Help Protect Marine Biodiversity

founded in 2003
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Coordinator | Marion
Coordinator | Marion
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Learn more about the unique biodiversity of Ecuador
Boost your CV with international volunteer experience
Grow as a person by broadening your intercultural skills
Make new friends from around the world while sharing with other international volunteers
Visit amazing places throughout a country that is famous for its breathtaking landscapes and beaches
Support a project to protect marine animals and plants off the beautiful coast of Ecuador. Help preserve the sensitive ecosystem in the sea. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

Volunteering is one of the most honorable activities you can do, dedicating your time and commitment to a good cause without pay. The goal of this volunteer project in Ecuador is to protect marine biodiversity in Ecuador. Only thanks to the help of volunteers from all over the world, it was possible to bring this project to life and uphold it.

At the beginning of 2000, a group of Ecuadorian biologists became aware that the ecosystem of the Ecuadorian coasts was seriously endangered. The curiosity to study the sensitive flora and fauna on the Pacific coast of Ecuador more closely and to develop action plans for their protection grew. A few years later, the biologists formally launched a non-profit organization in December 2004 with the approval of Ecuador's Environmental Protection Agency.

Soon after, the organization offered volunteer places to national as well as international people interested to support this meaningful project. The project has been very successful for several years now and makes an important contribution to the research and conservation of the marine flora and fauna.

Through volunteering, you will not only gain valuable experience, but also experience unforgettable moments with the project team and other volunteers.

Typical day

Depending on the season different tasks are available.

The project is divided into the following three areas:
1. Sea turtle project
2. Shark project
3. Environmental education project

Note: All activities described may be subject to weather and seasonal changes. We can not guarantee that you will work in all areas during your stay.

Sea Turtle Project:
Until recently, the endangered hawksbill sea turtles was thought to have its home exclusively in the coasts of Central America. In 2008, however, it was found out that this turtle species nests on some beaches in Ecuador as well. Since then, the organization, with the help of volunteers, has been researching to learn more about these mysterious animals and their distribution.

The volunteer project is also dedicated to the research and protection of green turtles and olive ridley turtles. It has established a program for a turtle hatchery, which is unique in Ecuador.

In the turtle project, the volunteers travel with the project team at regular intervals to a nearby island on which the nesting sites of the turtles are located. Usually they stay there for about eight days.

As a volunteer, you support the team in the following tasks:
• Beach patrols day and night
• Measuring and marking the sea turtles
• Counting the eggs and mark the nests
• Bringing the eggs to the nearest breeding station(if necessary)
• Installing transmitters on turtle shells
• Carrying out measurements by telemetry on a boat
• Capturing turtles for research purposes

Shark Project:
In addition, the volunteer project has launched a program to study the sharks off Ecuador's shores. Every day many sharks end miserably in fishing nets. The fishermen bring the sharks with their large deadly nets to the fishing port, where project staff and volunteers collect data on the sharks. Information such as shark type, age, height and gender must be recorded and evaluated later.

Environmental Education Program:
An important part of environmental protection is to integrate society, especially school classes, into the work and to communicate the research results to them. The volunteer project is aware of this important task and has therefore launched the environmental education program. The aim is to educate the inhabitants of Puerto Lopez and the surrounding areas about the environment and to make them understand the importance of being respectful with the environment and wildlife.

The volunteers are an incredibly important part of this environmental education project. Thanks to them, it was even possible to found an environmental club in Puerto Lopez. This club participates in activities such as cleaning the beach or building a small garden or organizing field trips. However, there is still a lot to do and volunteer ideas and suggestions are always welcome.

Tasks include:
• Cleaning the beaches and coasts in Puerto Lopez and surroundings
• Planning activities for the environmental club
• Planning environmental education activities in the schools of Puerto Lopez

​Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as number of volunteers, weather, season, current needs of the project, as well as self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.

Free-time activities

Puerto Lopez formerly was a traditional fishing town at the Pacific Coast of Ecuador. Over the last decades it has developped into a popular travel destination, famous for humbpack whale watching, the Machalilla National Park and the Isla de la Plata where a ver similar wildlife as on Galapagos Islands can be observed.

In and around Puerto Lopez there is so much to see and explore, including amazing hiking trails through national parks, forests, dream beaches and water sports like diving, snorkeling, surfing, etc.

You will also find the beach town of Montañita in about 1 hour distance, which is known as the surfer's paradise of Ecuador and has a vibrant nightlife.

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 Spanish (basic level)
Education Requirements
at High School level
Required Documents
CV and Volunteer Questionnaire
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

What's Included

Services by South America Inside

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


During your volunteer project, you will stay in a volunteer house, with a maximum of 4 people per room (bunk beds). These rooms may be mixed depending on how full the house is, and there are shared bathrooms in addition to a kitchen with hot water, refrigerator, toilets, a grill for BBQ, hammocks, and WiFi.

Dorm Room Guesthouse
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. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Jose Joaquin de Olmedo Airport (GYE) in Guayaquil. 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

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.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
4 - 24 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 weeks
24 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$226 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. South America Inside 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 South America Inside during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Help Protect Marine Biodiversity

Support a project to protect marine animals and plants off the beautiful coast of Ecuador. Help preserve the sensitive ecosystem in the sea.


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