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DayCare Project for Volunteers and Interns

The program takes place in Puerto Lopez on the coast that is like a connection point in this region for transportation as well as the headquarters for Machalilla National Park, the second biggest marine park in Ecuador after the Galapagos Islands.

From here you can also visit La Plata Island or “Poor Man’s Galapagos” due to its similar wildlife or see the Humpback wales when it is season for their visit to Ecuador’s coast.

There are approximately 16,000 inhabitants in Puerto Lopez.

THE PROJECT

The daycare center is located in the central part of Puerto Lopez though this is a small town where everything is close by. Here the four teachers takes care of the about 40 children, mainly ranging from 2 to 4 years of age. During the day the teachers works with the children at least part of the time to practice things like working with their hands to get skills like using pens, cut with scissors and to learn basic things like over, under, left, right etc as a preparation for pre-school and school according to the Ecuadorian education system but of course the children have time to play games and sing songs etc during the day.

The daycare center also has two cooks that takes of making the lunch for the children.

VOLUNTEERS ROLE

Volunteers will help with the daily tasks at the daycare center that might be keeping an eye on the children, play games with them, help with pedagogic classes, help children in the bathroom, help with meals for the children by for example cooking/serving food/ feeding smaller children, make games, dance, sing, change diapers on the smaller once etc.

Exactly what they will do depends on what the volunteer can and feel comfortable to do as well as what they need help with at the daycare center but if they want they might be able to for example paint, sing or dance with the children after their own plans in cooperation and agreement with the local staff.

REQUIREMENTS

Application with passport copy; resume/CV.

Beginner Spanish.

Interest in working children.

Open-mindedness to work and live in a different culture.

RECOMMENDED

At least Beginner Spanish.

4 to 8 weeks.

Some experience and or education within the area.

WORKING HOURS

Monday to Friday, from about 08:00 to 16:00 with either a break for lunch at the host family or they will eat at the daycare center.

WHAT TO BRING

If volunteers can and want to they can bring things like games for the children, ideas of games to teach and play with the children, songs, instruments, pens, papers, color paint or similar that can be used at the daycare center but most of this can easily be bought in Puerto Lopez if they want instead of carrying things from home.

OFFICIAL HOLIDAYS 2013

New Year’s Day, 01 of January

Carnival, 10-12 of February

Good Friday, 29 of March

Easter Saturday, 30 of March

Easter Sunday, 31 of March

Labor Day, 01 of May

Battle of Pichincha, 24 of May

Ecuador’s Independence Day or Quito Independence Day, 10 of August

Guayaquil Independence Day, 11 of October (moved from 09 of October)

All Souls Day or Day of the Dead, 02 of November

Cuenca Independence Day, 03 of November

Christmas Eve, 24 of December

Christmas Day, 25 of December

New Year’s Eve, 31 of December

HOME STAY

Volunteers will live in Puerto Lopez with a host family. They will have 3 meals per day, a private room and a shared bathroom. Houses on the coast tend to be quite simple compared to houses up in the mountains.

They will have about 15 to 20 minutes walking to the daycare center and lunch will either be at the host family or at the daycare center together with the children and the staff.

TO GET THERE

Volunteers have to arrive to Quito for at least the first day when we have the orientation. If they want Spanish classes they will of course stay for a while before heading to the location of their work.

When it’s time to leave Quito they will take a cab for about $2 to the bus station and here they take the bus to Puerto Lopez for about $13. On arrival to Puerto Lopez after about 10 hours, a family member will meet them at the bus station to take them to the house.

The host mother or father will then accompany the volunteer to the school to get introduced the first working day so they also know how to get there.

PLACEMENT FOR

Anybody that likes to work with children.

THINK ABOUT

Children do take your breath away sometimes and for some volunteers without experience it can be quit tough after a while even in this smaller daycare center. Some older volunteers have also run into the wall because they haven’t understood that even small children can demand a lot of attention and energy together with a sometimes hot climate.

This is a great place for people that love beaches. Also the possibility to dive is good and quit a few travel here to try some surfing.

Puerto Lopez and the surrounding area is famous for being safe and calm as this is not any major touristic areas for Ecuador.