Ecuador – Beach Community and Child Enrichment Program

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, Saturday:
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 night. During your stay in Quito, our manager will conduct an orientation about the program 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 icon Location of the Project: Don Juan village between Pedernales and Jama / Manabí Province

Project length Project length: Minimum 2 weeks, Maximum 12 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Quito, Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work:  Experience an authentic fishing village in Ecuador. Help enrich children’s lives through teaching, organizing activities for kids, organic gardening, etc.

Age Age:  Min 18 (minors aged 16 and 17 can be accepted with parent’s consent)

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 5 volunteers

Important Note Important Note: The program requires volunteers to get PCR COVID-19 test up to 72 hours before arrival to Quito. It is also possible to upgrade to get private transfers from Quito to Don Juan village for an extra fee.


What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Private room in home-stay.

Food Food: Three meals are provided during the volunteer program. Only breakfast is included during the first 2 nights in Quito.

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided on arrival day

Orientation 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 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, meals during first night 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 icon Internet: Wifi is free, yet slower than you may be used to. Life in Ecuador is relaxed and so is the Wi-Fi

Laundry icon 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 icon Accommodations: You will stay in a private room with a local home-stay family, walking distance to the volunteer project. Rooms have mosquito nets and shared bathrooms. The home-stay has basic living conditions, yet is a great way to experience the local culture.

Food icon Food: Meals are included. You will also have the opportunity to participate in preparing delicious healthy Manabí 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
  • Proof of a COVID-19 vaccination & a negative PCR test for COVID-19 Before arrival
  • 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.

Volunteer Experiences

Amidst a desolate Calgary winter of sub-zero temperatures and the always-fun process of university applications, I boarded a 6 A.M. connecting flight…

Want to join this program?