Teaching Volunteer Program
For volunteers with an intermediate level of Spanish we offer the possibility
of working in a school, either in Intag or in Pedro Moncayo.
For each position, we ask for a minimum of one month commitment
in order that the work can be valued and built upon by either other
volunteers or the teachers of the schools.
During the program volunteers will live with a family in the same
community as the school and participate in the daily activities
of the family whilst not teaching. For further information of the
family homestay please see the .
We work with small schools, called "Unidocentes" meaning
there is just one teacher and also those with two teachers, “Pluridocentes”.
These schools have between 20 and 55 pupils whom are normally taught
in either one or two classrooms. As the age range is from 4-11 years
this provides quite a challenge for the teaching staff, managing
between 3 and 6 grades simultaneously. Simply the presence of a
volunteer will help alleviate the daily pressures; by taking charge
of just one age group, the local teacher will be afforded additional
time with the others.
Thus in these circumstances volunteers will help take classes, working
with the children of varying ages, on set tasks in all the subjects,
as well as provide additional English and computer tutoring for
the older children. Of course those with skills in the other subjects
will certainly be given the spotlight to teach, either during school
or perhaps in free time in the afternoons.
Subjects taught are: mathematics, natural sciences (including environmental
studies), language and communication (covering reading, grammar
and writing of the Spanish language), history and social studies
(covering aspects of Ecuador including geography), and physical
Volunteers will be guided by the teachers, but will have a lot of
freedom as to the subjects they teach and how they teach them – here is where your creativity really counts. There will also be
some specific plans to follow, in line with the national curriculum.
We emphasise that the schools are different, and the teachers are
different, each with their own policy on schooling and how to best
occupy the volunteers time. However in all your placements your
time is extremely valued, both by the teachers and the community.
The foundation is continually gathering information to help guide volunteers
in their work, and so volunteers are expected to update the teaching
folders, detailing their own work and recording any useful information
about their experience. This will be passed on to the following
volunteer allowing for a smooth transition. Please to view some revealing extracts from one of the folders.
In the afternoons we encourage volunteers to either help prepare
classes or run additional educational programs for the kids; extra
English classes, educational games, something creative like theatre
or art. As a rest maybe needed, afternoons can equally be spent
with the family or in other community activities.
School hours are from around 7.30am until 12.30pm with a 45 minute
break mid morning which usually includes and “almuerzo escolar” (school lunch) frequently provided for by the community or if not
the Ministry of Education.
We work with several schools and are continually expanding the
program to involve more schools, to give more children the opportunity
of a better education. Therefore it is likely that new schools will
be added to the current list.
Schools in Intag:
There are currently three unidocente schools in Intag;
they are in the communities of El Paraiso, Magdelena and Pucará.
School sizes vary from 18 to 35 children. The school term for this
area is approximately 1st April to the 15th February with a one
week holiday every three months. Also there is a 4th school in El Cristal, with 4 regular teachers and over 70 students, .
Please see for more information about the Intag area.
Schools in Pedro Moncayo:
In this county there are three schools with whom we work; Picalqui,
Cubinche and Guaraquí. The class sizes range from 20 to 55
children, the larger schools having two teachers. The school terms
are approximately 1st September until 22nd December and then 2nd
January until 15th July.
Also in this county we are working with another organization called “Desarrollo Juvenile”. The focus of this organization
is to improve the development of the local youth through innovative
teaching methods dealing with problem solving and mental dexterity,
in a program called “Aprender Jugando”. Volunteers will
be given the opportunity to learn some of these methods and to use
the materials during their classes.
Additionally the volunteers will be able to participate in frequent
afternoon workshops for school children (aged (9-12 normally), with
the local youth groups (aged 12-28) and assist in home work classes
for children whose parents are at work until late.
for more information about the Pedro Moncayo area.
Things to bring
The schools we work with are generally short of materials, and as
such pens, pencils and work books are always in demand. This also
relieves costs for the children’s parents. Additionally, one
of the main observations from former volunteers is the lack of creativity
in the current curriculum that would usually aid teaching and help
maintain the children’s interest. Any reading books (children’s
stories, comics in Spanish etc), creative materials, and other exercises
you can bring, will help with the development of a central resource
library and of course spice up the classes for the kids.
**Please note that you are not obliged to bring additional materials. Your
participation is our main concern and any additional help with materials
is a bonus.
To contact former volunteers and learn about their experiences please follow the
link to the
For answers to your specific questions please write to us by email: info[at]fbu.com.ec