Park and Reserve Assistant Volunteer

Alianza Jatun Sacha - Tandapi, Ecuador
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-109 Location: Tandapi, Ecuador Sector: Wildlife and the Environment Category: Conservation Min Duration: 2 weeks Lodging: Host Family / Lodge Language: Basic Placement Fee: 40 USD
Download the Complete Profile Apply for this Placement

Volunteer Job Description

Volunteering at La Hesperia is a unique opportunity to support vital conservation work in this beautiful clouded forest in Ecuador.

Volunteers are always welcomed by this organization as they do not receive government funding and can not afford to employee all the staff required to meet all the needs necessary to preserve this Amazon forest.

An environmental clean-up volunteer may be asked to assist staff in: reforestation projects, trail maintenance, repairs to infrastructures and/or care of the animals in captivity.

If environmental clean-up volunteers wished to also donate some of their time to teach English at the small elementary school in the La Hesperia community of around 50 families they would be welcome.

Every Wednesday afternoon volunteers play soccer with the staff; this has been a long-standing tradition at the reserve. Every other Friday, (if there is no hiking excursions arranged) volunteers have the day off to do as they please.

Volunteers at this placement do not need any educational background in environmental issues but must have the stamina to do manual labour in the hot Ecuadorian climate and enjoy doing so. They must also understand that they will be living and working in a remote area where some of the usual amenities are not available.

Volunteer Tasks Required


The primary concern of staff at the Hesperia Reserve and Station is reforestation to restore the native forest and its habitats. Environmental clean-up volunteers would assist staff in the collection of seeds, planting of trees and in helping to create new reforestation sites on the Hesperia grounds.

Animal Care

At the Hesperia they have their own animals that provide food for volunteers and other staff members. Environmental clean-up volunteers would be involved in all aspects of care for these animals.

Trail Maintenance

At the Hesperia there are existing trails that have become overgrown and require clearing and restoring. Environmental clean-up volunteers may be asked to assist in some of these work projects and/or help to repair or construct signs and arrows used on the trails.


Environmental clean-up volunteers may be involved in the repairs and/or construction of eco- buildings around the Hesperia grounds; using natural materials and making sure everything is eco-friendly. Recycled materials are also used at the construction sites.

Host Organization Details

Alianza Jatun Sacha

Alianza Jatun Sacha is a non-profit, private Ecuadorian NGO dedicated to the conservation of forest, aquatic, and mountain ecosystems through technical training and scientific research. This organization also has a strong focus on investigation, environmental education, community development and the management of ecologically important habitat.

The principal lines of action of the organization are: biological conservation and cultural diversity through private reserves, environmental education, the development of natural products and research that promotes the improvement of quality of life for the people that live in the zones of influence of the foundation's activities.

Jatun Sacha has an extensive program of courses on various topics: Conservation Biology, Tropical Ecology, Botany, Wildlife, Population Dynamics, Ethology, Natural Resource Management, Natural History and various aspects related to the conservation of biodiversity, for students of colleges and universities. Offering the opportunity to take courses in Conservation Biology, Ecology, Environmental Education, Eco-tourism and the implementation of Bachelor and Master's Thesis.

Jatun Sacha Biological Station was created by the need to maintain a centre of conservation, research, and education to host scientists and students interested in tropical forests.

When They Were Founded

The Jatun Sacha Foundation is an Ecuadorian non governmental non profit, private organization. It was legally established in 1989 by Ministerial Agreement No. 270 from the Ministry of Agriculture, published in the Official Record No. 238 on July 21st 1989. Jatun Sacha Biological station was created by the need to maintain a centre of conservation, research, and education to host scientists and students interested in tropical forests.

Who They Work With

Although the foundation's main goal is to continue protecting and learning more about biological diversity and conservation projects, they in turn serve rural communities, and support Indigenous groups in the region.

How Are They Funded

The Alianza Jatun Sacha Organization, receives funding from USAID, Conservation International, IUCN Netherlands, The British Embassy, The Canadian Fund for Ecuador, as well as, some private funding.

Donation Requests

This foundation would appreciate donations of: first aid kits and supplies, allergy kits, school supplies, and basic lab equipment for biological field research.

Placement Location Information

Tandapi, Ecuador

La Hesperia: Biological Station and Reserve is 814 hectares, located in the western mountain range of the Andes. The reserve is part of two important bio-regions: the Tropical Andes and the Chocò-Darièn of western Ecuador. In these regions there are three types of forests: pre-mountain evergreen forest, low mountain forest and tropical mountain cloud forest.

The reserve is located in the center of the Rio Toachi-Chiriboga IBA (Important Bird Area, declared by Bird Life International and Conservation International) and is considered within the top five biodiversity hotspots on earth.

The reserve is always in need of volunteers to help with conservation education and research.

Transfer From BaseCamp

From "Transportes Ecuador", a bus office located in the Turistic Zone, you will take the bus to Santo Domingo de los Colorados. However you will get off the bus one hour before reaching Santo Domingo in the small village of La Hesperia, 11km after the town of Tandapi. A BaseCamp representative will pick you up in La Hesperia and escort you to the placement.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 58 kms
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 3:0

Weather in the Area

It is a tropical rainy climate zone, the usual temperature is about 18-33°C in summer. Normally the winter is warmer than 23-34 degrees and sometimes reaches 38°C. Its average temperature is 25.5°C.

The nearest beach, Pedernales, is 120 km, 1 hour by the new way "La Concordia - Puerto Nuevo", an artery of 32 kilometres of two-lane highway.

City/Village Description

In 1958, soon after this area was settled, it was inhabited by people who came from all different parts of Ecuador. This area and its surrounding mountains are seeped in various indigenous cultures.

In 1955, Tandapi was covered by lush vegetation, full of banana trees, reeds and marshes.

Today it is still a necessary stop for both freight carriers and passengers going to the coast. The surrounding nature, gives this area exotic beauty and a healthy climate, making this a privilege for those who live here or come to visit.

In this town and the surrounding areas you will be able to find many ammodities suck as, shopping centres, hotels, restaurants and bars.

Nearest Medical Clinic

Metro Salud
Carrera 33 # 107B –15
Santo Domingo
TEL 1: 5292833

Placement Address

Alianza Jatun Sacha
Eugenio De Santillàn N34-248

Accommodation and Meals

All of our volunteers begin their stay in Ecuador at our BaseCamp Center in Quito. Given that this placement is more than a 1 hour 15 minute commute from BaseCamp, volunteers here will be living with a host family after your orientation. Living with a host family is an awesome experience for a person looking to really experience Ecuador and its culture.

The following information outlines a brief description of life at BaseCamp and also what someone can expect living with a host family in Ecuador.

If you think that living with a host family is not for you, then this placement might not be the best fit with what you are looking for. You should try completing our application. It's totally free and will allow our team in Ecuador to come up with a list of exactly which placements they would reccommend for you based on your personal preferences, background, skills and interests.

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

Placement Fee Alert

This placement has a placement fee!

In some cases, a placement will have to take on certain expenses in order to host a volunteer. For example, some medical internship placements take time away from paid medical staff to help with educational assistance. This has a cost that is compensated by a placement fee. In other cases, the organization may have to pay for additional equipment, energy consumption or other expense in order to put a volunteer to work.

In such cases, the organizaiton charges a fee. This fee is paid directly to the organization in cash on the ground.

One of the reasons that we keep this fee separate is so that volunteers who do not pay us for accommodation, meals etc (Program Fees), will see that they will still have to make this payment directly to the organizaiton upon their arrival.

The placement fee for this organization is: 40 USD

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.

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
Nov 03, 2023 Dec 01, 2023 Jan 05, 2024


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