COMMUNITY CENTER COURSE INSTRUCTOR AND LIBRARIAN VOLUNTEER/INTERN
About us: The Arajuno Road Project (ARP)/Proyecto Ruta del Arajuno was created in 2008 with the goal of supporting the schools and improving the opportunities available in the communities along the road located between the small city of Puyo and the rural community of Arajuno – a culturally and ecologically diverse area ‐ in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The program works in rural communities providing support in education, improving the infrastructure and learning environment of schools, and working on community development and conservation programs, such as school gardens and reforestation.
Find us online at www.arajunoroadproject.org and www.facebook.com/ArajunoRoadProject
Location: Puyo, Ecuador (Amazonia)
Dates and Expenses: Project participation fees include basic food and housing and vary depending on the pre‐determined length of the service cycle(s) you are applying for ‐ please see below. Flights, visas, insurance, local transport and excursions are the responsibility of the volunteer.
Cycle 1: from 05 FEB to 31 MAR, 8 weeks, participation fee 750 $
Cycle 4: from 10 SEP to 03 NOV, 8 weeks, participation fee, 750 $
Cycle 5: from 29 OCT to 15 DEC, 7 weeks, participation fee 700 $
Position summary: ARP established a center in collaboration with one of our partner communities in 2016, which acts both as the base for ARP operations and community functions. This position helps with community center development and runs basic courses and opportunities. Center activities have included infrastructure improvements, tutoring for primary school students, English classes for teachers and community members, overseeing the library, cultural events and, in the future, computer classes.
What we ask from you: Volunteers/interns should be able to commit to at least one pre‐defined service period and priority will be given to those applying for consecutive periods. You will live on site in the dormitory at the community center. After an initial orientation, you will be expected to run agreed upon community center activities weekday afternoons/evenings; corresponding planning and administrative duties will be on your own schedule. You will also be expected to participate in a weekly minga (community service) with the community one afternoon each week. Documenting your work will be important for the long‐term success of the program and future volunteers. If you have any special abilities/skills, you are also welcome to propose a community class.
● Run 1‐2 classes per week
● Oversee library hours and keep library resources organized
● Help with overall infrastructure development and maintenance of the center
● Assist with center organization
● Assist during community work days
● Assist with other center activities when possible
● Keep activity materials up to date and organized
● Weekly check‐in with program team
● Document work
● Experience leading activities
● Intermediate Spanish
● Previous non‐formal education experience
● Previous experience working with multiple age groups
● Previous international work or volunteer experience
● Advanced Spanish
● Excellent people skills
● First class communication skills
● Strong organizational and problem-solving skills
● Ability to adapt quickly to diverse situations
● Tolerant, patient and understanding
● Familiarity or willingness to learn Google Drive/Docs
Accommodation: The volunteer dorm is located in a rural area on the outskirts of Puyo, 6 km out of the city, on site at ARP’s office and community center.
The site is an old school that was closed in 2014 due to changes in the national school system that resulted in the unification of many schools. ARP has a multi‐year, successful history of community collaboration through the school dating back to 2010, if not earlier, that neither the community or ARP wanted to lose. It is a site that has a 60+ year history as the first school along Arajuno Road and also as the heart of the region, which is being recuperated with ARP’s help.
The dorm was a classroom that has been converted into subdivided, shared spaces similar to a hostel. Bathrooms, shower, kitchen and dining area are located in a separate building. The office, located in another classroom, has Internet. The coordinator lives on site, so you will always have someone for assistance as needed. Most volunteers describe the atmosphere as very communal and family‐like.
Volunteers share responsibilities for maintaining their living environment. Basic food items are bought weekly by ARP personnel. Cooking meals is a shared activity, as well as cleaning. Help from volunteers is also greatly appreciated in producing our own food.