Volunteer with us




Here at Escuela Katitawa we have been able to accomplish many things because of the help from hundreds of volunteers who have come from all over the world to lend a hand in what we believe is a worthwhile project.
The volunteers come to Ecuador in order to make a difference and to experience the unique culture of the indigenous community of Salasaka. The people and the children, in return, get to learn about other cultures and countries in a very personal way - something completely different than reading a few paragraphs in a textbook.
There is no minimum time period required to stay and work with us. Some volunteers are here for a week, others for six months or longer. We want you to enjoy all the time you spend here, so as soon as you feel it is time for you to leave, we will support you in that decision.

As the project now depends solely on volunteers, it is even more important to have long-term volunteers for 6 months or longer. This includes the job as volunteer coordinator. It is very important that all volunteers can be self-reliant and help out wherever needed
Since Robert´s death, the project continues to be in a phase of reorganisation. Therefore, now more than ever, we need motivated volunteers who bring positivity and new ideas for improving the project. 


SCHEDULE

We ask volunteers to work a minimum of seven hours a day, Monday through Friday.
A normal day starts at 7am in the morning with breakfast and afterwards we have time for preparing the classes, organize and doing house and garden work. Around 11am, Inti, our special student, arrives and we teach him. At 1pm, we have lunch and then there is the afternoon classes at the school with the children of the community (from 2:30 to 5:00). In addition, we have the English classes in the library which start at 2pm and finish at 7pm. In the evening, we are all back at the volunteer house and have dinner together. Depending on your role, you might work in the morning or in the afternoon, or a bit of both. 

Most volunteers use the weekends for traveling around this beautiful and captivating country. Salasaka is close to the spa town of Baños and is a day trip away from Quito, the beautiful lagoon of Quilotoa and the volcanoes Chimborazo and Cotopaxi.


TASKS

You can choose between different kind of tasks, depending on what help is needed:
  • teaching English, Maths, Arts or any other subject you are familiar with at the afternoon school
  • helping out with English classes in the library;
  • cooking in the kitchen;
  • fundraising;
  • construction work;
  • gardening;
  • volunteer coordination;
  • anything else that is needed or that you are good at.
Since the project is run by volunteers, it is very important to have long-term volunteers for the volunteer coordination task. For more information about the specific coordination tasks, feel free to write to us!

FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION

Accomodation
Our new volunteer quarters has space for 18 volunteers in five dorms, a large kitchen and living area. A room with a double bed is also available for couples. Usually, we have between 5 and 10 volunteers. In this case, you are sharing the room with only one or two volunteers. You are also welcome to stay in a hostel if you prefer.
There is a bathroom with a shower (hot water available) and a laundry room (no washing machine). Also, Wi-Fi is available in the volunteer house. 
For sleeping we have available blankets and sheets but you have to clean these yourself. However, we recommend bringing your own sleeping bag.
Food 
Monday to Friday we provide 3 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for the volunteers. We cook our meals ourselves according to our budget and ideas. The meals are not gourmet, but most of the time they are tasty.


EXPENSES

Unlike most other volunteer programs, we do not charge someone to come and work for free. We do however ask for a very modest donation of $25 per week, to help cover all of our expenses. If you are staying with us for less than two weeks, we ask you to pay a rate of $7.50 per night.
So with a mere $25 a week you have a bed, Internet access and three meals a day (Monday to Friday). Anything extra you want to buy for your own comfort will generally be very cheap here in Ecuador (e.g. a meal at ca. $ 2.00), as is travelling around the country (ca. $ 3.50 to Quito, $ 0.75 to Baños) if you want to have adventures on the weekends.
Our work here in Salasaka is not funded by any external organizations, and without the help of volunteers and donors we would cease to exist.


RULES

As Salasaka is an indigenous community, many cultural aspects will probably be different from your home country, or even most other places in Ecuador. Body piercings (other than earrings) are not permitted for our volunteers while at the library or school. This is not a custom in the community and is not permitted for the women here. Rings on your fingers and toes but please not in your nose. It is fine in other places but not in your lips, tongues or faces. We do not want to offend so we ask that if you have rings in any of these places, please take them off while in Salasaka. There are no illegal drugs permitted at any time in the volunteer quarters. Smoking is permitted as long as it is not in front of the kids or inside the school, library or volunteer house.


HOW TO ARRIVE TO KATITAWA

To get here from Quito, take any bus from Quito's southern terminal "Quitumbe" to Baños, and ask the driver to stop in Salasaka. If you are coming from Baños, take a bus towards Ambato, and again ask to be dropped of in Salasaka.

Most likely you will be dropped off in the city center near the pedestrian bridge (el puente), from there you can take a camionetta (pick-up truck) to the school, the library or the volunteer house.

When you arrive, ask for "La Biblioteca Rosa Maria" or the casa comunal "Mangiwa" (the house of volunteers is directly next to the library). There are volunteers in the library from 2 to 7 p.m.



WHAT TO BRING
  • different kinds of clothes - the weather here is almost the same all year long, with cold nights, evenings and mornings. During the day the weather can change within minutes and as soon as the sun comes out it gets hot. Best thing is to dress in layers, have a jacket or something that you can take off, a sweater for chilly moments and a t-shirt for hot times. It doesn't rain too much around here, but sometimes it might.
  • sunscreen
  • spices from home for the volunteer house
  • blank notebooks and print-papers
  • paints for art classes
  • old but working laptops or computer (for the library)









If you want to know more, read the Stories from Past Volunteers.

For other questions write an email to volunteers.schedule@gmail.com

If you want to help us in other ways, please see our page “Support us”.