Volunteering with Children in Ecuador
- Placement locations: San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands
- Types of care projects: Kindergartens
- Age of children: 3-5
- Number of people cared for: 15-30
- Role: Volunteers work on achieving the goals set out in the Care Management Plan, including running educational games and group activities, providing emotional support, and helping improve the children’s level of English
- Requirements: None
- Accommodation: Host families
- Length of placement: From 2 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
In Ecuador, nearly a third of the population lives below the poverty line. Schools and kindergartens are overcrowded and under-resourced and many disadvantaged families are unable to afford the extra educational support that their children need. As a volunteer on the Projects Abroad Care Project in Ecuador, you will have an important role to play in the lives of these children.
We welcome volunteers of all ages and skill levels, whether you are on a gap year, a career break, or a trained professional offering us the benefit of your experience. All you need is to be willing to work hard and be committed to your role and to the children at your placement.
Our volunteers work in kindergartens in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the island of San Cristobal on the Galapagos Islands. Although thousands of tourists visit the Galapagos Islands every year, most are focused on the incredibly diverse flora and fauna, and people from the local communities are often given less attention. This is where you can make a hugely significant impact.
Although you do not need to be able to speak Spanish to volunteer on a Care Project in Ecuador, learning a few basics will be helpful. If you would like, you can sign up for a Spanish Course in Ecuador before or after your placement.
Volunteering in Kindergartens in the Galapagos Islands
The children at the kindergartens we work with often come from homes where there is little structure and discipline. As a Care volunteer, you are perfectly placed to provide the children with individual support, teach basic life skills, and improve their level of English.
During your placement, you will work with children on some of the following activities:
- Assisting staff with running basic educational activities
- Teach and sing songs
- Arts and crafts sessions
- Playing with and supervising children in outside playground area (swings, slides, and climbing frame)
Some kindergartens also have children with special needs. Depending on your placement, you may be able to provide one-on-one attention and educational support to these children.
We encourage you and all of our volunteers to try new activities and expand the range of games and ideas the children will encounter. This helps promote and enhance their individual growth and development, and the local staff will appreciate your efforts. Working closely with individual children and identifying their areas of strength is a very important aspect of your project.
Working at a Care Placement in Ecuador with Projects Abroad
It is crucial that the local residents and future generation get the quality of education they need to secure the jobs in the lucrative tourism industry. The kindergartens where you will volunteer on San Cristobal, are striving to provide the necessary foundation for the future generations. This means that the care work you will be involved with is often quite varied. It might involve practical care activities like helping children get ready for the day in the morning or playing games, sports, and helping older children with their homework.
Once a week, you will meet with Projects Abroad staff to discuss your activities, and if you have any questions of ideas, you can discuss them at these meetings.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our
Did you know? The Ecuadorian government has stated that children with special needs need to be enrolled in mainstream school - this is often extremely challenging for both the child and the teacher, since one-on-one support for special needs is a priority.
You can join the General Care Project in Ecuador for three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for shorter durations for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone participating for a longer period.
While you’re in Ecuador, you might also consider joining a 1 week Conservation & Environment Project. For more information, please visit our Galapagos Island Conservation & Environment Project in Ecuador page. Our Combinations Page explains how you can combine not only projects, but also destinations.
If you are a high school student and first-time traveler you may want to consider our High School Special programs in Ecuador.
The children really enjoyed what we were doing so we knew we had done a good job. Some even wanted to stay after the class ended or put in some extra time at home to finish a project. This showed us our efforts were taken seriously and that everybody got something out of it. Of course it could get loud and messy at times- but that is what happens when 30 little creative minds get together in a room. Read more...