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This sea turtle program has moved to our beach community in Las Tunas. For more info click HERE.

Sustainability Initiative: Apply to receive your 4th week of volunteering for free. Stay longer, make a stronger impact, reduce your carbon footprint. Schedule a call with us to find out how!

Volunteer to help local staff rescue and treat injured sea turtles at the only rescue center on the Pacific coast of Ecuador. Live in the vibrant town of Puerto Lopez and enjoy the many beaches and natural parks during your free time. 

Program Highlights:
  • Help maintain a clean environment for the wildlife species in the area
  • Volunteer and make a difference while enjoying one of Ecuador’s most beautiful regions
  • Learn about the methods used to protect sea turtle nests and hateries in the area 
  • Get involved with the local community and culture, living like a local
  • Work hands on with the community in Las Tunas, working with the locals, planting trees, learning Spanish, and working with community children. 
  • Weekends are a great opportunity to meet new people and practice your Spanish. Discover the wonders of Machalilla National Park like Isla de la Plata (aka Little Galápagos) & other beautiful beaches. 

Your Schedule at a Glance (minimum two-week commitment): 

Arrival in Ecuador: You will be picked up from Guayaquil airport (according to your scheduled flight) and stay one night in town.
Day 1, Sunday: Transfer by bus to Puerto Lopez (around 4 hours). Our Project Coordinator will meet you and give an orientation about your accommodation and Puerto Lopez village.
Days 2-6, Monday-Friday: 
On your first day at the rescue center, the Project Coordinator will take you to the workplace for the first time and give you an orientation on-site. You will work each day between 4 and 6 hours on the project. Monday evening you and the Project Coordinator will map out a work plan and set goals for the first week. In the afternoon you are free to enjoy the beach, play volleyball or soccer or relax.
It’s possible to book optional Spanish classes for the afternoon.
Day 7-8, Saturday-Sunday: 
Over the weekend, you’ll enjoy some free time to discover the magical places around Puerto Lopez, like the breathtaking beach Los Frailes Natural Reserve, discover the magic of Isla de la Plata, spot humpback whales (from June until October). During Sunday evening the Project Coordinator will plan with you the following week’s work schedule and goals.
Days 9-13, Monday-Friday: 
You will spend your days taking care of the turtles, scrubbing them clean, emptying, cleaning, and refilling water tanks, and cleaning the beach from plastic. If you are lucky, you will help release healed turtles back to the sea. 
Days 14-15, Saturday: 
Departure or free weekend, if you are staying extra weeks.  
Remaining Weeks: 
The remaining weeks will follow a similar schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having Saturday-Sunday free. Departure is on Saturday.
We recommend! 
Join our exciting intro week in Montanita before you volunteer and get the chance to learn Spanish, experience the lively local scene, and learn to surf in one of the hottest surf spots in Ecuador. See more details in "Travel Highlights" below. 

Planning to come for one month or more? Combine this project with our Wild Animal Rescue Shelter in the Amazon, for a truly diverse wildlife experience. We will assist you with the transfers. 
Location of the Project:  Volunteers stay in Puerto Lopez and commute every workday to the Sea turtle center, in Salango (15 min from Puerto Lopez). Transfers are included in the price.
Project length:  Minimum 2 weeks - Maximum 12 weeks
Arrival Airport:  Guayaquil - José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport
Volunteer Work:  Hands-on tasks related to the sea turtle rescue center
Age:  Min 18 (minors accepted with parents’ consent). This program also accepts families with kids aged 8 and above.
Number of Volunteers:  Maximum 5 volunteers
Important Note:  Transfer from Guayaquil to Puerto Lopez is via public bus. It is possible to upgrade to a private transfer for an extra fee.

What's Included

Accommodations:  Shared dorm rooms (same gender) in a hostel assigned before arrival.
Food:  Ingredients for daily breakfast.
Airport Transfers:  Private airport pickup on arrival day and one night-stay in Guayaquil.
Orientation:  Orientation by Project Coordinator in Puerto Lopez (accommodation) and on site on the first working day
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, personal expenses, lunch and dinner (budget around $10-15 a day), public bus from Guayaquil to Puerto Lopez (around $10 one way).
The program takes place in Salango, located 15 minutes away from the cozy and authentic fishing village Puerto Lopez. Salango is in Manabí province in Ecuador, considered being one of the most culturally vibrant and historically interesting areas in the country.  Sample the delicious typical cuisine or discover the most famous artisanal craft in the province: the Sombrero de Paja Toquilla, also known as the Panama Hat. 

Weekends are free to discover the magical places around Puerto Lopez like the breathtaking beach Los Frailes Natural Reserve, spot humpback whales from June to October, or enjoy the vibrant surf, beach, and party beach village Montañita. From Puerto Lopez, a visit to Isla de la Plata is a must, which is considered the “little Galapagos” on the mainland of Ecuador.
This Sea Turtle Rescue and Recovery Hospital is located on the Pacific coast of Ecuador, in Salango, in the Province of Manabí. They bring injured turtles from all parts of Ecuador since it’s the only center available in this specific field. Equipped with operating rooms, recovery tanks, professional veterinarians and volunteers, this establishment is well prepared for its incoming and recovering patients. As a volunteer at the hospital, you will receive training and be assigned daily tasks, such as 
  • Taking out the Sea Turtle from their tanks
  • Cleaning the tanks and changing the water
  • Scrubbing and cleaning the sea turtles 
  • Preparing food for the turtles 
  • Monitoring and data collection 
  • Regular Beach cleanups, specifically plastic waste, which harms marine wildlife.
Volunteer hours are usually start around 08:00am and last for about 4 to 6 hours each day, however this is dynamic and can change if there is lots of work to be done. For a more in-depth volunteer experience, we recommend joining for 3 weeks or longer. You can develop relevant skills and get more responsibilities.  

Note: This program requires a minimum of three volunteers on each start date to run. 
Internet:  Free Wi-Fi at the hostel, consider that is may be slow at times
Laundry:  Not included, however, there are a lot of laundry shops in the village.
Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay in shared, mixed gender, dorm-style rooms at a local hostel in the center of Puerto Lopez. There are up to four volunteers per room.
Food:  Ingredients for breakfast are included. You can use the kitchen and cook by yourself, but there are also a lot of local restaurants in the village where you can eat for $5 a local meal.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Minimum age of 18 (minors can be considered with parental consent) 
  • GoEco interview after application
  • Police clearance
  • Good physical fitness
  • Ability to work in a team 
  • Willing to work hard and get your hands dirty
  • Minimum of three volunteers are required for each start date 
Culture week in Montanita
Join our exciting culture week in Montanita before you volunteer and get the chance to learn Spanish, experience the lively local scene, and learn to surf in one of the hottest surf spots in Ecuador. It is the perfect way to prepare yourself for your volunteering project and traveling in Ecuador. Montañita is a very laid-back surfer’s town on the Pacific coast. You can add the culture week once we accept you to the program. 

Extra fee: US$400 for 7 nights, this includes:
  • Orientation meeting (online)
  • Accommodation in shared cabana close to the beach, with garden and swimming pool
  • Breakfast
  • 20 hours of Spanish classes with local teacher (4 hours a day)
  • 5 surf lessons

During your volunteer program, you will have ample time to enjoy the many nearby attractions. 
  • Machalilla National Park
  • Los Frailes (breathtaking beach) 
  • Isla de la Plata (Little Galapagos)
  • Humpback whales between June and October 
  • Salango; the Salango community has deep ancestral roots that represent about 5000 years of history and culture. 
  • Agua Blanca
  • Manta, the province’s capital
  • Canoa, a beach village 
  • Amazing local food! 
Our local team is happy to assist with any travel advice and arrangements. 
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