Today Carolina from Finland starts her second week of volunteer work in the Animal Rescue Center. This is the second time she has volunteered inside Ecuador, the first was for a similar center focused on protecting endangered animals in a place called Ibarra in Northern Ecuador which she loved and had an amazing time.
Fortunately, unlike many other volunteers, Carolina wasn’t ripped off or scammed into paying thousands of dollars for volunteer work which normally costs a few hundred dollars at most. A travel agent in London originally offered her the price of $2,000 to volunteer for two weeks at the NGO but she was wise enough to wait until she got to Ecuador before organizing the volunteer work and to her surprise she was able to find the EXACT same NGO for the price of $100 per week!
That decision saved her $1,800!
Sadly however, there was another girl from Connecticut in the States volunteering in the same center for two weeks who paid the corporation “I-to-I”, one of the biggest international volunteer work cartels in the world, $2,500 to volunteer for two weeks. This poor girl was devastated when she found out that all the money she had worked so hard to save up over the summer filled the coffers of I-to-I and a measly $200 of the $2,500 was given to the NGO rehabilitating the endangered animals.
So guys and girls be very very careful when choosing volunteer work especially if it costs over $1,000 month because it may turn out to be a scam. I’m not trying to scare you out of volunteering nor am i trying to convince you that www.ecuadorecovolunteer.org is the only safe way to go because there are so many amazing programs out there.
Just be careful when organizing volunteer work especially if its with one of the big international companies. A great site for anyone interested in finding high quality low cost volunteer work in Latin America is www.volunteersouthamerica.net which is an amazing directory of all the best programs on the continent (you will see us under Ecuador:)
Its a shame that these big companies give the entire industry a bad name but whats good is that i believe more and more people are becoming aware of the volunteer work scams out there and are beginning to avoid them at all costs thanks to altruistic websites like www.volunteersouthamerica.net