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Made for Meaningful Travel

Your Extra Layer of Security

Un poco del Chocó

Environment preserving and protecting

Volunteers help us with trail maintainance in the reserve, organic gardening, carpentry and daily tasks like cooking ,refilling bird feeders and more.

Volunteer Work

During the past years, Un poco del Chocó has received volunteers from all around the world. There is no special knowledge required to volunteer with us; it is more important to have a genuine interest in living amongst the wilderness and in preserving and protecting our Mother Nature. 

Volunteers will be lodged at the basic but cozy station house. On the upper floor there are four double rooms with bunk beds. Two rooms have bunk beds with a lower double-sized mattress, so we can also host couples. Downstairs you'll find the kitchen, dining area and a small laboratory. There are two warm-water showers right next to the main house. The toilets are outside: 10 meters away from the main house we have three outhouses. On the balconies, you can enjoy the view of the forest canopy.

The volunteers usually cook together, which is not considered work, but part of socializing and living together. The food is mostly vegetarian. We cook typical Ecuadorian food (rice, plantains, legumes, yucca etc,) as well as pasta, potatoes and lots of vegetables.

Since a few months the station house is solarpowered. Given that there is enough sun, electronic devices can be used and charged during the day. Usually the solar energy lasts until the evening. For the rest of the night we use candles and flashlights.

For internet we use a mobile modem device. The internet can be used on weekdays from 4.30 to 6.30 pm. As there is only one connection we have to organize the use of the internet weekly.

FAQ

How much do I have to work?

As a volunteer you work at Un poco del Chocó from Monday till Friday from 8 am until 1 pm. The afternoon and weekends are free.

The reduced costs for volunteers are based on your commitment and help. As a volunteer you are required to help us with our work on weekdays for five hours. Sometimes this also means to work in rain or hot and sunny conditions. We don’t want to scare you, as you also should have fun working with us. If possible, we try to give you work you like. You will also have a lot of free time. In the afternoon or on weekends you’ll have plenty of time to travel, explore the reserve or simply relax in one of our hammocks.

Should I get there at a certain time?

We prefer that students or volunteers arrive at Un poco del Chocó between Monday and Thursday, if possible before 8 pm.

If your flight gets in later or on the weekend, you should plan on staying in Quito for a night. Recommendations for hostels you’ll find below! Most hostels offer a pick-up-service from the airport (25-35$). But you can also take the Aeroservicio shuttle bus (one-way 8$, tickets online or on arrival at the airport) to the old airport in Quito city and then take a taxi from there (costs between 4-8$ depending on location of hostel).

To get to the bus terminal “La Ofelia” you can get a taxi or the Metro-bus, although we don't recommend the latter if you are travelling with a lot of luggage (pick pockets!).

What's the rainy season like? Does it rain all day?

The rainy season starts in February and lasts until May.

Although at the beginning we can also have some rain in the morning, in general the rainy season is characterized by a sunny or at least dry morning and (sometimes heavy) rain falls in the afternoon. 

Which vaccines do I need?

Which vaccines are necessary for visiting Ecuador depends on how you’re travelling and on the regions you’re travelling to. In any case you should check your tetanus and diphtheria vaccine protection and you should get a typhoid and a hepatitis A (and B) vaccine. You don’t need a yellow fever vaccine unless you’re travelling to the Amazon. It is not necessary to get a rabies vaccine or to take malaria prophylaxis pills for a stay at Un poco del Chocó. If you plan to travel to malaria risk areas you should bring a stand-by medication (e.g. Malarone). 

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups

Typical day

Work schedule

Your daily work place is outdoors and you should be willing to do hard physically demanding labor, get dirty and bring a good amount of team spirit. Your work schedule depends on the current workload and the weather and will be discussed every day with the volunteer supervisor. Mainly, the volunteers help us to maintain and expand the trails that lead through the reserve. People with a "green thumb" can take care of the organic garden. The tasks could be planting herbs and crops, watering and cultivating, and harvesting and sowing. Moreover, volunteers help to keep the station clean and well-maintained. If you have special skills in carpentry or in handicrafts, you are more than welcome to use these skills during your stay. The station also needs some maintenance from time to time.

As a volunteer you normally work Monday to Friday, from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. You are free in the afternoon and on weekends.

Details on Arrival

We accept volunteers almost all year round.

Please note that we prefer to receive new arrivals at the reserve from Tuesday till Friday (not on holidays), if possible before 4 pm.

Program Requirements

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).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level) and Spanish (basic level)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
Required Documents
CV and motivation letter
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 from 08:00 - 13:00

Any questions? Just ask. We at Un poco del Chocó are happy to help you.

Free-time activities

In your freetime you can explore the reserve, have a swim in the river or visit a nearby waterfall.
For a weekend-trip we can recommend the nearby village Las Tolas. You can stay with a family and get an insight to rural Ecuadorian life. The community tourism project offers different activities. You can visit the ecological jewelry work shop, a coffee plantation, one of the waterfalls or the archeological museum in Tulipe.
Otavalo with its indigenous crafts market or Mindo with its different outdoor activities are also worth a trip.

Swimming
Hiking
Museum/Opera

Included Services

What's included?
Your fee includes lodging at the station house and three meals.
Accommodation

Volunteers will be lodged at the station house. On the upper floor there are four double rooms with bunk beds. Two rooms have bunk beds with a lower double-sized mattress, so we can also host couples. Downstairs you'll find the kitchen, dining area and a small laboratory. There are two warm-water showers right next to the main house. The toilets are outside: 10 meters away from the main house we have three outhouses. On the balconies, you can enjoy the view of the forest canopy.

Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

We usually prepare lunch and dinner together from Monday to Friday. All other meals (breakfast or food on weekends) you have to prepare yourself or with your house mates.

The food is mostly vegetarian. We cook typical Ecuadorian food (rice, plantains, legumes, yucca etc,) as well as pasta, potatoes and lots of vegetables. Costs for food include three meals. For those who like to eat sweets or snacks we sell a small variety at the station!

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.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Costs (Prices in USD)
4 weeks (min. stay)
$440.00
5 weeks
$543.00
6 weeks
$645.00
7 weeks
$748.00
9 weeks
$953.00
11 weeks
$1,158.00
24 weeks (max. stay)
$2,490.00
Average fees
$107.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Las Tolas/Ecuador between 4 weeks and 24 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Un poco del Chocó 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 Un poco del Chocó during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Ecuador

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Ecuador. Please check the visa regulations for Ecuador.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in Ecuador and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in Ecuador.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Ecuador.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Mariscal Sucre (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.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Ecuador you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Ecuador.
Free-time
What can you do in leisure-time in Ecuador while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Las Tolas, Las Tolas, Ecuador

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