If you are learning Spanish, there is little better way of picking up the language than by immersing yourself in it. There are twenty countries in the world with Spanish as their official language, including Ecuador; why not soak up the history and culture of this beautiful country by going there yourself? If traveling seems a far off dream because of the cost involved, well, a little volunteering can make your budget go a long way. Here are some great volunteering ideas to get your Ecuador travel plans underway.
If you like the idea of volunteering to help with socially beneficial or environmentally conscious projects, WWOOF is your first port of call. WWOOFers give their time helping out predominantly in farming environments in exchange for board and food. The offers and work required vary from place to place, so it is essential that you thoroughly research the role before you commit! For example, you could head to this farm in Zamora where you will help cultivate crops for juices and medicinals. Or, in Mompiche, you could learn about a mixture of poultry farming, egg production, and making honey. The choice is yours!
Another great place to look for volunteering opportunities is Workaway. Here you will find farm work too, though also a wider range of activities; everything from childcare to event planning! As with WWOOF, each opportunity varies widely, so it is crucial to read the offers in detail. This way you will get to know how many hours are expected from you daily, what accommodation you can expect, if there are any costs involved, and what is available for you to do in your free time. To give you an example of what is on offer, take a look at these: you could help run a hostel in the small town of San Jose, where you’ll be expected to work five hours five days a week doing everything from cooking to building maintenance; or, you could head to Puyo to help an animal shelter, where your day could start with keeping social media accounts up to date and end with bathing the dogs!
Other volunteering opportunities
There are probably thousands of undiscovered volunteering opportunities in Ecuador and beyond. For your safety and peace of mind, it is best to stick to reputable volunteer organizations, and we have a couple more suggestions for you to do just that.
The Free Volunteering page has lots of opportunities listed; as with above research the details of each! You could learn to make craft beer in Banos, or help out at a coffee shop in Baños de Agua Santa. You have many options! Which will help you improve your Spanish the most?
Another, older volunteering site that used to be the biggest is HelpX. While its setup is similar to Workaway the website isn’t quite as easy to navigate or pretty to look at, but don’t let that put you off! For opportunities to volunteer in Ecuador, you have a lot of choices. Why not put your Spanish skills to use helping in a guest house in Manta? Or build on the Spanish you already know by volunteering with a horse riding company near Cayambe?
In short, volunteering is a great way to fit travel in while you are studying, or if you want to keep down your costs while exploring the world. You’ll be with native Spanish speakers all day long so you will have all the opportunities to practice. What better way is there to learn a language than that?
We are proud to announce that we are offering a scholarship of $3,000 to help you with your language journey. If you are an undergraduate or graduate student who wants to really get to understand Latin American culture and learn either Spanish or Portuguese as you do, our scholarship will help.
Whether you are studying Latin American literature, a botanist who wants to explore the Amazon, or joining the thousands embarking on voluntourism for social good and eco-friendly projects, our scholarship can add a healthy cushion to your budget! And not only that; as part of the scholarship, we are giving you ten FREE online Spanish or Portuguese lessons to prepare you for your trip. All you need to do is complete an application form along with making a video reciting your favorite tongue twister in Spanish or Portuguese, then encourage your family and friends to vote for you! Finalists will be selected from the top three most voted for candidates. Find out more here, and good luck!