from 896€

Excellent 4.8rating (858)

Ecuador Medical Volunteers

2 - 12 weeks  ·  Age 18 - 50+

rating  Excellent 4.8  · 
  Verified by Volunteer World
  Excellent response rate

Volunteer project with the highest quality. This project sets unprecedented standards in quality - an unparalleled level of excellence.


  • 80% of PMGY volunteers are 18-22 years old
  • Rotate across departments weekly observing medical professionals
  • Learn about the healthcare system in one of Quito’s biggest public hospitals
  • Enjoy the local culture with salsa classes & Ecuadorian cuisine classes
  • Amazing travel opportunities to the Galapagos islands & Amazon jungle

Especially suitable

Age 18+

About the program

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

In the late 1990s, Ecuador suffered from an extremely weak government with one of the worst financial systems in Latin America. The healthcare provided was that of the middle ages with costs that were never to be met by the monthly salary of $210.00 per citizen. The system was failing and with ...

About the program

In the late 1990s, Ecuador suffered from an extremely weak government with one of the worst financial systems in Latin America. The healthcare provided was that of the middle ages with costs that were never to be met by the monthly salary of $210.00 per citizen. The system was failing and with unemployment at over 10% of the population and 20% at poverty level, people were faced with little to no solution.


In 2000 Rafael Correa took office and in the first years, although hit with crisis after crisis, established one of the strongest healthcare systems of the continent. At the start, there were so few hospitals and medical care providers that patients were receiving the level of care one would have in an extremely rural clinic in the major city of Quito. Due to these measures, Correa invested over $2,000 million into the healthcare budget and commissioned 18 new hospitals in major cities along with 250 healthcare centres and health clinics in rural villages nationwide.


Since these changes, locals describe all care to be equal across the country, whether they are visiting a rural village clinic or a major hospital in Quito. 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, which is similar to the Social Security system of the United States. This system applies to citizens that have applied portions of their income for a duration of time to the government care plan, which allows for a coverage in 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.


PMGY Volunteers are going to apply their time in a public hospital in Quito. The project takes place in one of the few care centres offering free healthcare for the people in and around the capital. The hospital provides volunteers with the opportunity to join on 8 different wards including internal medicine (speciality departments), paediatrics, gynaecology, occupational therapy, trauma, out-patient and 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, but should have some form of experience whether in a community care setting or clinical volunteering hours. The minimum time in any department will be 2 weeks and the ward will be assigned based on your level of Spanish, (these factors can be considered if volunteers are joining for 3- weeks and/or receiving Spanish classes). The recommended time for this medical project is 4+ weeks to properly apply yourself in the listed departments.

Please be aware that care provisions may not meet the autonomy or standards of your home country. In Latin America volunteers may encounter situations where locals have been victims of domestic violence and/or other forms of physical assault. We ask that those on this programme keep an open mind and prepare for different experiences than they may encounter within their medical studies at home.


Your level of involvement at the project is dictated by medical experience, duration of programme and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision, so it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures. Whilst previous PMGY volunteers have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc, we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement for participants regardless of their medical experience or background.

Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?

Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we always ensure our host locations are safe. Each programme has been extensively researched and has passed our strict vetting process. Our UK team undergo an extensive routine when establishing our in-country infrastructures and we continue to monitor our safety procedures on a regular basis. Furthermore, we monitor the stability of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis. Through our constant contact with consulates and embassies and our reports from our overseas teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable regions.


The PMGY team have visited and participated in every programme we offer and verified them based on our own independent criteria. We carefully inspect every little detail of our set-up. From inspecting the living conditions, checking out the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, to tasting the food you’ll be eating – each and every programme we establish has gone through a lengthy and rigorous vetting process. Risk assessments have been written for all areas in which PMGY operate and our experienced local coordinators are always on-hand to manage any emergencies that may occur. Our UK team are always on the road reviewing our risk management procedures in the field and monitoring local conditions.


In emergency situations we have the necessary protocols and equipment in place and we are able to evacuate our volunteers from potential dangers. Our local coordinators are trained to deal with emergency circumstances.

Typical day

Volunteers will join the programme Monday – Friday. The project will begin at 8:00 am each day to ensure you get a busy morning and help the medical staff out appropriately. The average time on the project will be 5 hours finishing in the early afternoon or time of requested completion. An example ...

Typical day

Volunteers will join the programme Monday – Friday. The project will begin at 8:00 am each day to ensure you get a busy morning and help the medical staff out appropriately. The average time on the project will be 5 hours finishing in the early afternoon or time of requested completion. An example of a day on the pediatric ward could be as follows:


08:00 – 09:00 Observe inpatient rounds with a nurse for medication, consultation and viewing
09:00 – 09:30 Observe injections for children in need of updated vaccine charting
09:30 – 11:00 Assist care provider by engaging children in games or play while they provide necessary treatment for external wounds, infections or therapy due to disabilities.
11:00 – 11:30 Break time
11:30 – 13:00 Shadow doctor during rounds providing consultation and admission to the hospital
13:00 – 14:00 Assist care providers with counsel and care planning with family for patient discharge plan

Free-time activities

PMGY volunteer in Ecuador participants are based in Quito, the country’s capital located in the Andes Mountains. This major city is home to nearly 3 million people, but with its quaint atmosphere resting in the mountain tops you will find yourself in the majestic views of city life, wilderness ...

Free-time activities

PMGY volunteer in Ecuador participants are based in Quito, the country’s capital located in the Andes Mountains. This major city is home to nearly 3 million people, but with its quaint atmosphere resting in the mountain tops you will find yourself in the majestic views of city life, wilderness and history.

Quito is a uniquely, centralized location to live and work in. In this famous city, you can find yourself at a prime spot to visit the earth’s equator, hike to Cotopaxi Volcano, enjoy panoramic views from the Teleférico, buy souvenirs at the Artesian Market, board the train to the amazon, take a flight to the Galapagos Islands for a long weekend or enjoy a quiet afternoon at Zazu restaurant for a delicious meal.

Our participants are situated in a great location to explore the local sites and also travel further afield.

Quito is the world’s most ‘historic’ city. As you venture down the cobblestone roads you can be sure that the same buildings ahead of you were there centuries ago. This enchanted city is the perfect introduction to Latin culture with its mixture of Indigenous and European traditions. Art and nature clearly play a large part in the beliefs of this beautiful location; wait until you walk the streets and encounter the endless murals, statues and works-of-art waiting for purchase in shop after shop.



Minimum Age: 18 years

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.

Language Skills

You need to speak English (intermediate level) or Spanish (intermediate level)

Criminal Background Check


Nationality Restrictions

No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.

Other Skills

You should be physically fit, as volunteering overseas can be quite strenuous. If you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas then these must be declared to us during your online application. While the programmes only require you to speak an intermediate level of Spanish, we find that the ability to speak a high level of Spanish will greatly enhance your overall experience.

Time Commitment

Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 13:00

What's Included

What's Included

Services by Plan My Gap Year

  • Accommodation 
  • Airport Pick Up & Drop Off
  • In-Country Orientation
  • 24 Hour Support

Airport Pickup at Mariscal Sucre International Airport

You should arrive into Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito (airport code UIO) on the Sunday. The airport pickup is available 24 hours. 

On arrival a member of our local team, or an appointed driver, will be at the airport waiting for you holding a name sign. They will drive you straight to the volunteer accommodation in central Quito where our program is based. Here you can relax and settle in to your living environment. This journey takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on traffic.




During your time on the Ecuador volunteer programs, you will live in our homestay family accommodation. The accommodation is basic but comfortable and located in the city of Quito. You’ll be living with local families who will guide you in Quito. Furthermore, they will help to improve your knowledge of the Spanish Language! It is important to note that the homestay families will usually speak no English at all.


The host families are located in or just outside of central Quito. They are all within 30 minutes bus of your volunteer work in Ecuador. Each room has single beds, up to 3 people per room (same-sex rooms only). Participants are provided with bed linen and cupboard space to store clothes and accessories. All participants will have their own keys for the front of the building, apartment and their bedroom.


Bathrooms are shared. Each bathroom has a shower and western style toilet. The house has Wi-Fi and a communal area for participants to hang out with their host families. There is also a kitchen with a refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled. However, please ask the host family for some fridge space out of respect in advance.


The families of the homestay normally have a separate area within the house for their family, yet they love to interact with participants. Therefore they will be excited to hear about your days and experiences in Ecuador. Above all, the host family set-up ensures you have round the clock support and security. In addition, you will get the chance to improve your Spanish language skills.


Your host family location is usually linked to your volunteer in Ecuador project location. For the reason that it allows for more practical logistics to get to and from the project. Therefore, should you have requirements to be in the same accommodation as another PMGY application then be sure to highlight this on your online application.

Food & Beverages


During your volunteer trip to Ecuador, meals are not included within your Program Fee. There is a very popular option to pay 70 USD per week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Your host family will provide you with three freshly prepared meals per day (Mon-Sun). Most meals are traditional Ecuadorian dishes and vegetarian options are always available. The payments are made locally, upon arrival for the duration of your stay.


Please note this is a one off cost and it is not possible for volunteers to arrange on a “per meal basis”. It is also important to stress that this fee does not included additional snacks or drinks outside of meals times.


If you would prefer to arrange your own meals then the homestay will be equipped with a kitchen including all the appliances and items needed. You will need to purchase all your own ingredients in order to prepare your meals. This is a less popular option as it ends up costing you more and its often a hassle to arrange a meal just for you.


The homestay is located in a great area. This hip spot has small food markets and large convenience stores. If you have any questions about the kitchen or where to buy items the local team is always on hand to help.

Internet Access

Good access at the project site

What's NOT included?

What's NOT included?

Flight Tickets

The nearest airport is Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) in Quito. We assist you to find cheap flights to Ecuador. FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS

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. GET A QUOTE


If you are intending to volunteer in Ecuador you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Ecuador. VACCINE CHECKER

Details on arrival

This program starts on the 1st & 3rd Sunday of every month
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Program fees

2 weeks (min. stay) 896€
3 weeks 1,027€
4 weeks 1,158€
6 weeks 1,420€
8 weeks 1,682€
10 weeks 1,944€
12 weeks (max. stay) 2,206€
Average fees 315€/week

Program fees

315€ per week 2 - 12 weeks Age 18 - 50+

Payment methods

Visa Master Card Maestro American Express PayPal



2 - 12 weeks


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

Your final payment will be agreed with Plan My Gap Year during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Meet your organization

Plan My Gap Year

Excellent 4.8 rating (858 reviews)

Agency - founded in 2011

Verified by Volunteer World

  Excellent response rate

Coordinated by


Spoken languages: English

About the project

Plan My Gap Year is an award-winning international volunteer placement organisation based in the UK.

Meet your organization

Plan My Gap Year is an award-winning international volunteer placement organisation based in the UK. We provide safe, affordable, need-driven volunteer programmes from 1 to 24 weeks in 11 countries worldwide.


Founded by volunteers for volunteers, Plan My Gap Year works with local communities in the developing world towards long-term sustainable goals. We know there is no better way to travel and make a positive impact on the world.

We work extremely hard to ensure that our opportunities are affordable for everyone who wants to make a difference. So fees are 100% transparent, something our volunteers really appreciate.

Plan My Gap Year structured programmes create the perfect platform for you to see the world, meet like-minded people and engage in meaningful volunteer work. We have teams in the UK and in our host destinations who will support you 24/7 throughout your time with us. Furthermore, every project on our network is regularly risk-assessed by our UK team to ensure our set up is safe and that our volunteers are making a positive impact.

There is also a great social element to our programmes. Plan My Gap Year puts you in touch with all your fellow volunteers via Facebook before you set off. Our projects receive volunteers from around the world throughout the year, so even if you’re travelling solo, you’re going to meet heaps of people along the way. Plus you’ll have plenty of opportunity to travel the country with your newfound travel buddies – it’s all part of the PMGY experience!

So if you’re thinking of doing something a bit different on your next trip abroad, then why not drop us a line and find out what extraordinary things you could be doing.


Our aim is to make our programmes accessible to motivated travellers irrespective of their financial capacity. Plan My Gap Year focuses on providing the core requirements of a volunteer programme: safety, structure and sustainability.

We are 100% transparent with our fees. That way you know exactly how much of your money goes towards the local community.

Compared to the large majority of volunteer organisations out there, even most charities and not-for-profits, PMGY’s opportunities are significantly cheaper. Furthermore, as our reviews will testify, our support service and structured programmes are second to none.


Your safety is our top priority. All of Plan My Gap Years' programmes have been personally inspected and vetted by the PMGY team – which is not an industry standard by any means. We carry out independent risk assessments on an annual basis and our local teams constantly review the safety precautions we implement. This includes regular staff and safety appraisals.

 Our local teams are made up of highly experienced volunteer coordinators. They have hosted international volunteers for many years and are prepared to react in the unlikely event of an emergency. Whatever the problem, big or small, our local teams are available around the clock.

As part of our commitment to your safety, we keep in constant communication with local embassies and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to ensure we can identify potentially dangerous situations and act upon them immediately. Our UK team are available 24/7 to assist volunteers and their families.


We support our volunteers every step of the way. Before you go we will provide you with a detailed Volunteer Handbook, which will guide you through how to prepare for your trip. This Handbook contains literally everything you need to know – from what to pack, to how to obtain a visa, to local language guides.

Our experienced UK team are always available to provide assistance. Plan My Gap Year is always available to answer our questions and support you in anyway we can. 

On arrival, a member of our in-country team will collect you from the airport and help you settle in. Your orientation course will teach you everything you need to know about the country, how to stay safe and what to expect from your upcoming volunteer experience. 

Our local team are on-call 24/7. Whether you’ve lost your passport or just want some help in planning a weekend trip, our friendly in-country coordinators provide that safety net to ensure you are well looked after.


Plan My Gap Years' responsibility is not limited to our travellers but also the projects we support. That is why all our volunteers must provide a Criminal Background Check before they travel.

It is essential that our projects are need-driven and sustainable. We work closely with our local partners to ensure that our volunteers are contributing to bring about long-term development.


We really know our programmes. Our UK team have stayed in the accommodation, volunteered at the projects and met the volunteers. We carefully assess each application we receive so that your personality and skills are suited to the project. Whatever your query, you can feel assured that you will be speaking to someone who can tell you exactly what to expect.


One of the best aspects of volunteering is meeting some amazing like-minded people. We place over 2,000 volunteers every year so wherever and whenever you go, you have the peace of mind in knowing you will be living and working alongside other PMGY volunteers. In many of our destinations, we run our own Volunteer House accommodation, which ensures all volunteers live together, and therefore guaranteeing a strong social element. In addition, our local team are always there to help you plan any independent travel or give you some tips for what to do at the weekend.

858 reviews · rating4.8

Tudor Lungu rating5

2023 at Ecuador Medical Volunteers

The program was really nice and I volunteered in the traumatology and orthopedics department where I was actually able to do hands-on work. My host, Monika, was also amazing and helped me a lot. Great ...
Aubrey Gibson rating5

2021 at Ecuador Medical Volunteers

I had an amazing experience participating in a twelve-week medical volunteer program in Quito, Ecuador. I lived with a host family and was fully immersed in the language and culture of Ecuador. In the hospital, I had the freedom to choose which department I wanted to be in and was able to explore a ...
Samantha rating4.8

2019 at Ecuador Medical Volunteers

I was part of the medical volunteer program in Ecuador. I felt prepared to come and had a great experience at the hospital (Enrique Garcés). The accommodation (volunteer house) was clean and good for the most part, the only complaint I had was the kitchen that was somewhat lacking and didn’t even ...
Jocelyn Clark rating4.6

2019 at Ecuador Medical Volunteers

Amazing trip to Ecuador! Great hospital to work in, and good weekend trips with the Spanish School. However, there was a major lack of communication with the Spanish school throughout the trip. On the first night, the man at the hostel seemed confused as to why we were there when we arrived (which ...
Amari rating5

2019 at Ecuador Medical Volunteers

Five stars! PMGY is a fantastic program that got me into Ecuador and volunteering in hospitals with ease! Flights, housing, placement, AND the time of your life serving in another country all in one simple and well-supported package. In country, I was matched with the Simón Bolívar Foundation that ...
Absolutely eye opening and heart opening . The staff and crew were just as beautiful as the game reserve and the animals that are there. I was able to connect with the culture in an honest way and also was able to see the Big 5 and contribute to their overall value of life through various amounts of ...


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