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


US Number: (312) 912 9286
Ecuador Number:+593-2-600-4954



Agroforestry in the Amazon

Examining the fauna
In the classroom
A Global Mural
A new friend!
The Crew

1. Program overview

1. Program overview

You will be collaborating with our partner a local NGO, which provides tools and resources to indigenous communities and farmers’ associations in order to work towards their vision of sustainable development in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Their work encompasses two core areas: community development and environmental management. This volunteer placement offers a unique combination of environmental, social, and business areas that allow volunteers to receive a unique experience and participate in a diverse range of activities. Doing so helps support the growth of this budding social enterprise that’s centered on the sustainable harvest of Guayusa – a very important plant for the kichwa culture of the rainforest. It is used as tea by the native people of the Rainforest of Ecuador and has interesting spiritual connotations.

From trekking into the depths of the jungle to harvest guayusa leaves, to working alongside our technicians and engineers to develop and understand new agroforestry methods of growing guayusa, to participating in cultural exchange events and guayusa tea ceremonies, volunteers will experience first-hand the breadth of a trend setting international NGO and the indigenous Kichwa culture. Additionally, volunteers will also have the opportunity to develop their own research projects.

  • Minimum time commitment: 2 weeks
  • Spanish level recommended: Beginner or no Spanish

2. Life in the program

2. Life in the program

Volunteers live in the volunteers house located  in Tena one of Ecuador´s most beautiful rainforest towns. The volunteer house hosts up to 12 volunteers at a time and has limited wi-fi connection and hot water for the showers.  Volunteers are responsible for their own meals, they can prepare them at the volunteer house or eat in restaurantes near by.

3. Project details & activities

3. Project details & activities

  • Harvest Guayusa leaves
  • Plant Guayusa trees
  • Deliver Guayusa trees to farmers
  • Search for new Guayusa mother trees in the jungle
  • Search for new trees/plants for agroforestry research
  • Work in the Guayusa nurseries
  • Work in Guayusa factory
  • Assist on research projects such as Agroforestry System Design, Community Development and Agricultural Economics
  • Assist on Forest Conservation and Watershed project in the Colonso forest conservation area.
  • Give English classes

4. Things to see and do!

4. Things to see and do!

Tena has evolved as the ambassador of the jungle in Ecuador, a cheerful hodgepodge with two fat rivers intersecting at its heart. White-water paddlers get giddy in the rafting and kayaking capital of Ecuador; there are so many rafting options and a cold beer and toasty bed back in town. Even if the river’s not your cup of tea, this is a good place to kick back and visit nearby waterfalls and indigenous communities. Breezes off the Río Tena and Río Pano keep the climate comfortable.

5. Cost

5. Cost

Two weeks: USD 490
Three weeks: USD 710
Four weeks: USD 930
Five weeks: USD 1150
Six weeks: USD 1370
Seven weeks: USD 1590
Eight weeks: USD 1810

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

There is a USD $50 application fee.

***Ecuadorians have a different rate for this program, contact us for more information!!

What is included

  • Pre-departure support
  • Arrival orientation (Monday thru Friday at 3 PM at our offices in Quito)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Shared accommodation in the volunteer house
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • 24-hour in-country support

What is not included

  • Flights
  • Meals
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • In country transportation
  • Lodging outside the project

6. Suggested packing list

6. Suggested packing list

  • Flashlight
  • Camera
  • Raincoat
  • Rainboots
  • Light pants
  • Long sleeve shirts (repel mosquitoes)
  • Comfortable shoes or mountain shoes
  • Hat or beanie
  • Bag or small knapsack to use in the field
  • Bathing suit & shorts
  • Sandals
  • Insect Repellent
  • Toiletries and personal products
  • Any special medication that you may require
  • Sunblock

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



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).


Two weeks 490
Three weeks 710
Four weeks 930
Five weeks 1150
Six weeks 1370
Seven weeks 1590
Eight weeks 1810

**Ecuadorians have a different rate for this program, contact us for more information.

Inquire now

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