Santa Lucía has been welcoming volunteers, both groups and individuals, since 2000 and our
volunteer programme continues to play a crucial role in enabling the development of our sustainable ecotourism operation and of our conservation and community projects. The hard
work, support and enthusiasm of so many volunteers have helped to reinforce for us the value of our cloud forest reserve and the importance of its continued protection.
Our volunteering programme offers you the opportunity to:
- Make a real contribution to conservation and sustainable development
- Experience the tranquillity, beauty and biodiversity of the cloud forest
- Learn about rural Ecuadorian life and the opportunities and challenges of sustainable development
- Build cross-cultural relationships with community members
- Learn or improve your Spanish
- Have a lot of fun!
As of 2013 the volunteer program will be based in our headquarters in La Delicia, Nanegal. We currently need your help to support several tasks and projects. This includes:
- Coordination of volunteers (only long-term) - help coordinating the volunteering program and the daily activities of volunteers
- Work with children
- Help in the local nursery feeding and playing with children (from six months to four years)
- Work in local school
- Maintenance of the organic garden
- Organize and hold classes in environmental education
- Working in the library
- Helping with physical education
- Organic gardening (only long-term) - working either the organic garden in La Delicia (to be created in 2013) or in Santa Lucía (lodge)
- Work in Santa Lucía (lodge) will be according to necessity (please ask!):
- Trail maintenance - essential to ensure that the trails
don't cause erosion and that they are safe to hike
- Organic Garden
- Orchid Garden - we need help maintaining and enlarging our orchidarium
- Daily chores - during times without large volunteer projects we also ask for helping hands with the daily chores like cleaning in and around the lodge or kitchen work
One of the strengths of the volunteer programme is that
volunteers work alongside members of Santa Lucía and you will gain a real insight into daily life in a rural community. People are always ready for a game of football or you can spend your free
time hiking, birding, swimming, visiting waterfalls and enjoying the fiestas and dances in the nearby towns.
The volunteering fee covers your accommodation and all meals and allows us to provide a basic salary for the local people who work alongside you, as well as helping to support our
conservation, sustainability and community projects.
Code of Conduct
We enjoy sharing our way of life with visitors and firmly believe that both volunteers and local people can benefit
by meeting and learning about each others' lives. You will receive a warm welcome at Santa Lucía and in turn we ask that you are respectful of our community and its norms and culture, which may be different to your own.
Volunteers are expected to act in a responsible manner, eg no drugs, and no drunken or overtly sexual behaviour. Please remember that in many ways Ecuador is still a conservative country and act accordingly.
Health and Safety
There is no malaria or other endemic tropical disease in this area
, although you should consult with your doctor/travel clinic about recommended vaccinations or preventative medicines, especially if you plan to travel to other areas of Ecuador. The
altitude at Santa Lucía is not high enough to induce altitude sickness. Santa Lucía's water supply has been tested and found to be safe to drink. All drinking water is boiled and fruits and
salads are washed in food “disinfectant”.
If you are working in La Delicia we will provide food and you will organize cooking and cleaning (kitchen and your room) yourself. If there are several volunteers at a time you will - of course - take turns in that.
The lodge is fully equipped with first aid kits and fire extinguishers, and the staff has full training in these areas. There is cell phone communication between Santa Lucía lodge
and our office in La Delicia, Nanegal. Transport to a nearby hospital can be provided in an emergency.
Volunteers should be in reasonably good physical condition as many hikes and some of the work is physically challenging. By the same token this is an ideal opportunity to become fitter.
Your support as a volunteer really does make a difference. We look forward to hearing from you.
For more information:
How to get to Santa Lucía
Packing List for Volunteers