards the food kitty.
Colibris Women’s Artisan Cooperative
The Colibris are a group of women living in the cloud forest region of northwestern Ecuador. Projects where your participation will be appreciated include helping to improve the English of the women and their children, organic gardening and developing new designs for art and craft products. Volunteers pay a small fee to cover the cost of their food and homestay.
Sky is a privately funded foundation involved in a bilingual (Kitchwa and Spanish) speaking school, and a library where young people can read, learn computer skills, and participate in arts projects. Varied volunteer roles are available from computer maintenance and construction to teaching English. A place to sleep is available at a nearby hostel. There is no charge to volunteer but a $10 per week donation is requested to cover expenses.