Carol from the Netherlands Volunteer Experience
I worked 3 months for Ecuador Eco Volunteer, in 3 different projects. The first project was in the jungle near Puyo, volunteering at an animal rescue center. The people there know only some words in English so it was direct a good practice for my Spanish. I was picked up by the owner at the bus station in Puyo. The refuge is in de middle of nowhere so we needed to do shopping’s for a whole week first.
The centre had several animals; parrots, caimans, peccaries, turtles and a paca. And there are also some half wild animals like a tapir and several species of monkeys. 2 Weeks my work was helping with cooking and cleaning because there where big groups of students there. And 2 weeks we worked on a new stair to the turtles. And some days we went looking for the tapir, to see if it was still ok. These were some very nice jungle trips! I also liked the cooking because I learned some typical Ecuadorian meals.
The next month I worked in an orchid garden, also in Puyo. I stayed in the house of the family. The family was very nice. The owner is a special man, with a great love for nature. He created a little forest near the city with beautiful orchids and many plants and trees that are used by the people in the jungle. I learned a lot about orchid pollination and the eatable, medicinal and other useful plants. I gave tours to ingles speaking tourist, planted a lot of seeds, replanted trees, put new sawdust on the walking paths and I made a start for posters for the new museum.
My last month I got to Volunteered in Mindo, a beautiful, small and save town in the middle of a lot of nature. Here I also worked in an orchid garden. I helped with the orchids, labeling them, cleaning them and I cleaned the paths and helped when there were tourists. Also I helped with working at the canopy lines. The family was really friendly and again I learned a lot more about orchids, but also about birds, because the owner is also a great bird guide and in the garden are many hummingbirds!
Wlady and the Ecuador Eco Volunteer organization arranged everything ecuador-volunteer-package-5very well. He always helped me how to get to the places, and made sure I was picked up. Although I used many weekend to discover more of Ecuador I was always welcome in his house! I was even welcome to celebrate new-year with him and his family!
All this moths I learned a lot and had a great time!