Our volunteer program is designed for individuals who wish to experience not only the unique and diverse ecosystems of our eight biological stations, but are also able to contribute to conservation efforts. Every year nearly 1000 national and international volunteers join our Volunteer Abroad program in Ecuador.
Volunteers are able to choose their work from a range of activities such as reforestation, environmental education, community service, plant conservation, agro-forestry, field data collection, and reserve maintenance, carried out under the supervision of residential researchers, staff instructors, and the administrative personnel at each station.
A typical volunteer weekly work schedule is:
Two days of work on forest and reforestation projects.
Two days of hiking where volunteers learn about the local ecology and socioeconomic factors that affect the local ecosystem.
One day of work on mini-research projects in small groups.
One day of work on station and reserve maintenance.
Visits to local communities.
Since each reserve is located in separate regions within Ecuador, each comes with its own set of characteristics. Differences in weather, geography, ecology, and sociology make each reserve unique.
As a volunteer, you will be representing the Foundation and we ask that you act in a mature and honorable fashion in order to improve community relationships between the local people and foreign visitors. Alcohol and drugs are prohibited in the Biological Stations.
Important items to bring with you include: a raincoat, working gloves, pair of good walking shoes, work clothes (long sleeve shirts light colors- and pants, easy to dry), mosquito bed net, flip flops or rubber sandals, loads of socks and T-shirts, rubber boots, a flashlight, blankets or a sleeping bag, insect repellent, sun screen, a water bottle, bathing suit, pocket knife (in check-in bag), sun glasses, plastic zip-lock bags for dry storage, binoculars, and a personal first aid kit.
Given the humid conditions, it is recommended that clothing be loose fitting, light (porous micro-fibers are best) and easy to take off. You will be miserable in jeans! The only exception is in the Guandera Biological Station, high in the Andes, where heavier clothing is recommended since the temperature drops at night.
Please consider supporting our efforts.