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Vacation Volunteering: See Ecuador Differently

Posted in: Ecuador Travel, Galapagos Islands

This is a guest post by Shawna Fagundes, a Canadian living in Quito, Ecuador with her husband. Shawna is interning at Lead Adventures South America, also based in Quito. Contact Lead Adventures.


Volunteering for any organization allows you to give back to the local community, build confidence and, of course, add new skills and experience to your resume. Why not accomplish these things while you travel?!

If you want to see Galapagos and Ecuador off the usual beaten path, and travel more eco-friendly, vacation volunteering is for you. The combination of volunteering and travelling is a very unique experience – you have the opportunity to meet a variety of local people and get a true taste of Ecuadorian culture, gain valuable knowledge and experience, and still have time to relax amongst the most breathtaking and natural landscapes of South America.

Looking for an opportunity for vacation volunteering? Lead Adventures, an Ecuador-based company, has dozens of volunteer/travel programs to choose from.

Here are just a few of the opportunities Lead Adventures provides:

Galapagos Experience Program

See Galapagos differently than the usual cruise-based tourist. This opportunity combines volunteer and eco-friendly travel at three different islands in Galapagos. Volunteer opportunities to assist the local community on these world-famous islands include:

  • reforestation
  • removal of foreign plant species
  • organic farming
  • care of domestic animals
  • and monitoring giant tortoises (depending on the season)

You’ll even have an opportunity to learn from local scientists about the social and environmental issues affecting the islands. In your spare time, enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, hiking, volcano tours, or relaxing on the beach. Sounds like something you’d enjoy?

Check out Galapagos Experience Program to read testimonials from those who’ve experienced the program first-hand and gather more information on how to get started on your adventure.


Animal Welfare/Rescue Programs

If you are studying animal science or maybe you’re just an animal lover, the animal welfare/rescue programs are for you. Gain unique experience while assisting some of the most beautiful creatures in the world in mainland Ecuador.

Lead Adventures’ animal welfare programs work towards the elimination of wildlife mistreatment and abuse – through education, volunteering, rescue and rehabilitation. The goal is to help Ecuador’s unique creatures to be released back into the wild.

There is an animal shelter/rescue center in each of the three regions of Ecuador’s mainland.

Amazon-Centre_monkey Amazon-experience-lead-adventures

Teaching Programs

Do you have the ‘gift of the gab’? Teach conversational English in the Galapagos islands or in mainland Ecuador. No experience teaching? No problem. English teachers are in high-demand – you can sign up as a teaching assistant or choose to live with an Ecuadorian family while you teach them English. Educating in a foreign country is priceless to add to one’s resume, as it shows you have confident leadership skills.




No matter what vacation volunteering experience you choose to take – whether in Ecuador, Galapagos, or abroad you will never regret the people you meet, the knowledge you gain and the amazing vacation you’ve had!

Experience life differently through vacation volunteering!

This is a guest post by Shawna Fagundes, a Canadian living in Quito, Ecuador with her husband. Shawna is interning at Lead Adventures South America, also based in Quito. Contact Lead Adventures.

Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with GringosAbroad.

2 comments… add one
  • Dr Anwar Shah Feb 19, 2013, 11:53 am

    Would like English in Ecuador

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