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Volunteer in Ecuador, Galapagos and Cultural Must See

Jul 12, 2008
Ecuador is situated in the Northwestern side of South America and along the Pacific Ocean coastline. Ecuador is an extremely beautiful place like most of South America is and is home to the highest active volcano in the world - Cotopaxi. There are several UNESCO World Heritage Sites but the most popular place is the Galapagos Islands. Tourism is one of the most important factors driving the Ecuador economy but it is not one of the most prosperous countries in South America.

Why Volunteer In Ecuador
Volunteering in Ecuador is a different experience altogether where you will get to revel at some of the most beautiful landscapes and pristine beaches and at the same time feel sympathetic towards the children and youth who need to be taken care of. As a volunteer in Ecuador, you will get the opportunity to mingle with the local population and get a crash course on their culture, eating and living habits and the various traditions. Ecuador offers different types of volunteer projects and many of them are targeted at rescuing wildlife and animal conservation.

Types Of Projects Available
As a part of volunteering in Ecuador, you will get to choose the kind of project you are interested in. The different types if projects available include:

1. Galapagos Conservation: If you love the environment and wildlife then this is the perfect volunteering opportunity for you. The Galapagos Island is a main revenue generator for Ecuador where tourism is concerned. There are different types of volunteer programs available on Galapagos Islands like the re-establishment of native plant species, and the Galapagos national park patrolling work. This type of volunteer work includes lobster catch monitoring along with regular patrolling, logistic support, and coastal clean-up programs.
2. Environmental Education: There is so much of area under forest cover in Ecuador that people have to double their efforts to keep the environment safe. We are living in a world where de-forestation has destroyed huge green and forested areas including 3/4th of the Amazon forest. Hence, it is important to educate people so that we can save whatever forested area is remaining on this planet. As a volunteer in Ecuador, you will be responsible for spreading the word around to save the environment. You will be working with environmentalists on various research programs and on planning different ways of saving the environment and reducing the current levels of environmental pollution.
3. Educational Rehabilitation: As a volunteer in Ecuador, you will get the opportunity to work with various educational rehabilitation centers that focuses on primarily community development. You will get hands on experience in various aspects of community development and how you can make a difference there.
4. Orphanages: There are several Ecuador volunteer programs targeted at providing education, and health care facilities to hundreds of orphaned children. In the last decade or so, there has been an immense spike in the population growth in Ecuador and this has also brought about disparity of income and led to a higher population of abandoned children. Due to lack of government resources and support, lack of education, healthcare, and poverty these children's have nowhere to go. You can as a volunteer bring hope into their lives and provide mental support and an environment for them to grow in.

Volunteer Requirements
Age: The minimum age for volunteering in Ecuador should be 18 or older. For conservation projects, the maximum age limit is 50.
Duration: The standard duration of most projects is 5-8 weeks although they can also vary from 1-2 weeks or 9-12 weeks.
Fitness: A high level of fitness is required for working in wildlife and conservation projects.
Language: Spanish, English

Fee and Other details
There is a fee attached to each of the projects that you volunteer for. The fee is charged in advance and is charged for the following:

1. Accommodation
2. Emergency evacuation services
3. Food/meals
4. Travel insurance
5. Transportation within the region
6. Emergency support
7. All types of training material
8. Supervision by local staff
9. Orientation on arrival
10. Local sightseeing & recreational activities

Volunteering in Ecuador will be quite challenging but then it also offers plenty of travel and recreation opportunities. Working in a place that is surrounded by spectacular landscape and in an environment driven by inspiring people, this is a volunteering experience that you will learn a lot from. You will be able to give to the community in Ecuador and also take some from the community.
About the Author
Volunteer in Ecuador expert Seomul Evans is a project manager and copywriter who contributes to Volunteer in Ecuador programs at Global Crossroad.
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