Is volunteer work with children in Ecuador right for me?
If you’re energetic, fun-loving, and have loads of patience with little ones, you’re the perfect fit to volunteer with children in Ecuador. You’ll gain hands-on childcare experience, and develop your personal skills, like communication and planning. This can help your future career. Best of all? You’ll become part of our ongoing efforts to help children in the Galapagos.
No experience in childcare? No problem! You will be supporting the local teachers and caregivers and have Projects Abroad staff members close at hand to help guide you along. We also provide training, workshops, and lesson planning resources.
Our Childcare Project in Ecuador runs year round, and you can join at any time from a minimum of two weeks. We recommend staying longer so you can have a bigger impact on the children.
What will I do on this project?
Your main role as a Childcare volunteer in Ecuador is to help kindergarten teachers give individual attention to as many children as possible.
You will do a variety of tasks, such as:
- Run educational activities like helping children learn to read
- Improve English language skills through conversation
- Run hygiene awareness campaigns to help keep the children healthy
- Support for special needs children with individualised attention
Your work will focus on the following areas:
Encourage learning through play
As with most kindergarten-aged children, little ones in Ecuador love learning new things and practicing their skills daily. Volunteer with children in the Galapagos, and help improve their early childhood development by:
- Teaching educational songs
- Doing arts and crafts
- Playing games and sports outdoors
It’s important to have an element of fun in each of these activities, as children learn best through play. We also encourage volunteers to work closely with small groups of kids. This will help you identify areas that need further development.
Improve English language skills
Galapagos is a tourism hot spot. When locals have a good grasp of English, they can conduct better business and live more prosperously. You can help lay a foundation from an early age by teaching the alphabet, having conversation sessions, and reading English books to the children.
Encourage best hygiene practices
An important part of your role is to encourage children to practice good hygiene everyday. You can help improve hygiene by teaching them how to brush their teeth properly and to wash their hands regularly throughout the day. Make this fun with songs, games, and little class challenges.
Support for special needs children
Due to a lack of designated facilities in Galapagos, children with special needs are often enrolled in mainstream schools. You can help the local teacher by providing personalised support and stimulation to assist these children in keeping up with the rest of the class.
For all of these activities, we’ll give you training, workshops, and resources to help you do the best job possible.
Where will I be working in Ecuador?
You’ll live and work on the island of San Cristobal. It forms part of the Galapagos archipelago, located about 1,000km from mainland Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean.
Our volunteer placements are all at kindergartens in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Conditions are most basic than what you’re used to.
Even though it is the capital of Ecuador’s Galapagos province, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is still more of a port town than a city. It’s home to several pristine white beaches, but only two are for people. The others are all devoted to the protection of the local sea lion population.
With many cobbled streets and an attractive wharf area, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is a charming village, with much to explore during your evenings off.
What will my typical day look like while working with children in Ecuador?
You will start your day with breakfast, prepared by and enjoyed with your host family. After this, you’ll walk to your placement. On your first day, Projects Abroad staff will accompany you to show you the way.
Your work day will usually run from around 8:30am to 3:00pm.
During the morning session, you’ll help teachers in class by assisting with lessons. You’ll also work closely with small groups of children who may be struggling with specific tasks.
You can head back home for lunch. Alternatively, you can arrange with your host family to take packed lunches along to work.
After lunch, the children will take a nap. You’ll use this time to discuss lesson plans and activities with your teacher and fellow volunteers. We welcome input and fresh ideas from all those who volunteer with children in Ecuador. Spend the last bit of the afternoon playing games or doing sports outside with the children. This will help them get rid of some of their extra energy before heading home!
Evenings and weekends are your free time to relax and explore with fellow volunteers or new local friends. You can also use this time to do an add-on Spanish Language Course to improve your own language skills.
What are the aims and impact of this project?
The main aim of this project is to improve early childhood development in Galapagos. Our volunteers play a vital role in helping children reach developmental goals for their age.
We work with kindergartens that are understaffed and have limited funding. As a volunteer, you will help support teachers and work with with them to identify the needs of each child. To do so, we train you how to use our early childhood development checklists. You’ll input this data into our Global Impact Database, which we use to track children’s progress.
Ecuador is also a popular tourist destination, so we also focus teaching English. Good English skills help people find employment, so we try to give children a solid foundation. This also helps them cope once they start learning English formally at school. Teachers also benefit from practicing English with you, and they use any materials like flash cards created by volunteers.
We’ve laid out four goals in our Childcare Management Plan to structure this project and make it sustainable:
- Promote Early Childhood Development
- Improve hygiene
- Improve English
- Improve the level of stimulation each child receives
Our hope is to help lay a strong foundation for these children to build on, becoming confident students with exciting future prospects. Help us to achieve this by joining us as a Childcare volunteer in Ecuador.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
Our projects in Ecuador are based in the Galapagos Islands. This region is famed for the research Charles Darwin did here with its many unique animal species. It’s the ideal location to explore the natural beauty of Ecuador.
While you’re volunteering here, it’s worth checking out the beautiful beaches where seabirds circle above and sea lions laze about on the sand. You can also go snorkeling or scuba diving along the coast.
Hiking around the base of one of the many volcanoes that make up the Galapagos is spectacular and thrilling! You can also follow the Darwin trail or trek through the Punta Pitt.
There are plenty of museums and art galleries for you to learn more about the culture and history. You can also chat to locals and buy souvenirs at bustling markets.
What’s great about joining our projects is the chance to connect with other volunteers. So you can choose to explore the Galapagos independently or you can travel with the new friends you make along the way.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Ecuador
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