Check our current Ecuador volunteer opportunities or find out more about volunteering in the Galapagos Islands. Alternatively, volunteer from home with an online volunteer opportunity.
CRACYP (which stands for Rural Forestation and Progress Network Corporation, in Spanish) is a non profit organisation facilitating reforestation and sustainable rural development in an agricultural area of extreme poverty including over 200 communities in the foothills of the Western Andes in Ecuador.
Our mission is "Progreso Verde" or "Green Progress" - that is, social and economic development, but in a way which protects the environment. We build environmental awareness and motivate and assist local communities to take practical conservation action. Our sustainable development projects help to increase incomes to the point where people are able to think further ahead than the next meal and can afford to care about the environment.
The 'price' of our help is that they must use a small percentage of the extra income to plant trees - which stabilize and enrich their land and provide them with fruits or other useful products.
CRACYP's "Green Progress" projects are long-term. We train people in techniques for sustainable agriculture and appropriate technology to add value to their crops by processing them locally rather than selling them as raw materials, and provide ongoing support. We advise on and assist with the reforestation process. In this way the communities improve their quality of life and preserve the environment on which their future depends.
Volunteering abroad can be a rewarding travel experience or even a way to develop work skills or practise a new language. If you are interested in voluntary work overseas or a "working holiday", please first think about what you want to do, why you want to volunteer and what you have to offer.
Volunteer service in a developing country can be incredibly rewarding, intensely frustrating, exhilarating, tough, great fun, saddening and uplifting, and may leave you in tears of despair or joy - possibly all on the same day. It is certainly not for everyone.
CRACYP does NOT offer packaged 'volunteer service experiences' on stage-managed projects, although we do have years of experience with volunteers. What we do offer is the chance to participate in and assist with our ongoing work in Ecuador - with all its frustrations, delays and challenges, but also its genuine progress and achievements.
We like to use your business experience or technical skills, but might also need you to help with manual work at times. You may be upset by the poverty or frustrated by the bureaucracy and it may take a while to slow down to 'Ecuadorian time', but this is real development, warts and all, not the sanitised 'holiday volunteer program' version.
If this kind of volunteering sounds right for you, we'd like to hear why you think you're right for one of our current volunteer opportunities in Ecuador including the Galapagos Islands, or, if you are studying or planning to study sustainable development or something similar, our Development Internship Program.
If we're not the right volunteer opportunity for you, search around on the internet to find the one which suits you best. Make sure you know whether your chosen volunteer organisation is a responsible charity or agency with worthwhile projects, or just a holiday company making a big profits from your good intentions. We wish you fun, achievement and satisfaction in your volunteering.
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