Volunteer with us...
Here is the latest Trip Advisor review about our volunteering experience.
“An amazing opportunity to live and work in a stunning location in the heart of rural Ecuador, exploring incredible scenery on gorgeous horses. Three months have flown by, characterised not only by hard work, but a lot of giggles and fun, and a lot of adventures, big and small, along the way.” Belinda Dec. 2016.
Living on a farm in an idyllic location helping take care of the horses (14 at the moment, not stabled) and also helping on the riding tours. The role is adaptable, depending on the skills and interests of the successful applicant. We are looking preferably for volunteers who can stay for minimum 3 months and if you have guiding experience you will be able to guide the day trips from our base and possibly longer trips.
This is NOT a suitable job for someone with little experience with horses, NOR is it a job for a non-Spanish speaker* (please discuss with us before applying).
Requirements: A positive and flexible “can do” attitude, willingness to muck in and help with anything needing doing, able to converse in Spanish*, good spoken English, clean driving license, competent riding ability.
*good, cheap Spanish schools in Quito, so you can do an intensive course on arrival.
At the farm: After a few days volunteers will be expected to be fully operational, riding out horses (often leading 1 or 2). Although a lot of riding is involved (depending entirely on the applicant’s ability) this is not a job where just riding is involved, there are a lot of other aspects (caring for the horses, grooming, basic vet skills, looking after the tack, field management). When there are no tours, depending on the season, the horses are exercised every day for between two and five hours, normally riding one and leading two, certain horses may also require schooling. For the right applicant, there is the possibility of guiding guests on day trips and there is a wage for this. The job description is adapted very much depending on the applicant’s skills.
Normally, 2-3 volunteers working together and 1 full time local, non-English speaking worker. Ability to communicate in Spanish is necessary - the basics.
On Tour: When on a riding tour (on average 7 days, although volunteers usually come for 3 to 4 days at a time) the role involves providing full support to the main guide. This may include: driving the backup vehicle and small trailer between Haciendas; moving guest baggage, horse feed and other equipment; buying and making picnic lunches; and dealing with any requirements the guests may have. Manuals, checklists and training are provided to support you.
For larger groups, you will be accompanied by one of the Ecuadorian ‘ayudantes’, for smaller groups you may be on your own for a day or two, with the main guide. You will be expected to assist with preparing the horses in the morning (catching, feeding, saddling) and again when they return from the ride in the evening (unsaddling, washing down, feeding etc). When riding with guests you will either be guiding the ride or more often providing back-up (second guide). We try give volunteers as much riding on tours as possible – however, your level of Spanish speaking and riding ability will determine this. While on tour you will sometimes stay in the guide rooms in the Haciendas, other times in hostels in nearby towns or villages.
Miscellaneous: Depending on the applicant there may be the opportunity/need to do some office work, however, this is a small part of job. This would mainly involve answering emails, helping with marketing.
When Sally is away on tours outside Ecuador, the role involves having responsibility for communications and overseeing the horses.
Remuneration: The position has no salary, but bed and board are provided and if the applicant is willing/able to undertake office projects over and above the day to day administrative work then a small wage may be payable. If the applicant is able to guide groups of riders there will also be a wage.
Visas: Visitors are normally awarded a 90 day tourist visa on arrival in the country. It is possible to extend this for a further 90 days. Passports must be valid for at least six months from arrival into Ecuador.
This job will suit someone who enjoys working with horses, is organised and a problem-solver, has a flexible attitude, endless patience, is capable of working on their own when necessary, is interested in improving their Spanish and seeing a very different side of South America.
Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org