Give your heart away to children, immerse yourself in another culture, make life-long friends, and cross once-in-a-lifetime experiences off your bucket list!
Because of its temperate climate, Cuenca is known as "the land of eternal spring." You'll love living in its small, antique city nestled in Ecuador's green picturesque mountains. Terraced buildings line the town's brick streets, giving it a charming old-world character, like something out of Europe.
Volunteers visit the city regularly to shop at hippie markets, eat at delicious cafés and restaurants, mingle with the locals, and scout out stunning architecture like the Inmaculada Concepción Cathedral.
Exciting field trips are also part of volunteers' Ecuadorian adventure. With so much to do, we recommend serving for at least three months to be able to do everything shown and listed below.
Zip-line through the Andes Mountains.
Visit the Inmaculada Concepción Cathedral and nearby Parque Calderón.
Taste Ecuador delicacies like cuy.
Swing over Cuenca.
Swing "at the end of the world."
Ride horseback in the Andes Mountains.
Explore Incan ruins at Ingapirca.
Visit the Puyo Jungle animal reserve.
Take part in Ecuadorian festivities and holidays.
Hike to Girón waterfalls.
Fire a Quechua blow dart.
Buy fresh fruit from the large fruit market.
Buy a dozen roses from the flower market for only $2.
See the Devil's Cauldron waterfall.
Ride a canoe through the Puyo Jungle.
OSSO directors lead long-term volunteers on an exciting tour of Baños, Ecuador.
Short-term volunteers (less than four weeks) may apply for a Baños trip for only $395. Call our office for details.
Baños adventures include:
- Touring the jungle in Puyo.
- Visiting an indigenous Quechua village.
- Seeing the famous Devil's Cauldron Waterfall.
- Swinging at the end of the world.
The Galapagos Islands trip is an optional, independent trip from OSSO. Volunteers are responsible to coordinate their trip and pay all fees directly to the travel agency. OSSO staff does not accompany volunteers on this trip. So, volunteers are completely responsible for themselves while traveling. Click here for tips on how to make the most of your trip.
If you are applying to travel to Galapagos during the middle of you volunteer time, please print and complete the Independent Travel Form. Email the completed and signed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thailand is the perfect place for you if you are wanting to experience a completely different culture while still making an impact on the lives of others.
The country is often referred to as “the land of smiles,” and it won’t take you long to see why. You will quickly fall in love with the kind people, rich culture, and beautiful landscapes.
Chiang Mai is the perfect mix of ancient and modern with hundreds of Buddhist temples to visit, weekly traditional markets, quaint cafes, and bustling malls. There are many kind locals who know just enough English to help you get by. You will also find that Chiang Mai is home to expats from all over the world, making it a charming international melting pot.
If you are looking for adventure, try riding an elephant bareback, whitewater rafting, zip-lining, or hugging a gigantic tiger. Explore Thailand as an OSSO volunteer and see which of the adventures below you'll be able to cross off your bucket list.
Ride and take care of Elephants.
Zip-line through the jungle and over rice fields.
Hike with a local villager through the Chiang Mai mountains.
Eat Pad Thai and other traditional Thai dishes.
Visit stunning ancient and modern Buddhist temples.
Shop at local markets.
Visit hill-tribe villages, like the long necks.