Secondary School Teaching Volunteer

Organizacion Ayuda Directa - Quito, Ecuador
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-628 Location: Quito, Ecuador Sector: Education Category: Classroom Teaching Min Duration: 2 weeks Lodging: Host Family / Lodge Language: Intermediate
Download the Complete Profile Apply for this Placement

Volunteer Job Description

Ayuda Directa, (Direct Help) Organization's main support in Ecuador is in education and health; aiming to improve the basic quality of life for the underprivileged and actively involving the local people and the local institutions.

As a volunteer you would be helping some of the children in Ecuador learn English. At the same time you would be sharing in their culture and experiencing the magic and beauty of this internationally coveted destination.

Most of the children have no opportunity to learn a different language; this is only available in private schools in Ecuador. As a volunteer English teacher who's native language is English you would be giving these kids not only the chance to learn the language but also the correct pronunciation of the words.

If the volunteer English teacher plans his/her English lessons carefully so that essential words for communication in English are taught, it may have a direct influence on the kids ability to obtain English related jobs in future years.

Volunteers would work in one of the eight schools of the organization and would have the choice of teaching at a primary or secondary school. English classes would be taught Monday to Friday and there would be at least 15 children per class.

Volunteers do not need to have a teacher's education or experience but they do need energy, enthusiasm and creativity to succeed at this placement.

Volunteer Tasks Required


A volunteer English teacher would be responsible to give homework assignments to the children when and if appropriate. The volunteer would correct the homework and provide further lessons on previous classes taught if the homework indicated the need. The volunteer may also be required to give English language tests so that the children may be graded on their English knowledge and skills.

Teach English

A volunteer English teacher would be responsible to develop and implement English language classes geared to the age of the children in each class. The volunteer is expected to have prepared his/her lessons well before each class and endeavoured to make the sessions successful and fun for all. The more effort the greater the results!

Organize Classes

As a volunteer English teacher you would be expected to organize the classroom and learning resources and create displays that encourage a positive and enjoyable learning environment, as well as take the responsibility for the progress of the students in the classes you teach.

Fun Activities

A volunteer English teacher besides teaching English may be asked to participate in recreational games and activities with the students, thus making school attendance more enjoyable. The children would appreciate any new games or activities that a volunteer could bring to their school.

Host Organization Details

Organizacion Ayuda Directa

The words "Ayuda Directa", are Spanish for," Direct Help", this is a phrase that has been and continues to be one of the guiding principles of the organization. Their activities started in earnest in May 2001 and since then they have continued to grow and to reach out to various sectors of Ecuadorian society, the poor, the marginalized and the discriminated against. Ayuda Directa Organization's main areas of assistance are in the fields of education and health with the overriding aim to improve the basic quality of life for the underprivileged who live in Ecuador. All of their projects are undertaken in a collaborative spirit; actively involving local people and institutions. They make every effort to utilize local resources and institutions in order to accomplish the goals of every project. Respect for local cultures and traditions is observed and always taken into account in the design and implementation of each and every one of the projects.

Another guiding criteria of the organization is to offer assistance to those in need in a manner that is both effective and educative, respecting the dignity of the individual on one hand, while on the other avoiding the perception of being a simple and ready source of aid. They try to offer assistance in a just and equitable manner where the recipient understands that it is not a gift but something earned or to be earned.

When They Were Founded

Ayuda Directa, is a non-profit organization that was founded in Ecuador in 2001 by Peter Hunke and a group of his friends all of whom wished to help those in need in Ecuador by developing and implementing projects that would be undertaken in a collaborative spirit that actively involved local people and institutions.

In 2004, Ayuda Directa, was established not only in Ecuador, but also in Italy and Germany and in 2005 Ayuda Directa, was established in the U.S.A.

How Are They Funded

The Ayuda Directa Organization is established in Ecuador, Italy, Germany and the U.S.A. However, most of the funds that support the Ecuadorian projects come from Italy and Germany.

Placement Location Information

Quito, Ecuador

Otavalo is a town in Ecuador. It has about 90.000 inhabitants and is the capital of the canton of the same name. Otavalo is world-famous for its indigenous population, the so-called Otavalos; many of which travel around the world to sell their famous handicrafts or play in Andean Folk Music groups.

The Otavalos are considered the economically most successful indigenous group in Latin America and many of the grandest houses and largest pick-up trucks in Otavalo are owned by Otavalos.

However, a great percentage of the Otavalos, especially in the surrounding villages, live in poverty and are victims of racial discrimination. Otavalos are easily recognized by their traditional dress: white pants and a dark poncho for men; a dark skirt and a white blouse with colourful embroidery and colourful waist-bands for women. Both sexes wear their hair long (the men usually plaited).

Transfer From BaseCamp

Otavalo is approximately 2 hours north of Quito on the Pan-American Highway. Buses to Otavalo leave from the "Terminal Carcelen" in the North of Quito and disembark at a small bus terminal in Otavalo along Calle Atahualpa & Jacinto Collahuazo. The bus ride costs usually 2 USD's. The best way to get to the terminal is to take a taxi. The cost will be around 3 to 5 dollars.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 95 km
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 2:30

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

Organizacion Ayuda Directa

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

Program Dates


The following is a list of all months during which this placement is not available.

  • June
  • July
  • August

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.

Aug 07, 2020 Sep 04, 2020 Oct 02, 2020
Nov 06, 2020 Dec 04, 2020 Jan 01, 2021
Feb 05, 2021 Mar 05, 2021 Apr 02, 2021
May 07, 2021 Jun 04, 2021 Jul 02, 2021
Aug 06, 2021 Sep 03, 2021 Oct 01, 2021
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


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