Special Needs Assistant Volunteer

Fundacion Integrar - Quito, Ecuador
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-40 Location: Quito, Ecuador Sector: Social Services Category: Personal Support Work Min Duration: 4 weeks Lodging: BaseCamp or Host Family Language: Basic
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Volunteer Job Description

Fundacion Integrar in Quito is a Rehabilitation Center and Therapeutic Center for the management of children and youth with special needs. A special needs assistant volunteer would be expected to work with children from 4 years old up to adulthood.

When volunteers first arrive at this placement they work alongside other volunteers who have been at the center for a period of time and know the scope of what is expected of them. This way any new volunteers will be fully prepared to participate in the activities expected of them when required. Step by step, volunteers will focus on making bonds with the students and learning what activities are beneficial and how to go about doing the activities with either the younger children or teens.

When the new volunteers become adapted and have some experience, they will be given the chance to work more closely with the students and will be a great help to the therapist, with whom they will be working.

If you have other interests like art, music or sports you can also work in these areas. The Centre has activities such as football games, swimming and basketball games.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Supervision of Children

One of the most important tasks in this job as a special needs assistant volunteer is to always keep the children in a safe environment and make sure they are participating in safe games and activities according to their level of capability. In other words be on guard at all times for their safety and well being.

Prepare Classes With Teachers

One of the duties of a special needs assistant volunteer would be to get together with the teacher(s) and plan the next day's activities; be it classwork, homework assignments, types of fun projects or games. Be sure you prepare your part in the day's schedule ahead of time. Remember the more actively you get involved in the greater the rewards for all concerned.

Interact With the Children

To interact with the children is one of the main aims of a special needs assistant volunteer. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to organize fun games and other activities, (singing, dancing), for their free time. Remember to keep a close watch that all can participate in whatever you have chosen for them to do and that the activity encourages friendly group participation.

Team Participation

In order for all to get the most benefit from your volunteer contribution you need to interact with other volunteers and teachers at the center; to brain-storm different approaches regarding the care and treatment of these special need children.

Host Organization Details

Fundacion Integrar

Fundacion Integrar is an non-governmental educational center in Quito for children with special needs. Their mission is to “...provide comprehensive, quality and appropriate teaching values to children and youth with special needs in different areas of development, involving their families as part of the process”. The services offered by Fundacion Integrar are not often addressed by the government social services funding.

The vision of Fundacion Integrar is to become “...a great Rehabilitation Center and Therapeutic Center for the management of children and youth with special needs”. In reaching this goal the staff at the foundation embrace an atmosphere that is warm and nurturing. The foundation has therapists and teachers that work half days with the children who receive care in the areas of: motor skill coordination and therapy, physical therapy, early intervention, language skills, hydrotherapy and horseback riding therapy, as well as, mealtime coordination and assistance.

In 2004 a special group for teenagers was started where they receive lessons in art and wood working, and a workshop was developed to help them adapt themselves to their own community and to society as a whole. Another club at the foundation is,"The Sponsors and Friends Club".

Integrate Foundation is an entity that seeks inclusion and well being of children and young people with cognitive developmental difficulties, (autism, intellectual disabilities and attention deficit). To achieve the goals of the foundation, individualized plans are implemented according to the needs of each person and their environment. They strive hard to promote human and scientific development of their staff, as well as, the empowerment of families.

The Integrate Foundation believes in the,"Teaching Friendly", as well as, the,"Evidence-Based", approach to ensure the efficiency and quality of services that they desire.

When They Were Founded

This organization was founded in April 1997 under the Ministerial Agreement 0395 (Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion).

The Institute of Analysis and Behavior Modification (INAMOC) from its beginning, promoted the coordinated work between parents and professionals and encouraged the parents to form, The Association of Child Psychology, to manage resources that could improve the situation of their children and help to expand coverage to other families. This partnership work led to the Integrate Foundation in 1989. Since then, the work has focused on parent training and application of therapeutic and teaching methods that facilitate the growth of their users.

Who They Work With

Fundación Integrar provides services to children ages eight months to ninteen years old. These children live with a varirty of disabilities including down syndrome and the autism spectrum disorder. The parents pay what they can pay, depending on their economical situation for the services offer at the foundation.

How Are They Funded

The foundation receives little help from the government, who only provide funding to feed the children.

They also receive $2000 a year, (about $150 a month), from private donors. The foundation makes Christmas Cards to sell, cookies that are sold in several shops in Quito, as well as, they host an annual fundraiser to help maintain their services.

Donation Requests

Donations of different supplies are much appreciated including: school supplies of all kinds, wooden toys, construction materials, computer programs for learning how to read, lava lamps (for the movement, or other things that flow).

Placement Location Information

Quito, Ecuador

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 40 km long and 5 km 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 rise 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

Walk down to 6 de Diciembre Street and take the Ecovia bus, at the Sauce Station to the south, until you get to Naciones Unidas Station where you get off and walk west to CCI Mall. At the Redondel Station, get on the Aguila Dorada bus "Condado Congreso " and get off at Maestro y Cocha Street. Walk 2 blocks and you will find Fundacion Integrar.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 3 km
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 0:25

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

Fundacion Integrar
Av. Del Maestro 1030 Y Diego Cocha (Ruminahui)

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


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

  • 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.

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 Nov 03, 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