Frequently Asked Questions

Should I attend an orientation meeting?

Before your travel to the reserve, you must go to the orientation meeting in Jatun Sacha office in Quito. The orientation meeting is one day: Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday at 3:00 p.m. You will be explained how to get to all the stations that you are going to volunteer at. Please contact us to make your reservation in advance. That’s why you should book at least two nights in a hostel in Quito.

Don’t forget to bring two small size printed photographs to the orientation meeting

Do I need to get an Ecuadorian visa?

If you glide to stay in Ecuador more than 90 days, you have to get the volunteer visa in your home country. We will help you with the documents, but please get in contact with the Ecuadorian consulate to obtain more information.

How do I get to the reserves?

It is your responsibility to get to the Biological Stations. During the orientation meeting we are going to explain you the directions.

If I quit, can I demand a refund?

You can quit the volunteer program but no refunds will be given.

How long can I volunteer?

We accept short and long term volunteers. The minimum time as a volunteer is two weeks. At San Cristobal station we accept volunteers for a maximum time of 12 weeks.

What are the vaccinations needed?

  • Hepatitus B
  • Hepatitus A
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Yellow Fever
  • Malaria prophylaxis (for Bilsa, Congal, and Lalo Loor stations)

What are the entrance days for the reserves?

  • Bilsa: every Wednesday and Sunday.
  • Guandera: every day.
  • Jatun Sacha: every day.
  • Congal: Monday thru Thursday.
  • San Cristobal: Mondays and Wednesdays.

Please inquire with the Jatun Sacha’s Volunteer Coordinator ( to organize arrival dates to Ecuador and entrance days to reserves before booking air tickets.

Can I recharge electronic items at the reserves?

Yes, there are power points in our reserves, so you can recharge your electronic items.

Should I get a Health Insurance?

Volunteers must have their own international health insurance and need to sign a waiver to release Jatun Sacha from responsibility from any illness or injury incurred in Ecuador.

What is my work schedule during the volunteer?

Volunteers are expected to work 8 hours a day, 22 days per month, therefore having 8 vacation days per month to be used upon approval of the project coordinator.

How much money should I bring for extra costs in the reserve?

While at the reserves, volunteers need approximately $40 USD per week for additional costs (beverages, community visits, postcards, etc). However, please take along small bills to the reserves ($5 USD denominations or less). Remember you will need more money if you are planning to do tourist activities in the Galapagos Islands.

Which is the recommended equipment for this travel?

  • Rubber boots
  • Rain poncho or raincoat
  • Working Gloves or garden gloves
  • Another pair of good walking shoes
  • Work clothes
  • Swim suit
  • Flip flops or rubber sandals
  • Loads of socks
  • Loads of T-shirts
  • For San Cristobal Reserve: 4 or 5 long sleeve shirts with collars, which must not be dark, 10 white t-shirts, to wear under the shirt or for breakfast, lunch and evenings

What is the cost for Volunteering?

Volunteers have to pay an application fee and the program fee according to the number of weeks they will stay at certain reserve. The program fee includes accommodation at the reserve, three meals a day, the coordination, organization and total support during the volunteer program.

The payment has to be done before going to the reserve at the office in Quito during an orientation meeting.

For further information, please contact the Volunteers Program Assistant

How can you pay?

  1. In Cash once you come to the Jatun Sacha office in Quito.
  2. With traveler’s checks
  3. With a personal check in US currency
  4. PayPal
  5. Credit Cards – 2CheckOut
  6. Through bank transfer from your country. This has to be sent before you travel and told to the Volunteer Program Coordinator to confirm reception.

The details for the bank transfer are:

  •    Bank name: Banco de Pichincha
  •    Bank’s address: 10 de Agosto y Salinas
  •    Swift Code: PICHECEQ
  •    Address: Eugenio de Santillan N34-248 y Maurian
  •    Current account: 3001382004
  •    Phone: 2432240 – 2432246

Do I need any Educational Requirement?

University study is not a prerequisite to be accepted into the Program. Prospective volunteers should have interest in conservation and related human issues.

Do I need Malaria prophylaxis?

There exists a small risk of malaria at our biological stations located in the Manabí and Esmeraldas provinces on the Ecuadorian coast (specifically at the following reserves: Lalo Loor, Bilsa, and Congal). Therefore volunteers must supply their own malaria prophylaxis while volunteering at either of these four sites.

What do you need to bring?

Rubber boots, rain poncho or raincoat, working gloves or garden gloves, another pair of good walking shoes, work clothes (long sleeve shirts –light colors- and pants, easy to dry), swim suit, mosquito bed net, face net, flip flops or rubber sandals, loads of socks and T-shirts, sleeping bag), insect repellent, sun protection, water bottle, small pocket knife, sunglasses, plastic (ziplock) bags for dry storage, flashlight, binoculars and a personal first aid kit.  Volunteers at Jatun Sacha’s reserves are representatives of the Jatun Sacha Foundation and are expected to act in ways that enhance the Station’s relations with local people and outside visitors. Alcohol and drugs are prohibited at all biological stations.