I'm travelling to Ecuador next January and hope to spend 6 months travelling around South America. I plan to spend 2/3 months in Ecuador doing some volunteering in conservation are community. I am aware there are gap year companies that do this but it is so expensive. Could someone please advise me of any cheap volunteering companies that are known to be good.
Also I plan to travel from Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and finish in Buenos Aires over 3/4 months. I was wondering whether my time frame allows this and if it is easy to get hostel accomodation
Hey Orliol, the following website is super helpful but I would also suggest you search the forum b/c there are past posts on this subject.
From personal experience, I'd highly recommend considering volunteering on an organic farm through Willing Workers on Organic Farms http://www.wwoof.org. I spent a month with a family who were dedicated to cultivating from seed native fruit, nut, medicinal and ornamental trees to help reforest the jungle. Since trees grow rather slowly, we also worked on their organic foodstuffs (rice, corn, beans, yucca, etc.)
I had an incredible experience (mind you, this is one farm of many possibilities) but it's worth a look since the WWOOF concept is to trade time for room & board. The generally accepted practics is 6 hours of work/day for 6 days, leaving a day off to play. Each farm is different, however.
WWOOF is a membership organization (cheap fee) and once you join, you get the list of farms. If you have any specific questions about my personal experience, I'd be happy to answer.
Otherwise, check out my travel site http://www.mytripjournal.com/joshua_feyen Aug. 10 - Sept. 5.
I volunteered with Volunteering Ecuador (www.volumteeringecuador.org) I deffinitely recommend it, it was much cheaper than any other program mainly because the organization is so small and locally based. You stay with a host family (all friends of the director) and then you can pretty much choose what type of volunteer work you do. If you are looking for volunteer work that doesn´t cost a fortune and also with an organization that will give you alot of control over what types of projects you work on, also there is alot of time to do some travelling around the country, I would try this organization.