Volunteer with us





Here at Sumak Kawsay Yachay (SKY) 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 8am in the morning with breakfast. Afterwards we have time for preparing the classes, organize and doing house and garden work. At 1pm, we have lunch and then there are 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 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 for children, young adults and adults
  • cooking for the volunteers
  • 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

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. Depending on the amount of volunteers you will have to cook one or two times a week.


Accomodation

We just moved back to our old home and are reorganizing huse again. For the moment there are 2 dorm rooms, a big livingroom and a kitchen for the volunteers available. And we are looking forward to get 2 more rooms and a bigger kitchen soon.
There is a bathroom with a shower (hot water available). Also, Wi-Fi is available in the volunteer house.
For sleeping we have available blankets and sheets.


EXPENSES

Unlike most other volunteer programs, we do not charge someone to come and work for free. 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. However, we do ask for a very modest donation of $30 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.

For just $30 a week you get 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.


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. 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

From Quito
To get here from Quito, take any bus from Quito's southern terminal "Quitumbe" to Baños, and ask the driver to stop in Salasaka (ca. 3,5h). Most likely you will be dropped off in the city center near the pedestrian bridge (el puente), from there you can take a camionetta (white pick-up truck with green stripe) to the volunteer house (known as "Hosteria Pachamama").


From Baños
To get here from Baños, take a bus towards Ambato, and 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 (white pick-up truck with green stripe) to the volunteer house (known as "Hosteria Pachamama").


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)

HOW TO APPLY

Please us our APPLICATION FORM and we will contact you shortly.  



WHAT ELSE

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

For other questions write us an email.

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