Abused Girls/Teens, Special Ed, Therapy and social work
Volunteers and interns interested in physical therapy, working with children with behavioral problems or those needing special attention and/or language therapy are welcome at a facility that works with abused girls. The young patients are victims of a range of mistreatment, from negligence and abandonment to rape. They range in age from under 1 years old to almost 18. Most live in a group home where organizers can ensure their safety and recovery; in appropriate cases, some of the patients are in therapy designed to preserve, improve, strengthen or restore their family ties. This placement offers different options for interns and volunteers based on skills and interest; all of them are a huge opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child in crisis. Placement location: Macas, Tena, Sucua, Cotacachi Cuenca Questions? Click here
Coaching/Training, Physical Education, Rehab
Do you play soccer (football,) basketball or volleyball? Do you have any experience in sports injury avoidance and rehab? Can you coach swimmers, runners or field/track athletes? Volunteers and interns interested in sharing their skills and passion for sports are welcome to work alongside staff members who guide local and national athletes of all levels. You will work with a regional organization that oversees athletics and sports development, and your responsibilities could include planning physical preparation and training, helping to organize and coach teams, helping with physical rehabilitation of injured athletes, advising in preventative medicine and injury control/rehab, helping to recruit young talent and help in the management of teams and competitions. Questions? Click here
Use your knowledge of English to help improve the language and conversational skills of children who attend modest schools with limited resources. The kids will be happy to have you in their classroom! The schools are located in and around Macas, Sucua, and Limon Indanza, and you’ll work with kids 4-9 years old and 10-14 years old. Prefer high school level? High schools also welcome your help. Sure, it's less play and more academic, but this is where you can really begin to communicate thoughts and ideas.
In the Andes and Amazon, the school year starts in September and runs until the end of May, and on the coast and in the Galapagos, the school year starts in April and runs through December. This program requires a minimum of a one month commitment and works best if interns can stay for a full school term. Questions? Click here
The economic crisis of the late 1990s affected almost everyone in Ecuador. Today approximately 40% of Ecuadorians still live below the poverty line. We work with several governmental and non-governmental organizations in Ecuador devoted to giving small communities the tools they need to pull themselves from poverty. Possible projects include helping with infrastructure development, urban planning, educational programs, capacity building, and microfinance programs. Participants will work directly with local government office, NGOs and community members. Questions? Click here
Calling all animal lovers! Volunteers live and work in the rescue center of a local zoo, working directly with such exotic wildlife as jaguars, tigrillos, monkeys, sloths, tapirs and a different varieties of birds. Your daily responsibility will include feeding the animals, maintaining their cages, helping with the maintenance and construction of the enclosures as well as clearing the zoo’s walking paths and helping to make the facility a welcome one to animals and their human visitors. This is an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in Ecuador’s stunning biodiversity and the challenges Ecuador’s wildlife faces from habitat destruction, unregulated hunting and poaching. Questions? Click here
ELI Abroad offers both short-and long term volunteer, intern and Professionals opportunities based on your interests and level of experience. Whether you’re a pre-med, a medical/dental student, or a seasoned pro in your field, ELI’s partner organizations will offer you a relevant and enriching experience that will make a local impact. Opportunities include medical and dental clinics in Macas and Cuenca, facilities that provide free care and health education to communities in need. Or, ask ELI about possible opportunities to intern along with medical and dental staff in the jungles of Ecuador. Our Medical and health programs are designed to be immersive, authentic, comprehensive and provide you everything you’ll need to learn and contribute. You’ll engage fully with a new culture, offer much needed medical help while forging invaluable personal and professional relationships. Questions? Click here
Human Rights & Legal
This is a unique opportunity to join the push for human rights, and to witness how laws respond (or fail to respond) to the needs of disadvantaged communities in Ecuador. Interns help in training and educational seminars and workshops offered to schools and interested communities among the Shuar, the native peoples of Ecuador and Peru. Interns will will attend meetings with local officials, assist staffers draft legal documents, affidavits and minutes at hearings and trials, and interface with the office of President of the Interprovincial Federation of Shuar Centers located in the town of Sucua. Depending on qualifications, interns may also have the opportunity to offer legal advice, assess human rights claims, conduct legal research and widely assist Shuar Center staff. Or, ask us about paralegal opportunities in the field of land rights and land reform, where interns or volunteers can work with indigenous and peasant communities around Cotacachi.
Public Policy/Human Rights
Work with a local government office on rights issues! Interns placed here will help officials at the Rights Protection Council evaluate and monitor public human rights policies to ensure they are compliant with national and international regulations. In addition, interns will assist in coordinating with other agencies and inter-institutional networks specialized in the protection of rights. Priority attention is given to Seniors, Children, Adolescents, Pregnant Women, Persons with Disabilities, Inmates and those suffering from catastrophic or highly complex diseases. Questions? Click here
Tourism and Travel
Morona Santiago is a designated center of ecological tourism, its natural wonders attracting visitors from around the world. Tourism interns and volunteers will work with local officials, travel agents, tour operators and guides, helping to raise awareness about the region’s environmental riches and the fascinating Shuar culture of its people. Opportunities will include helping to organize expositions and conventions and promoting local tourist attractions. Ask us about travel opportunities you will enjoy as a tourism intern or volunteer in Ecuador! Questions? Click here
Agronomic Cultural Heritage
An exciting opportunity for students or professionals of agriculture, plant genetics, soil science and sustainable farming, this placement focuses on the agricultural efforts within indigenous and peasant communities around Macas, the Andes and the Amazon. You will be placed in an organization dedicated to recovering Andean crops, introducing new farming products and techniques and improving the quality of food and life among the culturally fascinating indigenous populations. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see and interact with communities most tourists never come across. Questions? Click here
Biotechnology in Bovine Reproduction
Learn and gain hands-on experience in Ecuador’s first biotech laboratory working on bovine reproduction. This is an important area of study in Ecuador and many developing nations: making the cattle industry as professional and effective as possible while also focusing on milk production, bovine health and the newest commercial technologies in the field. The lab and its farm is looking for volunteers, interns or professionals in zootechnology and agricultural engineering to help, instruct and promote the lab’s research and everyday efforts. Questions? Click here
Do you have a group that would like to travel together to Ecuador and volunteer? We can customize your program to fit your group's needs! ELI has worked with many groups over the years. The following is a sample itinerary of a one to two week program for groups of up to 10 people. If you're interested in setting something up for your club or group, let us know!