Volunteer with the Ceiba Foundation

As a Ceiba Ecuador volunteer you will put your knowledge and skills to work for habitat conservation, reforestation, environmental education, and scientific research.

Why Volunteer for Ceiba?

Make a tangible contribution! Ceiba is dedicated to conservation of tropical ecosystems, and works with local people to protect natural resources and develop sustainable ways of living.  Volunteers make tangible and lasting contributions to our projects, and are long remembered by the communities where they work.

Gain valuable experience! Volunteering is a great way to get hands-on experience: whether it’s building trails, working with local communities, planting native trees, or surveying bird diversity!

Live in a foreign country! Our volunteers live and work in Ecuador, a vibrant South American country rich in culture, history, and biodiversity.

Learn Spanish! You will be immersed in local communities and work directly with local people in rural areas, where few people speak English but all are friendly and patient with volunteers as they improve their Spanish.


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Volunteer Site

You'll live and work in the Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve, one of the finest examples of coastal dry forest in Ecuador

Volunteer Site

Situated on Ecuador’s gorgeous Pacific coast, the Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve protects one of the largest remaining tracts of deciduous tropical forest in the coastal Manabí province of Ecuador.  Wake up to birdsong and the roar of howler monkeys in the bamboo volunteer house.  After a hard day’s work, helping on trails, reforestation, or surveying wildlife, enjoy the sunset from one of several nearby beaches, or hike up to the lookout to enjoy the view of the Pacific Ocean.

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Volunteer and Researcher Rates

Nationals Internationals
   Weekly rate 1-3 weeks $200 $315
   Monthly rate $600 $965

Tourist Rates

Nationals Internationals
   Daily Rate $30 $35

All overnight rates include three meals per day, Monday through Friday.

Volunteer Positions

Choose from wildlife monitoring, agroforestry, environmental education, community health, reforestation, and more

There are a number of different volunteer positions available at the Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve. These are seasonal positions and vary widely throughout the year. Before you arrive, you will work with the Education Coordinator to find projects that suit the needs of reserve as well as your skills and interests. Possible projects include:

  • Nature Center & Environmental Interpretation Volunteer
  • Native and Medicinal Plant Garden Volunteer
  • Reforestation Volunteer
  • Trail Construction Volunteer

Volunteer FAQ

Please read our Volunteer Guidelines & Policies as well as our Volunteer FAQ.

Code of Conduct

Volunteers are required to, at all times, conduct themselves in a professional manner while participating in Ceiba projects or working at Ceiba sites.  Participants are expected to complete the tasks assigned to them to the best of their abilities.  Volunteers are requested to cite Ceiba and any Ceiba project locations (e.g., reserves, etc.) in any publications relating to work conducted while working on Ceiba-approved projects.

Work Schedules

You will normally work 6-8 hours per day, 5 days per week, though not necessarily Monday through Friday.  Specific work schedules will depend on the position for which the volunteer is applying.

During your two days off each week, on-site staff can help you find many fun activities and interesting places to go near your volunteer site. Free time activities may include hikes to waterfalls, surfing, and checking out nearby towns and archaeological sites.  Food, lodging, and travel during days off are the responsibility of the volunteer.

Safety and Insurance

Ecuador is generally a safe country, but travel to and work in rural areas where medical facilities are limited carries certain inherent dangers. Volunteers are required to sign a waiver to release Ceiba from responsibility for any illness, accident, or injury incurred during their stay in Ecuador. It is strongly recommended that volunteers carry valid insurance to cover medical emergencies during travel abroad. We also suggest you bring a personal first aid kit. Many of our positions involve field work that will require you to be in good physical condition.  Volunteers should consult their local physician or travel health agency to obtain necessary or recommended vaccinations for travel and work abroad.

Termination and Cancellation Policy

Your volunteership ends automatically on the date specified on your application. If you’d like to stay longer, we are happy to extend your volunteership, but you will be asked to pay for additional days by the original ending date.  Ceiba reserves the right to dismiss any volunteer from a project site for any reason deemed sufficient by Ceiba staff.  Persons subject to dismissal will be notified in writing of the termination of their volunteership or the reasons for expulsion. Expulsion of participants may result from cases such as:  1) abuse of position as a Ceiba volunteer, 2) misuse of facilities, 3) improper professional or personal conduct, 4) misrepresentation of Ceiba and its goals, 5) violation of Ceiba policies such as reserve management guidelines and 6) unlawful conduct. To date, we have never had cause to dismiss a volunteer. We are confident in the qualifications and professionalism of all our volunteers and provide these guidelines so that volunteers are aware of our policy.

Should a volunteer decide to withdraw from the volunteer position prior to program completion, he or she is responsible for lodging and food costs through the end of the week in which the volunteer leaves the site (Sunday). This is because food is purchased in advance for the entire week. The amount refunded will be based upon the rate the volunteer paid for those days (which depends on the length of the stay).

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