South America Inside

Community Outreach

imbabura, Ecuador show on map
Agency
·
founded in 2003
Sergio
ASK A QUESTION
Coordinator | Sergio
Coordinator | Sergio
Support indigenous families in Ecuador. Learn about their interesting culture and make a positive impact in their communities.
This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
50+

Highlights

  • Explore Ecuador, one of the most amazing and diverse countries in the world
  • Boost your CV with international volunteer experience
  • Grow as a person by broadening your intercultural skills
  • Improve your Spanish skills by practicing on a daily basis
  • Visit amazing places throughout a country that is famous for its breathtaking landscapes and indigenous culture

The pretty colonial Cotacachi Valley is located about three hours north of Quito and 20 minutes from the beautiful town of Otavalo. 90 percent of the people living there are of indigenous origin, who still speak the language Kichwa; Spanish is the second official language. For some time now, this region has been particularly famous in South America, but also internationally, for its traditional craft markets. It is said to be the largest market for handmade indigenous products in South America. Women from various local communities sell their famous cabaret, leather goods, bags, fabrics, decorative items and souvenirs, hats, jewelry and much more.

Most families of these communities live off income from sales on the markets and / or agricultural activities. Many families own small farms or fields with agriculture. The proceeds are used by families for self-sufficiency, surpluses are sold on local markets.

As a volunteer in this project, you live directly with a family of these communities and assist them in making the local arts and crafts. Volunteers who are not so skilled in manual labor help on their mini-farms.

Here you will get to know the typical life of the indigenous inhabitants of Ecuador. You dive into the lifestyle of a local family and you will learn a lot about traditions and regional culture. You are part of the simple but efficient life of the local communities and contribute to economic progress through volunteering.

Typical day

The families of the indigenous communities in Cotacachi work very hard for their income. In this project, you are part of this lifestyle and support the families in their daily work. You will learn a lot about various craft techniques and assist in the preparation and sale of traditional Ecuadorian craftsmanship.

In addition, you also help with the daily work on the fields and farms. Most families care for themselves and live off the profits of their farms, surpluses are sold on local markets. Daily work can vary from week to week, and agricultural activities depend on weather and season.

If you have a particular interest in working with the children of indigenous peoples, please let us know in advance. We are happy to assist with other activities such as in the local schools with schooling or homework clubs.

Details on Arrival

The volunteer work can be joined throughout the year. The start and end date can be set flexible, according to your availability and travel plans. Ask our experienced staff to coordinate your participation in this meaningfull volunteer project.

Free-time activities

There are many activities to do in your free time, such as exploring the volcanic lands, visit national parks or go explore the amazing region. Many volunteers hike around the local area to see the magnificent landscapes that Ecuador has to offer. The region is also very famous for its artesanal markets and rich cultural heritage.

For longer trips (e.g. weekend) we recommend a visit to Quito, the country's capital. With its rich pre-Columbian history, Quito was founded on the ruins of an Inca city, and nowadays offers everything a modern traveler may need. Quito remains one of the best preserved historic city centers in Latin America and UNESCO declared it a world heritage site. This huge city stretches over a fabulous Andean valley surrounded by volcanic peaks. Among its streets, you can find 40 churches and chapels, 16 convents and monasteries with their respective cloisters, 17 squares, 12 convent and refractory courtyards, 12 museums and innumerable beautiful patios.

On a day-trip you can also visit the "Middle of the World", the place with the line that divides the planet earth in the northern and southern hemisphere. An amazing place and a Must See!

Further north is Otavalo, the largest indigenous market in the world. To the south, you can visit Latacunga and the Cotopaxi National Park, with the very high volcano of the same name. Further southeast the cities of Ambato and Baños are worth a visit, with the spectacular view of the Tungurahua volcano, which can be climbed to the top. 
Especially Baños is real fun place to visit due to countless of sports and adrenaline activities.


Concert/
Music
Sightseeing
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Climbing
Hiking
Museum/
Opera
Sports
Riding
Yoga/
Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak Spanish (basic level)
Education Requirements
at High School level
Required Documents
CV
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if South America Inside cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by South America Inside.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
South America Inside (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by South America Inside

  1. Homestay, single or shared room (based on availability)
  2. Full-board (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

  3. Consultation from our experienced staff
  4. Translation of application profile
  5. Volunteer work placement
  6. Advice regarding travel insurance
  7. Advice on local travels
  8. Orientation session upon arrival
  9. Orientation kit
  10. Country handbook
  11. Local support
  12. 24/7 Emergency Number
  13. Certificate of Participation

Accommodation

During this project, you will live with one of the families in the Cotacachi indigenous community. You will have a private or shared bedroom (based on availability) either in their house or guest house close by. Bathrooms and other living areas will be shared. Living with a host family is a great way to absorb the culture and improve your Spanish skills. 

Guest Family Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

Full-board is provided (breakfast, lunch, dinner).

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) in Quito. We assist you to find cheap flights to Ecuador.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Ecuador provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Ecuador you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Ecuador.
Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$ 955
3 weeks
$ 1,140
4 weeks
$ 1,325
5 weeks
$ 1,510
6 weeks
$ 1,695
24 weeks (max. stay)
$ 5,025
Average fees
$ 343 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in imbabura/Ecuador between 2 weeks and 24 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. South America Inside will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Ecuador.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with South America Inside during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Americas South America Ecuador  Imbabura, Imbabura

You might be also interested in

Wildlife Rescue Assistant Alajuela, Costa Rica South America Inside Agency | South America Inside
Help take care of exotic animals that have been rescued and assist with environmental education! Experience the Costa Rican rainforest!
Take Care of Exotic Animals Villa Tunari, Bolivia South America Inside Agency | South America Inside
This amazing volunteer project is your chance to experience the unique nature of the Bolivian rainforest while supporting an animal welfare center in Bolivia.
Help in Childcare San Jose, Costa Rica South America Inside Agency | South America Inside
Help take care of children in social risk in the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Organize games and activities for the children and make them smile!
Work in a Day Care Center San Jose , Costa Rica South America Inside Agency | South America Inside
Do you love working with children? Help out at a day care center where you can organize activities and be a positive influence for children from low-income families.
Take Care of Parrots Aranjuez Puntarenas Costa Rica, Costa Rica South America Inside Agency | South America Inside
Help support parrot conservation efforts in the rainforest in Costa Rica. These amazing birds are in danger of extinction!
Support Day Care Centers Antigua, Guatemala South America Inside Agency | South America Inside
Volunteer at a day care center and support teachers with daily tasks! Organize activities and take care of babies and children!
Reservation
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Why am I seeing this?

You requested a page that doesn't exist on this site any more. This could be caused by a link you followed that was out of date, by a typing in the wrong address in the address bar, or simply because the post has been deleted.

Take Me Home