Volunteer Work, Social Work, Child Care, Health
any time, with flexible start and end dates all year round
Integrated rehabilitation via equine therapy is a holistic and very successful approach for mentally and physically disabled people. Around the world, it is recognized as a very efficient method to rehabilitate individuals physically, mentally, and emotionally.
The main objective of this therapy is to improve the patients' coordination and orientation abilities, as well as their balance capabilities. Additionally, endorphins can be released, which generates calmness and happiness within a person's body and soul. As a result of the therapy, the patients are distracted from physical pain and mental depression as their social integration is facilitated.
The center's staff consists of professionals who have profound experience working with physically or mentally disabled persons.
Staff and volunteers come from the United States, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Ecuador, and other countries around the world.
Additionally, to the horse therapy, the center offers conventional therapies (physiotherapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy), as well as alternative therapies (theatre therapy, music and art therapy, and energy therapy).
The center consists of a riding hall, a cafeteria, an administrative office, a volunteer house, and a therapy house. The staff constantly tries to contribute to the improvement of socially and mentally handicapped people’s lives. Early learning for children up to six years, social integration, equality of opportunities, and rehabilitation for children, teenagers, and adults are their principal objectives.
Volunteers take care of the horses: they feed them, take them to the paddock, and prepare them for equine therapy in the morning. They also assist during regular riding lessons that take place in the afternoon.
Additionally, volunteers will be asked to care for the garden, help in the cafeteria, and participate in different workshops offered by the rehabilitation center.
- Assisting in hippotherapy (leading horse, securing patient, giving instructions to perform the various positions on the horse)
- Supporting the different forms of therapy
- Feeding and preparing the horses
- Maintaining horse equipment like cleaning of the horse blankets
- Cleaning up the facilities
- Watering the hall
- Caring of the gardens and plants (weeding, watering, sowing)
- Feeding horses and cleaning their boxes
- Maintenance and repair work
Tasks depending on experience and training:
- Implementation of a learned form of therapy (conventional or alternative)
- Teaching horse riding or supporting riding lessons
- Riding/training the horses
- Office work
- Organizing projects for the mothers of children with disabilities
- Supporting in fundraising (fundraising, organizing festivals and events, public relations, etc.)
This project is especially interesting and appropriate for those who have experience in physiotherapy, as they can provide profound support to the therapists. Nevertheless, people without skills in physiotherapy are also welcomed to join this project. Volunteers should have some basic knowledge about horses and love working with children. Those who are unfamiliar with horses will receive a basic training course at the start of the volunteer program to learn how to handle the horses.
Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as number of volunteers, weather, season, current needs of the project, as well as self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.
The volunteers are accommodated in the on-site volunteer house. It is close to the administration area, stables, cafeteria, and indoor-riding hall. The volunteer house is very basic, but cozy. The volunteer house can host up to 8 volunteers in different dormitories.
Facilities and utensils for cooking are provided, and volunteers can relax in hammocks during their free time. Typically, men and women occupy different sleeping rooms, however, in case of a room shortage, dorms may be mixed.
The volunteers cook and eat together. Food is not provided by the center, groceries can be bought in a small shop nearby. Internet facilities are not available at the center, but they can be used in the nearby city of Tumbaco. The Equine Therapy Center is located southeast of Quito, close to Tumbaco. Quito is approximately one hour away and can easily be reached by public bus.
Our volunteer project is located just outside of Quito, near the suburb of Tumbaco. Quito is around 1 hour away by public transport.
Quito is located in the Andean highlands at around 2850 meters above sea level. Therefore, despite the proximity to the equator, it is moderately warm all year round with an average temperature of approx. 13 °C. During the day, the temperatures reach between 20 and 25 °C. There are rainy seasons from September to November and from January to April, it usually rains around noon and then the sun shines again.
Quito is not only located in a great setting, right under the Pichincha volcano and offers a pleasant climate, but there are also cultural treasures: Built in the 16th century on the ruins of an ancient Inca city, Quito has the best preserved historical center in all of Latin America. For this reason, Quito was the first city in the world to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Quito also offers a lively nightlife, traditional markets, interesting museums and theaters as well as festivals of various kinds at certain times. Outdoor fans will love day trips to the surrounding Andean landscapes!
Spanish at communication level. For optimal preparation for your volunteer work in Ecuador, we advise you to take a Spanish course before the program starts. This gives you the opportunity to slowly get used to the language, culture and mentality.
Pre-departure and in-country support
Before arrival, our experienced team will be at your disposal to assist you throughout the booking process and travel planning. With the booking confirmation you will receive our 24-hour emergency number, so that you can reach us 24/7 in case of emergency.
In addition to the assistance given by our office staff you will be supported by the on-site volunteer coordinator in Ecuador.
Costs & Services
Our volunteer project in the Horse Therapy Center for Disabled Children in Ecuador includes:
- Shared room in Volunteer House
- Professional English-speaking advice
- Translation of your application documents
- Volunteer Work Placement in Ecuador
- English-speaking in-country support
- On-site introduction
- Country handbook Ecuador
- 24/7 emergency number
- Information about suitable travel insurance
- Certificate of participation
Program fee: US$ 575 (minimum stay 2 weeks)
Extra week: US$ 35
(not included US$ 20 for final house cleaning, to be paid on site at the end of your stay)
Additionally, you can book:
Our tips (experience more + see more = save $$)
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