Sea Turtle & Rainforest Conservation Program

founded in 2021
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Coordinator | Andrea
Coordinator | Andrea
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Live a real and unique tropical conservation experience in one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, between the last remnants of Ecuadorian coastal rainforest and the Marine Reserve
Acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to get involved in sea turtle conservation actions, such as monitoring nesting beaches for protecting nests as collecting and classifying plastic.
Support for the conservation of coastal rainforests learning on tropical permaculture and working in regenerative cacao farms/agroforestry systems alongside real ecological farmers.
Live an amazing cultural experience living in the jungle and by getting involved in conservation projects with local communities and their youth.
Enjoy northern Ecuadorian coast with famous beaches of Same and Mompiche only 1h30 away. On the weekends, you can surf or have an amazing trip by boat surrounded by incredible mangroves forests.
An amazing experience in coastal jungle! Volunteers will be part of a multidisciplinar team of experts for the conservation of sea turtles and tropical rainforests. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

Volunteers will take part in one of this projects (or both), depending on their interests. All year round there is work needed to be done for both projects, so volunteers can decide the amount of work they dedicate to each of them:


This project aims to improve sea turtles conservation actions in Galera San Francisco Marine Reserve (RMGSF), presently under non-trivial threats. Since 2014, two local communities have been receiving environmental education and taking actions at the nesting beaches, involving mostly local youth and volunteers, both nationals and internationals. 

Volunteer Program Activities: 

  • Carry out walks along the Marine Reserve beaches for the detection, geo-location (GPS) and protection of sea turtle nests. Relocation of nests that are in a place with no options of success. 
  • Monitor sea turtle nests until the hatchlings reach the ocean. 
  • Carry out beach plastic cleanings to facilitate nesting of sea turtles (with special aim for ghost nets). Collection, classification, reuse and/or recycling of waste found on the nesting beaches. 
  • Assistance in theoretical/practical environmental education workshops for local youth. 


Our organization is working for the conservation of the last remnants of coastal tropical rainforests in Ecuador, which are present in the Galera - San Francisco peninsula. Our aim is to regenerate and reforest degraded ecosystems in order to give more habitat options for endemic wildlife, which is facing serious threats due to deforestation. Volunteers will support this iniciative by doing the following activities:

Volunteer Program Activities: 

- Improve the record of wildlife present in the forest/regenerative farms of the area through observation and using wildcamera traps. (You will need to download apps like e-Bird, iNaturalist, etc).
- Support in maintenance of regenerative cacao farms (agroforestry systems). 
- Planting, pruning, harvesting and processing mainly cacao, as well as other fruits (banana, papaya, passion fruit, ginger, tumeric, cardamom...). 
- Maintenance of living terraces for soil regeneration, fertility improvement and watershed restoration.
- Collecion of seeds to germinate in plant nursery, as well as wild seedlings. 
- Reforestation with native species to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity, as weel as the regeneratioin of water sources.


- Give workshops or organize activities for local youth on topics that volunteers like (sports, English classes, arts, computing, etc). 
- Support in the eco-tourism activities. 
- Support for the administrative part of the organization (web site, social networks, etc). 

For turtle conservation work, schedule and dynamics vary greatly depending on the month of the year. From mid June, nesting season begins, reaching its peak from August to December. During these months, nesting beach monitoring will be carried out between 6.30 am and 10 am, and may last until the afternoon depending on the turtle activity, nests to protect, exhume or relocate. The days where less turtle activity is found we will clean the beach from plastics and do  some work on regenerative farms, veggie garden and/or nursery. After lunch, activities will be organized according to available energies after morning work. In total, 5-6h of work per day is expected from volunteers, ending between 12pm and 3pm depending on starting time. 

Weekends are free time but volunteers, if interested, have the option get involved in the educational project that we are running on local communities. In this case, one day of the week will be off. (5 working days per week in total). 

Typical day

All interns, students and volunteers will spend an important part of their time doing fieldwork. However, all biological work requires data entry and data analysis. This is an important part of our work, so not all the time will be spent in the field. Additionally, volunteers will be asked to help out in chores to clean or prepare for field work. Furthermore, volunteers will help to clean the facilities of the volunteer house and the research station. Volunteers must understand that field work is dependent on many factors that we don’t control. These include weather, availability of gasoline for transportation, etc. We ask volunteers to be patient and understand that working in the field and working in a small town with limited resources, sometimes makes it hard to have things always go along as planned. Students may be involved in more than one
project depending on availability. We eagerly try to make Ecuadorian and international students work together as the best way to learn from each other and as a way to promote cultural exchange.

Weekends are free time but volunteers can get involved in the educational project that we are running on local communities. In this case, one day of the week will be off. (5 working days per week in total). 

Free-time activities

Volunteers can enjoy travelling the surrounding communities to have an amazing cultural experience, enjoy incredible food and visit different beautiful beaches. Most volunteers use some of their free time to learn surfing (classes 2h, $25). There are a few turistic towns in the neareby (Same 1h, Mompiche 2h). 

Water Sports


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 (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Love for nature.
Good physical condition.
Team work abilities.
Respect for other cultures.
Basic level of Spanish will help but it is not a requirement.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 06:30 - 12:30

What's Included

Services by Cusumbí

This fee includes: 

  •  Accomodation: most of the time will be on a private room in a shared house with other volunteers. If the volunteer's stay is longer than 3 months, option to live with a local host family available. Unlimited WiFi access included. 
  • Three meals/day at project site: we will eat very healthy local food from the organic farms, also sustainable fish/chickens/eggs available. Veggie/vegan options available
  • Training on marine turtle conservation and/or conservation of tropical costal rainforests.  
  • Organization administrative costs.
  • Pre-departure support.
  • Project information before arrival.
  • Field coordinators  live in the same facilities as volunteers.
  • Field equipment and materials.
  • Free internet access.
  • Certificate of participation, if requested.
  • 24-hour in-country support in English/Spanish. 
  • 24-hour emergency phone.


Nice wooden/bamboo cabañas surrounded by forest with ocean view and the beach only 5 minute walk. Hygienic and sustainable  composting toilets in all project facilities. All grey waters are treated with bio-filters since we are in the middle of forest and Marine Reserve. 

Food & Beverages
  • Most of our food comes from local/sustainable environment. 
  • You will have the chance to try many different seasonal fruits produced in the most ecological possible way at regenerative farms: banana, papaya, mango, passion fruit, jinger, chocolate, coffee, avocado, etc. 
  • Local and artisanal fishing available for those non vegetarian/vegan. 
  • Most neighbours own happy chickens for eggs and meat. 

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

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Volunteers can join throughout the year. 

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 - 50 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
2 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
8 weeks
12 weeks
16 weeks
50 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$215 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Cusumbí will let you know about the final price during your application process.
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 Cusumbí during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Sea Turtle & Rainforest Conservation Program

An amazing experience in coastal jungle! Volunteers will be part of a multidisciplinar team of experts for the conservation of sea turtles and tropical rainforests.


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