Youth Outreach Volunteer

The Salesian Children's Project - Ambato, Ecuador
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-23 Location: Ambato, Ecuador Sector: Social Services Category: Child and Youth Work Min Duration: 4 weeks Lodging: Host Family / Lodge Language: Basic
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Volunteer Job Description

The Salesian Children's Organization collaborates with secular groups to provide educational and social services to street kids. The main goal of this organization and its volunteers is to rehabilitate street children and then integrate these children back into society.

Youth outreach volunteers will come into contact with many vulnerable neglected children and teenagers that have lived very difficult and unstable lives on the streets. At a very young age street children have often already dealt with struggles and life experiences that we cannot imagine. As a volunteer with this program you will be able to help influence and positively change children's' lives and their future expectations.

Youth outreach volunteers would be expected to go with staff into the streets of Quito each day to seek out street kids to assess their current situations and determine if immediate action is required for the child's safety. These excursions are aimed at engaging the children in some fun and/or sport activities. Thus striving to develop a trusting relationship with the kids in anticipation of a future connection with them where subjects may be approached to help improve their current status.

Youth outreach volunteers may also be asked to work in conjunction with the organizations staff to visit different Salesian Children's Project sites in Quito, to offer assistance in whatever way deemed necessary at the time.

To be a youth outreach volunteer at this placement, the volunteer needs no specialized training but must be a mature, emotionally stable and caring individual who has a positive attitude in developing ways and means to help street kids.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Teach English

A youth outreach volunteer would be expected to help street kids learn the English language by creating fun games and activities that require some knowledge of the English language to keep participating in the game or activity.

Recreational Activities

A youth outreach volunteer would be expected to implement fun activities every day where street kids can mix with their peers and develop positive friendships and through time trusting relationships with caring adults who can assist them out of their current stressful situations.

Salesian Children's Projects

A youth outreach volunteer may be asked to visit different Salesian Children's Project sites in Quito and offer assistance in whatever way deemed necessary at the time.


Another task that a volunteer may be asked to preform is to help street kids learn the history of their country and perhaps instill in them a pride of their native land and a desire to develop the skills necessary to aid in future development. For this task a volunteer would have to learn basic knowledge of Ecuadorian history.

Host Organization Details

The Salesian Children's Project

The Salesian Children’s Project “Children of the Street”, is a foundation with projects throughout Ecuador, dedicated to reintegrating children, who live and work on the streets, back into society through educational programs and social services.

This organization works with children and teenagers who are working and/or living on the streets. Their GOAL is to provide educational alternatives and necessary social services to these vulnerable, often abused, children who have experienced too much in their young lives. The Salesian Children’s Project runs several different Centers in Quito, as well as projects in Ambato, Santo Domingo, and Esmeraldas.

The Salesian Children's Project has been working with street children in Quito, for more than 30 years. Focusing their efforts on reuniting children with their families and preventing them from living in the streets. The ideology behind the project is that if children are actively supported and engaged, they can become empowered agents of change; who can then help to improve the quality of life in Ecuador.

Education focuses on substance abuse, sex education and STD prevention, basic first-aid, and other topics identified by the needs of the children at the time. Through the engagement of the children and outreach workers in the planning process, more sustainable and comprehensive projects relating to their immediate needs are developed and can be beneficial for many years to come.

Volunteers will work in conjunction with the orientation department, visiting different Salesian Children's Project sites in Quito, to aid in the delivery of the medical and social services offered by this organization. Volunteers will come into contact with many vulnerable neglected children and teenagers that have lived very difficult and unstable lives on the streets. As a volunteer with this program you will be able to help influence and positively change children's' lives and their future expectations.

When They Were Founded

The Salesian Children's Project has been working with street children in Quito, for more than 30 years. Focusing their efforts on reuniting children with their families and preventing them from living in the streets.

In 2003 the Salesian Children's Organization was provided with space for planning and organizing events for Salesian Projects.

The organization is led by a Salesian Priest of the Catholic Religion. However, their main goal is not of a religious nature but rather to offer necessary social services and education to children who are in desperate situations.

Who They Work With

This foundation works with children and teenagers who are working and/or living on the streets.

Their goal is to provide education about alternatives and necessary social services to these vulnerable, often abused children who have experienced too much at their young ages. The Salesian Children's project runs several different centers in Quito, as well as projects in Ambato, Santo Domingo, and Esmeraldas.

How Are They Funded

The Salesian Children's Organization receives funding from private donors and sponsors. It is defined as a non-profit national entity that collaborates with secular groups to provide educational and social services to street kids.

Donation Requests

Volunteers are encouraged to bring toys, coloring books (in Spanish), pencils and any other school supplies to the center. Also soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, towels and other hygienic or household items.

Placement Location Information

Ambato, Ecuador

Don Bosco Farm is an eight hectare location on the side of the road connecting Ambato and Quito, two kilometers from the Tungurahua capital.

A large sign on the two gates exhibits the following legend: Farm Don Bosco Salesian Boys Project Street. There are ten greenhouses on the land planted with cabbage, parsley, cilantro, watercress, blackberries, peppers, lettuce,carrots, chard, white and red onions, broccoli and much more.

A dirt path 600 meters long leads from the entrance to the center of the farm. Here there is an educational center featuring tutoring hall, computer center and library. There is housing for both the children and the staff and volunteers, as well as administrative offices and a chapel. The farm offers a number of areas for children to play games like soccer, basketball and volleyball.

Transfer From BaseCamp

Buses go directly from Quito to Ambato all day - the drive taking around three hours. Someone from the Foundation will meet you at the bus station in Ambato to take you to your placement. So you will need to take a taxi from the BaseCamp House to the Quitumbre station, where you will buy a ticket to Ambato, the price is around 12 dollars.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 150km
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 3:0

Weather in the Area

Despite being located very high in the Andes, Ambato enjoys mainly a warm and sunny climate. Similar to that of Quito or Cuenca, Ambato is normally warm and dry for the months of October through February. The average temperature during most of the year stays between 13 - 15 degrees Celsius, with November and December providing some of the warmest temperatures.

Though rain showers can fall at any time of the year, the period of March through May is typically considered the rainy season. Showers usually last only an hour or two. At night, Ambato can get quite chilly, though Ambateños swear that neighbouring Riobamba possesses a much colder climate.

City/Village Description

Ambato lies in the main valley of the Central Cordillera; the highest of the Andean mountain ranges. The city itself is carved into the side of Cerro Casigana, the mountain that dominates the north end of the city. From Ambato, it is possible to see many snow-capped volcanoes including Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Carihuairazo and the largest mountain in Ecuador, Chimborazo. Tungurahua lies about 40 kilometres to the south-east. The threat of eruption from the volcano is constant. On May 16th, 2006, Tungurahua erupted, covering the city with a thick layer of ash.

The Ambato River cuts through the north end of the city. It is not a very wide or deep river, but can cause significant flooding during periods of heavy rainfall. Throughout the years, the river has cut a deep basin into the land, creating the need for better bridges. In October 2008, the City of Ambato finished the long-awaited Juan Leon Mera bridge, connecting down town Ambato to the communities of Ficoa and Atocha.

It has variously nicknames "City of Flowers and Fruit" is one such name. Today, the "Festival of Fruits and Flowers" is one of the most important celebrations in Ecuador and is held in Ambato each year at Carnival time, which is in February.

The city's main financial product is fruit; the city is also considered the main transportation centre in the region, especially for travellers going south on the Pan-American Highway.

Nearest Medical Clinic

Hospital Regional Docente Ambato en Ambato
Av Pasteur y Unidad Nacional
TEL 1: (593) (3) 2821058

Placement Address

The Salesian Children's Project
Ambato - Tungurahua

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

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.

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 Feb 02, 2024 Mar 01, 2024
Apr 05, 2024 May 03, 2024 Jun 07, 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