Volunteering Abroad Shouldn't Cost the Earth

Sea Turtle Research and Conservation in Ecuador Ecuador



We are a legally incorporated not-for-profit NGO founded and working in Ecuador. We started in 2004 when a group of local dive instructors decided to do something to stop the degradation of our coral reefs. Since then we have been working in research and conservation of several marine and terrestrial species and ecosystems in several areas of our country, while also helping to train students, researchers and local community members to protect our mega diverse ecosystems.

Our Sea Turtle Project was established in 2007 and has become the longest term project in continental Ecuador. We work with 4 species: green, olive Ridley, hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles, both in nesting beaches and in the water in their foraging grounds. We have been able to increase the knowledge and protect sea turtles all along our coast. We have also been able to register hundreds of individual sea turtles and protect more than 50.000 baby sea turtles (most of them critically endangered hawksbill sea turtles) so they can reach the ocean. We work under the guidelines of the Ministry of Environment and in coordination with the Machalilla National Park and other organizations to be as effective as possible. Volunteers are one of the pillars of our project, helping us to reach more beaches and protect more nests every year. Volunteers get to experience real research and conservation (not just tourism) that is really helping to save endangered species and make a positive difference for nature while enjoying one of the most beautiful areas of our country. Work in our project is hard, you will be tired and you will get dirty, but you will also enjoy the most beautiful beaches in a unique ecosystem and make lifelong friendships while making the world a better place. You will also help and work in other projects (shark research, beach clean-ups, dry forest research, coral reef studies environmental education, etc.) depending on the seasons and the need of help of those projects. You will also help with office or lab work and lot's of other activities.

You will stay in dorm style rooms with bunk beds at our Research Station that is simple but very comfortable, where you will share work and daily life with our staff, other researchers and volunteers from all over the world. Wireless internet is included. Food is not included but kitchen facilities, utensils and fridge space will be available for your use with fruit markets and supermarkets available close by. There are all sorts of restaurants and tourist attractions in town. Please visit our web page and follow our social media channels: @equilibrioazul (Instagram and Twitter) or equilibrio.azul (Facebook) to see some of our work and updates.


Equilibrio Azul

Puerto López

No previous experience or studies are necessary, only a good attitude, eagerness to learn and to be a team player. Decent level of physical fitness. Basic knowledge of Spanish recommended. Good level of swimming needed to participate in in-water activities.

Dates of program:
Year round

Duration of program:
4 weeks minimum. Multiple months available and welcome.

Age requirement:
Adults of both sexes 18+. We also accept families with younger children.

We ask for a contribution of US$550 per month. This includes: supervision, orientation and training from project coordinators, working materials and equipment. Accommodation in our Puerto López Research Station with access to a fully equipped kitchen, drinking water, electricity and wireless internet access. Local transport and project related expenses. Participation certification.

Other information:
Volunteers need to have a current accident/travel insurance when arriving. For everybody's safety, we currently ask for a complete Covid-19 vaccine certificate also.


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Web links / Other ways to help

If you visit and apply via the website please mention that you saw this project on volunteerlatinamerica.com.