Administrative Assistant Volunteer

UNESCO - Quito, Ecuador
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-126 Location: Quito, Ecuador Sector: Community Development Category: Organizational Support Min Duration: 16 weeks Lodging: BaseCamp or Host Family Language: Intermediate
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Volunteer Job Description

UNESCO promotes international co-operation among its 191 Member States and six Associate Members in the fields of education, science, culture and communication.

UNESCO relies heavily on volunteers from all over the world to sustain its various programs. As a UNESCO volunteer, you will work in a team environment according to your interests and skills.

An administrative assistant volunteer at this placement would be able to help the organization with numerous tasks, especially in the area of communication with foreign sponsors or organizations/individuals who may be potential sponsors for their numerous programs. Other duties may include: checking emails and responding when appropriate, helping with different organizational projects, up-dating records, helping to write newsletters and distributing them to targeted people etc.

At the head office in Quito, experienced volunteers are needed to develop organizational programming, to operate computer software and participate in office management.

Volunteers with basic administrative knowledge would be very useful at this placement but they don't need to have specific qualifications in this area. However, good communication skills and basic computer skills are essential, as well as an intermediate level of education in the Spanish language.

Volunteer Tasks Required


An administrative assistant volunteer would be expected to attend to email correspondence and to write letters to organizations both locally and internationally. Some of these letters would be thank you notes for members of the board to sign. The volunteer would be expected to make sure that all correspondence was addressed properly and mailed, sent or delivered on time.

Organize Files

One of the tasks that an administrative assistant volunteer would be expected to do would be to maintain general office files and to file all necessary paperwork according to the organization's system. The volunteer would be shown the filing system by staff prior to being asked to assume this duty.

Support Meetings & Events

An administrative assistant volunteer would be expected to provide assistance to conduct agency meetings and events. This may include the distribution of meeting materials, purchasing food, managing the guest/RSVP list, etc.

Calls & Messages

An administrative assistant volunteer may be asked to handle incoming phone calls and forward the calls to appropriate staff members when necessary or take messages regarding same. If written correspondence to any calls were required and not the duty of a staff member the volunteer would be responsible to do so.

Host Organization Details


UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization which follows the objectives and actions outlined by its 191 Member States and 6 Associate Members.

The Organization is committed to a holistic and humanistic vision of quality education worldwide, the realization of everyone’s right to education, and the belief that education plays a fundamental role in human, social and economic development.

UNESCO’s MISSION is to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and inter cultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.

Two of UNESCO main programs in Latin America and the Caribbean are: 1) Educational Programs that attempt to rectify extreme poverty. 2) Contribute through information and communication technology to the development of education, science, culture and the building of a knowledge based society.

UNESCO serves poor communities in Ecuador, encouraging development. UNESCO is striving to deliver greater resources and opportunities in these communities.

Today, UNESCO functions as a laboratory of ideas and a standard setter to forge universal agreements on emerging ethical issues. It also serves as a clearing house for the dissemination and sharing of information and knowledge while helping Member States to build their human and institutional capacities in diverse fields. In short, UNESCO promotes international co-operation among its 191 Member States and six Associate Members in the fields of education, science, culture and communication.

Does this organization have any religious affiliations?

The organization does not have any religion affiliation.

When They Were Founded

The constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization was adopted by the London Conference of November 1945 and entered into force on November 4, 1946, when 20 States had deposited their instruments of acceptance.

Currently there are 191 Member States of UNESCO including Ecuador and 6 Associate Members. The head office in Ecuador is in Quito.

Who They Work With

UNESCO serves poorer communities in Ecuador, encouraging development. UNESCO is striving to deliver greater resources and opportunities to these communities, depending on the country's economic status.

How Are They Funded

UNESCO works with the Ecuadorian government to develop programs in Quito. It has a wide range of partners to make education systems more effective through policy change.

Placement Location Information

Quito, Ecuador

UNESCO -- the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization was founded on November 16th 1945.

Santiago de Quito, most popularly known as Quito, is the capital city of Ecuador. Located at an elevation of 2,850 metres above sea level in the Andes Mountain Range; it is home to approximately 1.5 million people. Quito is the second most populous city in Ecuador after Guayaquil and it serves as a major hub for all types of travel in Ecuador. Quito is located on the eastern slope of an active volcano and many different volcanoes and mountains around the valley can be seen from the city on clear days. Due to the nature of the landscape surrounding the city, Quito has taken on a long narrow shape and is approximately 40km long and 5km wide.

Quito was founded in 1534 and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its beautiful historical architecture. The colonial centre of Quito is very well preserved and a large restoration project was recently completed. The narrow streets in this part of town are extremely vibrant and offer something for every sense. Once outside of the historical centre of the city, Quito takes on a completely different personality in the “new town” where many high rises and government buildings are found. Quito is located very close to the equator and just outside of the city limits there is a monument and museum which mark the equator's location.

Though Quito is old and historic, the public transportation is fairly efficient and the city is served by a network of buses that travel throughout most of the areas and it is a cheap way of getting around. Since the city is very long and narrow, it is divided into three zones and many buses run in each zone of the city.

Pichincha, the volcano located west of Quito, is still active with its last eruption occurring in 2006 when a blanket of ash was deposited on the city. Pichincha has many different summits with its highest one rising to 4,784 metres above sea level. Both peaks are visible from Quito and can be climbed by adventure seekers.

Transfer From BaseCamp

UNESCO is located just beside the tourist district in Quito, so it is an easy transfer for volunteers. From BaseCamp House, walk down Gaspar de Villaroel to Ecovia Via Station; its located two block away. Get the bus to the South of Quito and get off at Baca Ortiz Station near La Mariscal. Walk 2 blocks south to Juan Leon Mera and look for the building which has a UNESCO sign in clear view.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 5 KM
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 0:15

Weather in the Area

Because Ecuador is located on the Equator line, Quito's weather is very unique. Due to the Equator, Ecuador has no seasons; there is summer and winter. The year has six months winter and six months summer but the number of months for each changes from time to time.

Because Quito is so high up in the mountains, the sun is very strong and the wind blows really hard; it can get pretty cold at night. Quito always has a temperate climate with temperatures ranging from 10 to 27 ° C.

City/Village Description

Quito or also called "Luz de America", is the capital of Ecuador; a country located in South America, on the Equator line. Quito is considered one of the most beautiful cities in South America because of its amazing colonial architecture, historical sites, fantastic landscapes and panoramic views all surrounded by incredible mountains, rivers, parks and volcanoes.

Quito was founded in the 16th century by the Incas Tribe and is located at an altitude of 2,850 meters above sea level.

Centro de Quito, (colonial city) is the largest and best conserved colonial city in South America; this is why the UNESCO named it a "World Cultural Heritage Site" in 1978. The city's structure on the 320 hectare compound is an outstanding example of superb architecture from the sixteenth to the twentieth century; surrounded by volcanic stone with very narrow streets within, (built stone by stone), there is much to see.

The historic centre of Quito has ancient colonial homes, priceless churches, chapels, monasteries, convents, as well as plazas, museums and republican buildings with interesting architecture.

Once outside of the historical centre of the city, Quito takes on a completely different personality in the “new town” where many high rise and government buildings are found.

Though Quito is old and historic, the public transportation is fairly efficient and the city is served by a network of buses that travel throughout most of the areas; it is a cheap way of getting around. Since the city is very long and narrow, it is divided into three zones and many buses run in each zone of the city.

Currently, the heart of the capital is full of vigour and culture, such as "Heritage Nights" where citizens and visitors can enjoy the unique attractions in the, "jewel in the crown of Ecuador", through images and videos.

Nearest Medical Clinic

Clìnica Pichincha
Paez N22-160 y Veintimilla
TEL 1: 593 2 2998-777

Placement Address

Juan León Mera 130 Y Patria Edificio Corporación F

Accommodation and Meals

All of our volunteers begin their stay in Ecuador at our BaseCamp Center in Quito. Given that this placement is less than a 1 hour and 15 minute commute from BaseCamp, volunteers working here will have the option of living with us at BaseCamp or living with a host family.

The following information outlines a brief description of life at BaseCamp and also what someone can expect living with a host family in Ecuador. Once you have completed our application, you can let our staff know if you would prefer to live with a host family. Otherwise, your application will default to having you live with us at BaseCamp.

If you have any questions about the difference between life at BaseCamp or life with a host family in Ecuador you can always give us a call or send us an email. Our contact details are listed in the footer of every page of the site.

BaseCamp Ecuador

BaseCamp Ecuador
BaseCamp Ecuador Address

Juan Rodriguez E8 - 72 Y
6 De Diciembre
Quito, Ecuador

BaseCamp Ecuador Contact Details

Tel: 593 2-254-7737 (Guest House Jazmines)
Mobile: 593-0-998-221-438

BaseCamp Ecuador is located in the trendy Mariscal district of Quito. Within easy walking distance of banks, restaurants, internet cafes and more; BaseCamp in Quito is perfectly situated for any need. Whether you are taking advantage of the rich and vibrant night life of La Mariscal or visiting a local market, BaseCamp Ecuador is always just a few minutes away.

There are six dormitory style guest rooms and five wash-rooms. Pillows, sheets and blankets are provided. There are two common areas on the main floor, including a small resource centre, containing books, magazines, games and other Ecuadorian publications. As well there is a large selection of local movies and documentaries which are available for guest viewing. In addition to the two common areas, BaseCamp Quito has a rooftop terrace, the perfect spot to watch the street come awake with a morning cup of coffee, or spend an afternoon relaxing in the sun.

BaseCamp Quito is also the orientation and training centre for international volunteers visiting Ecuador. In addition to accommodation and meals, BaseCamp Quito also provides volunteers with orientation, Spanish Language training (1 - 8 weeks), placement consultation and work plan seminars, as well as follow up and continued support while volunteers are at their placements. All of these services are available to guests who are interested.

Living With a Host Family in Ecuador

Living with a host family in Ecuador is a fantastic way to gain a deep understanding of and appreciation for the people and customs of the country. Each home-stay will provide a bed and three meals per day for our volunteers. The majority of host families offer private rooms with only one or two volunteers living with the family.

In the case of a volunteer lodge or ranger station (which is often the only option for placements within a National Park), volunteers will be living in dormitory type accommodation and meals will be provided in a mess hall or dining area.

Living with a host family can greatly enhance your performance at your placement. For one, it will have a huge influence on the speed with which you gain familiarity with the local language. This, along with your deeper understanding of cultural practices and beliefs that you are likely to gain in this environment, can go a long way to improving or strengthening your relationships with your team mates at work. Furthermore, a significant percentage of our host families are closely affiliated with the organizations with which our volunteers work. As such, even the evening meal or hanging out around the house can become valuable time during which volunteers can share their ideas and continue their support of their host organization.

All of this being said, living with a host family is not for everyone. It is very important for volunteers to honor the house rules in their host family and to be punctual. Also, depending on how remote your placement location, host families can be very rustic. Our staff in country can give you a better idea of what exactly you can expect from a host family in any particular community. However, in general, if these things sound like they might pose a challenge for you, we strongly suggest that you look at a placement within commuting distance from BaseCamp Ecuador.

How the Program Works

Our program structure and costing is completely flexible which lets our volunteers ensure that they only pay for exactly the degree of support that they want.

Option 1 - Free Services

Some volunteers prefer to coordinate their own accommodation, meals and other support while overseas.

Anyone is welcome to use our volunteer placement search tool to help in finding a placement that is well suited to their interests. Once someone finds a placement that they wish to work with, they are welcome to make all the rest of their arrangmeents on their own.

As well, our team of staff overseas are often able to offer a few helpful pointers for volunteers 'doing it on their own'. Just send us an email with your questions and we will put you in touch with our team abroad. We only ask that you keep your requests fairly general, as this type of advice is exactly how our team earn their living. :)

Option 2 - Placement Support - 250 USD

Other volunteers would like assistance in selecting and confirming their placement, but they plan to manage their own accommodation and other expenses on their own.

These volunteers have the option of choosing to only have our assistance with selecting and confirming their placement. This option also includes ongoing placement support while abroad, so a volunteer would be able to ask our team for help if things at their placement were not working out.

In providing Placement Support, our team works with each volunteer through email, telephone and either Skype or Google Hangouts, to ensure that each volunteer has a clear understanding of their placement options. Our in-country staff will put together a custom list of placement options for each volunteer that they believe are the most appropriate matches with the volunteer's background, skills and interests. Then each volunteer can work with our team both in Canada and abroad to go through each of the options and narrow-down their selection.

Option 3 - Full Program Support

For most volunteers who are volunteering for less than a year, they are looking for an option that includes their accommodation, meals, airport reception, country and program orientation and placement support. This is what our Program Fees are designed for.

We are proud of how over the years we have ensured that our program fees are amoungst the most reasonable of any program in the world while we continue to provide exceptional volunteer support both at home and abroad.

Our Program Fees and listings of what these do and do not include are listed below:

Program Fees

Program Fees - Ecuador

  Registration Fee
  1 Week
  2 Weeks
  3 Weeks
  4 Weeks
  5 Weeks
  6 Weeks
  7 Weeks
  8 Weeks
  Additional Weeks

Ecuador wildlife and conservation placements require an additional $7 USD per day fee to cover park fees and accommodation. All program fees are listed in US Dollars.

What is Included
  • Pre-Departure support
  • Placement consulation
  • Airport reception & transfer
  • 2 Day orientation
  • Accommodation (BaseCamp or host family)
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Emergency & placement support

What is Not Included
    Before Departure
  • International flight
  • Travel medical insurance
  • Visa costs where required
  • Work permits where required
    While Overseas
  • Daily transportation to and from placement
  • Transport to airport on departure
  • Placement fees if requried

Program Dates

Our regularly scheduled program start dates are the first Friday of each month, every month of the year. We strongly recommend beginning your program on one of these dates as this will allow you to go through our orientation alongside other international volunteers.

If you would prefer, our application will also allow you to select a custom start date for your program. Keep in mind that there is an additional fee for a custom start date which ranges from 50 to 75 USD.

Nov 05, 2021 Dec 03, 2021 Jan 07, 2022
Feb 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022 Apr 01, 2022
May 06, 2022 Jun 03, 2022 Jul 01, 2022
Aug 05, 2022 Sep 02, 2022 Oct 07, 2022
Nov 04, 2022 Dec 02, 2022 Jan 06, 2023
Feb 03, 2023 Mar 03, 2023 Apr 07, 2023
May 05, 2023 Jun 02, 2023 Jul 07, 2023
Aug 04, 2023 Sep 01, 2023 Oct 06, 2023


These dates are the day that volunteers should plan to arrive on the ground in country. We can accommodate arrivals in-country at any time day or night on these dates.

Give us a Call
Canada / USA 866-646-4693 (toll free)
UK 866-646-4693 (toll free)
Australia 866-646-4693 (toll free)
International 613-353-3000
Send us a Message