First

Address:

El Espectador E8-13 y Shyris. Edificio El Espectador. Oficina 203
Quito-Ecuador

Phones:

US Number: (312) 912 9286
Ecuador Number:+593-2-600-4954
Mobile:+593-9-9258-8303

Skype:

greentrektravel

Coastal and Marine Conservation

Assisting a sea turtle
Taking measurements
A nightly visitor!
By the beach
Washed ashore
The Crew
Having fun while teaching
The Students
Art

1. Program overview


1. Program overview

You will be working with our partner a local NGO whose mission is the conservation of Ecuador’s marine ecosystems and resources. Our partner organization works under the guidelines of Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment (In Spanish, Ministerio del Ambiente del Ecuador – MAE). This joint work has allowed the achievement of important advances in terms of conservation.

By volunteering with this initiative, not only will you gain an invaluable experience, but you will also get to know yourself better as a person. Also, you will share unforgettable moments with local people and with the biodiversity of Ecuador´s coast. You will forge friendships that may last a lifetime and will directly contribute towards the conservation of Ecuador’s marine biodiversity.

  • Minimum time commitment: 4 weeks
  • Spanish level recommended: Beginner

2. Life in the program


2. Life in the program

The volunteer house, is located two blocks away from Puerto Lopez’s beach front. This house lodges up to 10 volunteers. It has electrical power, hot water, flushing toilets, kitchen with refrigerator, grill for BBQ, hammocks, and WiFi. The house does not have washing machines, although there is a spot to wash cloths by hand and hanging wires to dry. Also, note that there are laundromats in Puerto Lopez where you can take your dirty laundry.

The volunteer’s rooms have 2 bunkbeds, this means that there’s 4 people per room.

Sometimes volunteers will have to share rooms with volunteers from the opposite sex.

The bathrooms and showers are also shared by all the volunteers. For this reason, we ask volunteers to constantly help keep the house clean and organized. In the house there are computers that are used mainly for research activities. Nevertheless, the volunteers can make limited use of these for important personal matters.

The house at La Plata Island

There is a house in La Plata Island where staff and volunteers stay during several days at a time to carry out research activities. This house is the property of the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador. The services available in this house are basic. For example, drinking water is brought in from the mainland and there is limited electrical power. Hence, it is not possible to take a daily shower while in the island.

The program does not cover meal expenses neither in Puerto Lopez nor in La Plata Island. Nevertheless, the volunteers can make use of the stove, refrigerator, plates and other kitchen implements that are available in the houses. Also, note that we ask volunteers to refrain from consuming canned tuna while in the house. As it is well known the canned fish industry (especially tuna fisheries) causes a huge impact to the marine environment.

3. Project details & activities


3. Project details & activities

TURTLE PROJECT

The Turtle Project requires staff and volunteers to travel periodically to La Plata Island and stay there for around eight days at a time. As a volunteer you will help with the following Turtle Project activities*:

  • Diurnal and nocturnal patrols of beaches inside and outside the PNM
  • Measurement and tagging of turtles
  • Egg counting and nest tagging
  • Egg transfers to an egg hatchery site (if required)
  • Installation of transmiters on turtle shells
  • Telemetry activities onboard a boat
  • Capture and recapture of turtles in the sea.

(*Note: All the activities described above are subject to change according to needs of our Projects, therefore we cannot guarantee that you will participate in all of these activities during your volunteering period.)

MARINE BIRDS PROJECT

Marine birds are bound to the sea, and therefore they represent good indicators of the ocean´s health. As a volunteer you will help with the following Marine Bird Project activities*:

  • Census of different marine bird species
  • Data collection on the state of the species mentioned above in species-specific forms
  • Monitoring of bird nests to determine the success of each species
  • Getting nest GPS points in each colony of marine birds
  • Depending on the season, capture, measurement and tagging of marine birds

(*Note: All the activities described above are subject to change according to needs of our Projects, therefore we cannot guarantee that you will participate in all of these activities during your volunteering period.)

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROJECT

In order to do conservation properly, it is necesary to work with the community and transmit the results of scientific research. The main objective of this project is to educate people from Puerto Lopez and its surrounding areas about the importance of respecting the environment.

As a volunteer of EA you will help with the following Environmental Education Project activities*,

  • Beach and marine floor cleaning in Puerto López and its surrounding areas. For this you will be using snorkeling equipment.
  • Planning of activities for the Ecoclub.
  • Preparation of environmental education activities for schools in Puerto López.
  • Planning and execution of communication & diffusion activities of not only EA’s projects but also other important environmental topics to the local community.
  • Volunteers often contribute with ideas for possible comunication campaigns or help execute active campaigns.

(*Note: All the activities described above are subject to change according to needs of our Projects, therefore we cannot guarantee that you will participate in all of these activities during your volunteering period.)

4. Things to see and do!


4. Things to see and do!

When all the daily chores are done (approximately 6 hours per day), volunteers can use their free time as they wish. In Puerto Lopez and its surroundings areas there are several tourist attractions that can be visited. Puerto Lopez is located in the heart of the Machalilla National Park, one of the few parks in the coast. There are plenty of interesting activities to do including, visit to native communities and their archaeological remains. Hikes in the incredible dry forest and visit the “los Frailes” Beach and its wonderful white sands. You can also go on whale watching excursions. It is possible that depending on pending work, volunteers will be required to work on Saturdays and Sundays. This happens especially during turtle nesting season (November to April) when there are many tasks to be fulfilled.

5. Cost


5. Cost

Four weeks: USD 610
Five weeks: USD 750
Six weeks: USD 890
Seven weeks: USD 1030
Eight weeks: USD 1170

If you wish to stay longer ask us for a quotation!

There is a USD $50 application fee.

What is included

  • Pre-departure support
  • Arrival orientation (Monday thru Friday at 3 PM at our offices in Quito)
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Location orientation
  • Welcome meeting
  • Lodging at the volunteer house located in Port Lopez and lodging at the house in La Plata Island during the length of the program
  • Drinking water in the volunteer house
  • All transportation expenses that are directly related to the projects
  • Training, field coordinator and field equipment/material
  • Volunteer ID card

What is not included

  • Transportation to and from Puerto López, or within Ecuador.
  • Meals
  • Lodging outside the volunteer house of Puerto López or La Plata Island.
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls, etc.
  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Lodging outside the project

6. Suggested packing list


6. Suggested packing list

  • Alarm clock (obligatory)
  • Head lamp (if possible one that has a red light) to use during sea turtle nesting monitoring. (obligatory)
  • Insect Repelent
  • Sunblock
  • Sleeping Bag (obligatory)
  • Sleeping Mat (strongly recommended)
  • Poncho or Water proof coat/jacket.
  • Towels
  • Fast drying clothing
  • Bathing suit
  • Sandals (i.e. tevas)
  • Comfortable shoes for long walks
  • Hat/cap for the sun
  • Warm Jacket (i.e. fleece)
  • Snorkel and mask (obligatory)
  • Camera
  • Sunglasses
  • Personal first aid kit (for personal use)
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Pocket Knife


Preparing for your Trip

Passport / Visa Requeriments

Passport / Visa Requeriments

Please note that you need a full valid passport. Some countries do not require a visa for Ecuador, please confirm this with the embassy. Upon entry you will be issued with a 3 month permit (at no cost). Make sure the correct date and length of stay in the country is entered onto your visa when at immigration. Longer-term visitors need to obtain a volunteer visa in their home country. We can help you sending you all the documents you required for paperwork.

Arrival / Departure Information

Arrival / Departure Information

You need to fly to Quito international airport, and make your way to a hotel. Taxis from the airport to the center of Quito cost approximately US$8. If you would like to have the transfer service and/or hotel reservations please contact us in order to arrange this for you. After arrival you have to attend an introduction meeting at our main offices in Quito. Introductory meetings are at 3pm Mondays through Fridays. During these meetings you will receive all the information you need to volunteer in the project. If you need to change this appointment time let us know in advance.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: We kindly ask you to arrive in Ecuador at least a two days ahead of the start of your volunteer placement. Most projects WON’T receive volunteers on the weekends so please plan accordingly. Also remember you have one meeting with us at our offices, this happens at 3 PM Mondays thru Fridays.)

Direction to our Offices

Directions to our offices in Quito:

Take the Ecovia (Red bus running along 6 de Diciembre Avenue) & get off at the Estadio Olimpico stop. Walk west in Naciones Unidas Avenue (towards the big mountain, Pichincha) and get to the corner of the Naciones Unidas and Shyris Avenue (on the corner of Quicentro Shopping Mall). Cross Shyris avenue; then walk two blocks north (to your right) in Shyris avenue until you reach El Espectador street. Look for a building with blue windows called El Espectador. We are on the second floor. Office 203

Our Address

El Espectador E8-13 y Shyris. Edificio El Espectador. Oficina 203

Finance

Finance

The Ecuadorian currency is the US Dollar. In general we recommend that you take travellers cheques or worldwide recognized credit cards instead of cash as your main source of money. Please be aware that you may have a maximum limit on cash withdrawal for your bank card in a single day, so it is advisable to come with most of the cash you’ll need right away to avoid complications or delays in getting the cash you need.

Ecuador is a cheap country in which to live. A normal person’s daily expenses (excluding room, laundry and board) range between US $20 to US$25. Urban public transport is US$0.25 one-way regardless of distance.

Medical Information

Medical Information

High altitude, e.g. in Quito (2800 metres) can affect some people’s health. You should check with your doctor if you have any doubts before you travel. If visiting Quito you are advised to take it easy for the first couple of days.

Health and Safety

Health and Safety

Field Base safety

All volunteers will be informed of the risks, health and safety procedures for the field on the arrival orientation. It is imperative that everyone both understands and respects them.

Volunteer safety

Look after your passport and take a separate photocopy with you. Do not wear jewelry or walk around areas outside with valuable items on display e.g. cameras. Do not carry large amounts of cash. In the unlikely event that you are targeted for your belongings, hand them over without resistance. If you are traveling in public transportation in Quito, always be aware of your belongings; put your backpack on your front instead of in the back. Be careful with your wallet and keep it in your front pocket. If you are taking taxis, be sure to get on an official taxi (yellow with orange plates).

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