The work schedule is very much flexible, but volunteers will be working in the
Conservation in the Ecuadorian Andes
Center for the Conservation of Andean Plants: Volunteers participate in experimental silviculture of Andean trees, they assist in seed and data collection, maintaining the nursery, transplanting seedlings, opening reforestation lines and in reforestation. There is also an orchid garden that requires maintenance and enhancement.
Looking for sustainability
Organic Agriculture: At the station we have a breeding ground to practice organic agriculture techniques and share the experience with the local communities. Volunteers help preparing the soil, planting seeds, weeding, harvesting and with general maintenance. Also, once a week volunteers visit nearby community farms to help enhance these methods seeking to produce alternative food sources as well as incomes
Alternative animal production: We have a deposit of ginea pig (cuyes). Volunteers will participate in planting the crops to feed these animals and feeding them.
Research in the cloud forest and páramo
Biological inventories: As part of the treks on the trails of the Reserve, volunteers develop biological inventories (especially plant and birdlife). For this, they collect scientific information about the flora and fauna observed during the hikes.
Herbarium collection: Volunteers can also make plant collections to leave them in a herbarium we have at the station. The information will be used to make a booklet about the flora in Guandera.
Research assistants: If we have any research project going on at the reserve, volunteers may participate as research assistants.
Meteorological station: Volunteers have to collect data from temperature, precipitation, wind and radiation.
Personal investigation: If volunteers want to propose their own personal investigation, they can feel free to do it. The coordinator at the station will arrange the agenda to give the volunteers some time to develop their personal project.
We all work together to maintain and develop the Station. The activities involved here are trail design in the forest and making signs for the areas in the station.
Sometimes we have visitors on the station, so once volunteers know the station very well, they help out in the guidance.
Finally, once a month we have a “minga” in which everybody helps out organizing the station and removing things we do not use that could be useful to other people in the community.
Environmental education: As part of our community development objective, we offer environmental education to people in the community of Mariscal Sucre. Volunteers develop and instruct classes on conservation, biology, and human issues for local school children and adults. The program is taught in local schools.
English teaching: Volunteers interested in teaching English to children around the community have the opportunity to do it once a week. If you want to bring your own materials to give it to the children, we would very much appreciate it.
Spanish classes: To share with our volunteers our culture, the staff of the station offers two hours of Spanish classes every afternoon, once the work from the station has been done.
Dancing lessons: We also offer dance lessons in a variety of styles, including salsa, merengue and other Latin American dances. The classes are a lot of fun and a good workout. Theses dancing lessons are free of charge.
Talks next to the chimney: At night we light the chimney and we have long talks about our country, our history, our culture, our people, our nature… This is a time to share with our volunteers mutual experiences.
Sustainable tourism in the Carchi
Every week we have treks on the trails of the Reserve in which the staff will present Biodiversity themes. On clear days it is possible to observe the snow-capped volcanos such as the Chiles, Imbabura and Cotacachi. To the south of the reserve you can also find the “Devil ́s Nose”, and the Labrateña and Mirador waterfalls…
These have been written in order to better prepare you as a volunteer, not only for the work that you will be involved in but also for the environment you will be living in:
We understand that each individual situation will vary somewhat, so we cannot guarantee that everything will be the same as described for every individual, although this is a good general outline of what you should expect when volunteering in Ecuador.
It is important to emphasise that you are dealing with another culture when you are volunteering internationally. The way you would approach a particular situation in your own country is not necessarily the appropriate way to handle it in Ecuador.
Your time and commitment to the programme is valued, but please remember that you are a guest of the country and will no doubt be viewed as a representative of your homeland.
If you have any queries you would like to discuss about the information provided here, please direct them to your volunteer coordinator.
The Application Procedure consists in sending to us:
- Application letter indicating: experience in conservation activities, future interests, reasons for applying, preferred station and participation dates (participation dates are needed to guarantee space availability).
- Doctor’s note stating you are fit to participate in all activities required of you OR Proof of international travel Insurance.
- 2 passport size photographs
- If you have an original project include the work plan (2-5 pages)
- US$ 47 for the application fee (write check in USD currency to Fundación Jatun Sacha)