Updated on: 7/Apr/09
VOLUNTEER PROGRAM DESCRIPTION TEACHING IN THE AMAZON ECUADOR BRIEF PROGRAM DESCRIPTION Based in the Amazon jungle of Ecuador the Teaching in Pastaza project offers volunteers the opportunity to work and teach in a school, providing long-term benefits to the children and families of the area. With the help that volunteers give, essential educational and sporting equipment can be supply, and give the children a more exciting learning experience, by using activities, art and music to teach. The Project aims to create a structured curriculum within the jungle schools of Ecuador, with volunteers helping to create a stable learning environment. The Project also aims to use local communities skills and resources to help develop the communities and preserve the rapidly depleting rainforest.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS For an extra charge and in your free time explore the different activities that the Amazon has to offer: * Ba単os is located on the northern foothills of the Tungurahua volcano. It is named after the hydrothermal springs of mineral water located around the city. Ba単os is full of adventure activities, you cant miss the Manto de la Virgen waterfall, ride a horse in the hills around the town, walk, hike or climb the surrounding trails and the volcano, mountain bike the breathtaking scenic road to Puyo or raft on one of the nearby rivers. * Take a jungle tours to the Amazon rainforest. There are many tour operators in Ba単os and some in Puyo than can help you with this. * Visit the National Park Yasuni. The park is primarily a rainforest that lies on 9,820 square kilometres between the Napo and Curaray rivers in Napo and Pastaza provinces in Amazonian Ecuador, around 250 km from Quito. The park was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1989.
A DAY AT THE PROGRAM (TERM ACTIVITIES) HOURS ACTIVITIES 6:00AM-6: 30AM Breakfast with the other volunteers 7:00AM-1:00PM Work at the school 1:00PM-2: 30PM Lunch break 2:30PM-3: 30PM Lesson Planning 3:30PM-6: 30PM Time to rest and relax 6:30PM- 7:30PM Dinner 7:30PM- on Spend time with other volunteers enjoying the surroundings *This is just an exemplary daily itinerary. All activities scheduled above are subject to change.
LOCATION (Province and Town)
Animal Rescue Center Social Adventure Environmental Construction/Building Education Sports
______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ Teaching ______________
______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ Pastaza, close to Puyo ______________
PROJECT/ORGANIZATION/INSTITUTION DESCRIPTION Organization Location of the Organization Non-profit/private/public organization Number of employees
Amazon Teaching Project Pastaza Province, one hour away from Puyo Non-Profit 5-7
1. Describe the population/community that the institution provides its services to. In case of rescue centers or environmental organization include the type of animals and environment it works with. Ecuador and the Amazon jungle possess a valuable resource in modern society, oil. A town close by where the project is loceted was used by Shell up until the 1950's, but it was not until 1963 that the Road to the town was built, connecting the jungle community with Puyo, The road brought dozens of jungle communities into the Western world and away from their traditional lifestyles. This coupled with the re-emergence of the oil companies has left the local communities in a limbo between the old world and the new. Although the Ecuadorian government built schools, and pays for a teacher's salary, there are no provisions for school equipment. The families are mainly subsistence farmers and lumberjacks and do not have the finances or the skills to operate in modern day Ecuador. The Project is using the assistance of volunteers and generous donations to give the local children the best chance possible to compete in a rapidly developing Ecuador. The project also aims to help local communities uses their skills and resources to cope with modern Ecuador whilst retaining traditional values.
2. Services that the organization/institution provides (description). Currently, teachers are teaching children from 6 different grades in the same class. Volunteers allow the teacher to teach a smaller number of children focused lessons, whilst the volunteers teach English, art, sport or music. The project believes that learning should be an interaction between the children, the subject and the teachers. Volunteers use games and activities to teach lessons and design structured lesson plans as part of a curriculum to ensure that their volunteer placement is as effective as possible, and so future volunteers can build on the work that has been done before them.
VOLUNTEER INFORMATION 3. How many volunteers can the Project employ monthly? The project can take up to 10 volunteers at the same time. 4. Has the organization received volunteers in the past? Yes. 5. If it has received volunteers in the past, please write since what month and year: The Amazon Teaching Project has received volunteers from the year it opened. 6. Are there any special features to which the volunteers have to pay attention to when working at this project? (Religion, illnesses, extra-vaccination, etc) No. Nevertheless most volunteers bring and use mosquito nets. Being in the rainforest volunteers should expect it to rain everyday and so wet weather gear is important to have. As it cools down at night, a light sleeping bag is a good idea, although spare blankets are available for volunteers to use. The weather in the Amazon is wet, naturally, the rainy season being from Dec-March, these are the months when it can rain continuously for a few days. The rest of the year, the â€œnot so rainy seasonâ€?, it rains every other day but usually in the form of a big downpour followed by sunshine. Of course, a raincoat and / or rainproof trousers are useful. Some volunteers prefer to use gumboots to use. Sundays are big market days in Puyo, when families go out shopping and shops stay open (even on Sundays) till 7-8pm. Volunteers can find rubber boots easily ($7). The volunteer house and the schools are in areas where a basic level of fitness is needed due to the amount of walking that will take place. 7. Are there any requirements to attend this program? The Project needs imaginative and enthusiastic volunteers who are keen to make a lasting difference to the children of the area. The project is suitable for first-time and experienced volunteers looking for a true volunteering experience in South America. 8. The project receives volunteers all year round? Yes. From January 3rd to June 30th and September 1st to December 15th volunteers Hill be working on term-time activities. From July 1st to August 31st and December 16th to January 2nd volunteers Hill be working in Summer school, Christmas activities and community projects. Acceptance to the program depends on availability.
9. Please specify holidays or other dates when the project closes and can not receive volunteers: None. 10. Is there a minimum amount of weeks volunteers can work at the project? Two-week minimum. 11. Is there a maximum amount of weeks volunteers can work at the project? Twelve weeks. 12. Please give detailed description of tasks and duties of the volunteer: School Year: Volunteers will primarily work in the school. Lessons are between 7am and 12pm Monday-Friday and volunteers will have the opportunity to assist teachers for 2 and a half - 3 hours each day. Each afternoon volunteers will spend time in teams planning the following days lessons. Volunteers will work with our coordinators to plan lessons that form part of a structured curriculum, giving volunteers clear guidance and support. In addition to academic activities, volunteers will also have the chance to teach sports, art or music. Summer School: In Ecuador, schools terms are from January to the end of June and from September until the middle of December. In the intervening months the Project will run a summer school. During the summer holidays many of the children are left with little to occupy them, the summer school is designed to give them more creative freedom than they have during term time. The projectâ€™s summer school placement is focused on sport, art and music, and volunteers will also have the opportunity to put their own ideas into action. Community Projects: During the same period as the summer school the Project will also be running local community projects. These are subject to funding and what is needed but placements can be anything to redecorating the school to sprucing up the local community to fitting clean running water into local homes. 13. Indicate the times and days the volunteer will be working in the week: School Year: Volunteers will be working from Monday through Friday. From 7:00am to 12:00pm. Each afternoon volunteers will spend time in teams planning the following days lessons. Summer School & Community Projects: Volunteering wil be mostly during the morning, but some afternoon work will be required as well. Schedules depend on the activities and the projects currently taking place.
LOCATION OF THE PROJECT 14. Please indicate the closest city or town to the project. The center is located one hour away from Puyo. Puyo is the capital of the province of Pastaza and Puyo is at an altitude of approximately 900m by the Puyo River, a tributary of the Pastaza River, which eventually leads into the Amazon River.
15. Indicate what types of transportation there is from the center if this city to the project, its costs and approximately the time that will take: TYPE Bus (project-Puyo)
TIME IT WILL TAKE 45 minutes
16. Describe the surroundings of the project (country side, urban, town) Situated in the Amazon jungle, the project is located at an altitude of about 900m. This makes for a warm but pleasant climate with sunny days. It is not extremely humid and there is not an abundance of mosquitoes – to most people’s delight. The volunteer house is located 45 minutes form the main town of Puyo. It takes approximately 15 minutes to walk from the main road where the bus to Puyo stops to the volunteer house.
ACCOMODATIONS AND MEALS 17. Type of Accommodation? The volunteers live in a communal house. The house provides spacious dorm rooms (bedding provided), a kitchen, living area, working area, hot showers and clean running water. The volunteer house is a social environment and will give volunteers the change to relax and unwind as well as getting to know volunteers from other schools and what is going on in the different communities. 18. Are meals included? Meals are included. Volunteers and coordinators take turns to prepare meals. Volunteers take turns to cook, wash up, clean, etc.
WHAT IS INCLUDED? • • • • • •
Dormitory Style Accommodation at the project Food (volunteers take turns to prepare meals) A detailed orientation on arrival to Quito Transportation from Quito to Puyo An airport pickup and drop off on arrival and departure 24 hour Emergency help
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED? • • • •
All international flights Travel insurance Any extra activities and excursions Alcoholic beverages/extra snacks
PICTURES OF THE PROJECT