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Volunteers' Stories




Volunteer with Street Kids Project and Spanish Course in Quito, Ecuador

Hola Ana y Fabio!

Sorry I did not get round to giving you any feedback whilst I was in Ecuador. I am sure you can appreciate I did not seem to stop for the nine weeks I was there!

My experiences included learning Spanish, working with street kids, getting to know my host family and making friends with other volunteers/students/travellers. At the weekends and during my last two weeks I travelled, visiting: Papyllaycta, Puerto Lopez and Isla de la Plata, Otovalo, Esmiraldes, Tena, Galapagos, Amazon and Cotopaxi!

I had to learn to be independent as my host family was 30 minutes away by bus from the Spanish school and 50 minutes by bus to my volunteer project. In hindsight this made for a better experience as I really felt I got to know the city and live life as an Ecuadorian.

I also had to learn to be patient due to the nature of the country and my lack of Spanish. At first I found this a little frustrating, as I was worried about travelling so far by myself.

The best thing about my placement early on was how easy it was to meet other people with similar interests to me. This was due to the fact that we were all studying in the same Spanish school and the majority of people were staying next door in the volunteer house.


I think you have to be prepared for a challenge, determined and have a positive attitude to volunteer on this placement. I found it a little challenging at first, due to the language barrier and the fact Quito is so enormous. In the long run this makes for a better experience as you are forced to practice your Spanish and you soon get used to the size of the city.

I would recommend to future volunteers with limited Spanish that they make a list of useful words for working with children. For example: Listen, Ready, Sit down... It is possible to communicate without Spanish but the more you speak the easier and more rewarding the project is. I found it much easier as the weeks went on and I was able to talk to the children and staff and understand what it is they needed.

It is better not to take travellers cheques as they are awkward to change. There are very few places that accept them and each time you change them you have to take your actual passport. It is dangerous to carry a lot of money, so therefore you have to go frequently and carry your passport frequently. I found it was best just to use my debit card, as most tour operators charge 7% extra for use of credit card.

I would also recommend future volunteers read into the various trips they may like to go on at the weekends before packing. I had an idea that there was going to be such a lot of fun places to visit, but I hadn't read into the climate. Ecuador has everything from hot beaches to mosquito covered rainforests to cold mountain hikes. Generally it is best to pack for all seasons. I also did not realise Quito would be so cold in the evening.

At Sinsoluka we spent a lot of time helping the children to study. They are quite young and do not really want to learn. I would recommend future volunteers think of some activities to make learning fun. For example websites that help to teach the children or games they could play.


I was volunteering at Sinsoluka during the school vacations. I arrived at 9.00am each day. Normally I would play with the children for 30 minutes. This usually involved sports in the court yard, colouring in or helping the young mums with their babies. From 9.30-11am we were asked to help the children to study. I tended to work with the youngest children teaching them the alphabet, syllables, how to read simple words and how to count.

The staff preferred the children to remain in the classroom throughout this time period, so creative thinking and initiative were needed to maintain the children's attention throughout this time period. After this we would take a 30 minutes break before assisting the children in making things to sell in the shop, make models, bracelets and sometimes cooking. At 1.00pm the children had lunch and I left to go to Spanish School.

During the last official week of Sinsoluka school vacations, we spent the week doing activities and going out for the day. We made kites and climbed up to the Panecillo to fly them. We also visited several museums. A highlight for me was having a tour of the president’s house!

Overall I had an incredible nine weeks in Ecuador. I loved working with children there and learning about how the foundation started and the problems they currently face. I had a great host family who were very welcoming, patient and included me in all their family activities including a long weekend at the beach. I am really pleased with the improvement in my Spanish. The teachers at the Spanish School were great and I really benefitted from being surrounded with Spanish speakers who were reluctant to speak English.

Thanks for all your help,


More Information about your Trip with Travellers

List of ALL PROJECTS in Ecuador

Amazing Sunset in Ecuador

Galapagos Landscape