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This is an opportunity to support youth who have limited access to educational resources. As a volunteer, you will live in a traditional fishing village, bond with locals, and exchange culture in this enriching experience.  

Program Highlights 
  • Help create and maintain an organic garden 
  • Empower kids with group activities and lessons
  • Fall in love with the local food and beaches in Manabí.
  • Help develop a local recycling operation 
  • Experience and learn to cook traditional cuisine from Manabí.

Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum 2 week commitment): 

Arrival Day, Friday:
Arrival at Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO). You will be picked up at the airport and taken to our partner Hostel in Quito to spend your first 2 nights. During your stay in Quito, our manager will conduct an orientation about the program and arrange a PCR test. The results take up to 24 hours and should be ready before you depart on Sunday. 

Day 1, Sunday: 
We will help arrange the bus ride from Quito to Pedernales on the Pacific Coast (around 5 hours).
Upon arrival day in Pedernales, our project coordinator will meet and escort you to the village of Don Juan. After you settle in your new home, you will get a tour of the village and meet the local families. 

Days 2-6, Monday-Friday: 
The local team will go over your daily tasks and acquaint you with the village. If you have a basic level of Spanish, you will assist with basic activities such as organizing the books, painting walls, preparing material for classes, sports with the kids, helping in the kitchen, aiding the organic garden, or help the local beach cleaning effort. If you have an intermediate/high level of Spanish, you can teach the kids/teenagers in more advanced classes.

Day 7-8, Saturday-Sunday: 
These days are free. You can enjoy the beach, play soccer or volleyball with the coordinators and other volunteers. You can also experience the beautiful beaches and nightlife of Canoa, a nearby town. The coordinator can suggest some activities.

Week 2 and beyond:
The following weeks will follow a similar schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having Saturday-Sunday mostly free. Departure is on Saturday.

We recommend it! 
Join our exciting intro week in Baños before you volunteer and get the chance to learn Spanish, relax in thermal hot springs and join the famous bike and canopy tours. See "Travel Highlights" below for more information. 

Planning to come for one month or more? Combine this project with our Wild Animal Rescue Shelter in the Amazon, for a truly diverse experience. We will assist you with the transfers. 
Location of the Project:  Don Juan village between Pedernales and Jama / ManabĂ­ Province
Project length:  Minimum 2 weeks, Maximum 12 weeks
Arrival Airport:  Quito, Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO)
Volunteer Work:  Experience an authentic fishing village in Ecuador. Help enrich children's lives through teaching, organizing activities for kids, organic gardening, etc.
Age:  Min 18 (minors aged 16 and 17 can be accepted with parent's consent)
Number of Volunteers:  Up to 5 volunteers
Important Note:  The program requires volunteers to have a PCR COVID-19 test in Quito upon arrival. If the test is negative, you will depart for the program site on Sunday. We will organize the test (extra fee US$85). It is also possible to upgrade to get private transfers from Quito to Don Juan village for an extra fee.

What's Included

Accommodations:  Volunteer house in shared rooms (same gender).
Food:  Three meals are provided during the volunteer program. Only breakfast is included during the first 2 nights in Quito.
Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided on arrival day
Orientation:  Meet & greet upon arrival in Quito. At the project, a local English speaking volunteer coordinator will give you an introduction to the village, the project, and your schedule.
Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, PCR test in Quito (US$85) meals during first 2 nights in Quito, bus tickets from Quito to Don Juan (approx. $15 USD), transfer to airport on departure day, personal expenses.
The project is located in the lovely and authentic fishers village of Don Juan on the Pacific Coast. It is between Jama and Pedernales in Manabi Province, around 5 hours from Quito. On your down time enjoy the beautiful beaches, read at the library, or visit the surrounding area. 
This program was created in 2016 after an earthquake ravaged parts of Ecuador. Hundreds of people died, and it left thousands without homes. The mission: to improve the lives of the most vulnerable members of the population - kids, teenagers and women - in northern Manabí through formal and informal education programs in a safe environment. Help empower them so they may explore their full potential.

As a volunteer, you will have day-to-day tasks such as:
  • Helping to create and maintain an organic garden 
  • Organizing activities such as sports, art, music, theater, and reading English books to the kids 
  • Education and empowerment seminars with the local kids
  • Helping the kids develop verbal confidence and communication skills
  • Cleaning the local beaches of waste with the kids and/or teenagers 
  • Helping to integrate recycling into the community activities  

Example of daily volunteer schedule
  • Your accommodation is in walking distance of the volunteer activities
  • The day starts at 08:00, you can help to make breakfast with the other volunteers.
  • The kids arrive at the library around 09:00.
  • You will work with kids at the library until 13:00. After that, you have time for lunch.
  • After lunch, you will return to the library for more classes, activities, sports and/or work in the organic garden. There will also be community efforts to help clean the beaches. You can use any talents and passions you have to make an impact on the project. 
  • The center may also need cleaning, wall painting, etc.
Internet:  Wifi is free, yet slower than you may be used to. Life in Ecuador is relaxed and so is the Wi-Fi
Laundry:  You will have access to a laundry machine, but you will need to buy your own detergent. Dryers and ironing are not available. You can have your clothes washed, dried, and ironed by someone from the village for an extra cost.
Accommodations:  The Volunteer house has 2 rooms with a maximum of 5 volunteers in the house and project. There is a shared room with 3 beds. And also there is a room with a double bed. The rooms will be same gendered unless requested otherwise by participants. For a room upgrade, a stay with a host family is the best option. We have three host families available, all in walking distance from the project. Additional fee per night is $5,00
Food:  Meals are included. You will also have the opportunity to participate in preparing delicious healthy ManabĂ­ meals. We can accommodate special diets such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc.
  • Converstaional or Intermediate level of Spanish is required (lessons are available in our Culture Week if needed)
  • 8 years old, but minors can be accepted if parents provide written consent
  • A negative PCR test for COVID-19
  • GoEco interview after application
  • A willingness to learn and give back
Don Juan is a beautiful place you can explore with the local coordinators. There is a small pizza bar where you can relax at night. Don Juan also has breathtaking beaches. In your free time you can visit the impressive nature reserve Lalo Loor dry forest, or go to the vibrant coastal village of Canoa or enjoy interacting with the locals. Or you can just relax in town. 

Nearby Don Juan is Manta, the province capital. If you want to discover more amazing beaches, Canoa village and Mompiche beach offer amazing views. Another standout is the Lalo Loor dry forest, a unique tropical habitat home to diverse species. Ecuador food is also incredible, so be ready for plenty of opportunities to try the local cuisine. 
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