dream center IN QUITO
This Dream Center is a project that gives a second chance to the local street children and youth. The Dream Center Quito is a non-profit organization for children who live or have lived on the streets. As a volunteer you can be of great help assisting the children with their homework, giving hygienic education, among other activities, and off course giving the children many hugs and attention. Many of these children have had a bad start to life such as being born to drug addicted parents, living on the streets, subjected to violence, abuse or neglect, made to work selling sweets in the street etc. One of the most important parts of a volunteer’s presence at the project is to empower the children and teenagers and this can be done just telling them a nice compliment, have fun with them with playing, art, music or sport. It is very important that they feel and realize that they are important no matter they background, race, economic or educational status.
MINIMUM 3 WEEKS
basic SPANISH NEEDED
+18 YEARS OLD
The center helps over 100 children, although they do not all come to the center at the same time. Some come in the morning and other in the afternoon. All children receive a nutritious lunch at the center and they have to brush their teeth afterwards. The aim is to stress the importance of education as a way of breaking the circle and ensuring that these children do not fall for the same way of life and temptations that their parents did before them. With the help of funding and sponsors, the project pays to send the children to school and help out with any costs that the family may not be able to cover like school uniforms, books, materials etc.
The project created also work shops, like bakery and wood crafts. You can also share your talent with creating a work shop.
What is included?
- Arrival transfer
- Project donation
- Orientation meeting
- Local support volunteer coordinator
- 21 nights accommodation in dorm room at a nice and cozy hostel close to the project
- Day tour to the volcano Cotopaxi (bike tour)
- Lunch, which is served at the project on working days
What is NOT included?
- Meals (breakfast and dinner. Lunch on weekends and holidays)
- Personal expenses
What to consider…
- Arrival airport: Quito
- Projects starts on Mondays, arrival should be the Saturday before
- Available all year round
- Longer stays are possible
- Okay Wi-Fi
- Work can be psychologically demanding
- Basic Spanish is needed
- Maximum of 8 volunteers
Some examples of the activities
- Giving the children positive and safe attention.
- Support around 60 kids to take online lessons, via zoom, so they continue receiving education and do not quite school, as the schools remain closed for face-to-face classes and of course they do not have internet access anywhere else.
- Support children with their homework (children are often behind at school and do not have a quiet space to do their homework or have parents who are not capable of helping them at home so volunteers are a great help in this area).
- Make fun with the children and teenagers with sport, art, music etc.
- Support in the kitchen, especially during lunchtime which can be very chaotic and busy and the staff need help to assist the youngest children and make sure they clean up after themselves.
- Support and/or create in workshop
- School visits (the center needs to keep a check on the children enrolled at school and regularly visit the local schools to ask about a certain child’s attendance, grades, ability etc.)
- Prepare educational activities
- Prepare recreational activities to be carried out when the children finish their homework or during their breaks
- Assist in hygiene education such as hand washing and brushing teeth
- Supervise and assist children when they are allowed to use the I.T. room for their homework
- Anything that may arise, e.g. taking someone to a doctor’s appointment or dentist
A TYPICAL day
AS A VOLUNTEER
Upon arrival in Quito you will have your Meet & Greet to discuss your expectations, rules of the project and how to move in the city. You will receive information on how to go to the project (walking distance) on the first working day, usually on Mondays.
Once you arrive at the project, you will have an orientation meeting where general information about the activities during the following days will be provided. It is also discussed what the expectations are and what talents and passions you want to use as a volunteer to contribute to the project with the aim that your time in the project makes an impact for the project and yourself.
Now is time to work… please take into consideration that not all the days will be the same, so your activities will be defined depending on the daily needs, we count on your flexibility to help at the project.
At midday, you will have a break for lunch, which is served at the project. This is a great opportunity for you to get to know the people of the community and their lives.
In the afternoon, you will continue with your duties until around 4pm. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy the city. For the following days, the schedule is similar, working from 7am to 4pm from Monday to Friday.
The coordinator will indicate you where you will be most needed, and of course if you have ideas, these are always welcome!!
This is a tough project so please be patient, your volunteer work is extremely valuable and helps to keep the project running. You will learn a lot and at times you may get frustrated of the way things work in Ecuador. Organization and the pace at which things run may be very different to what you are used to but please take into account that these are cultural differences that you should respect.
Show initiative that you are willing to work hard, be happy and motivated and you will get the most out of your time as a volunteer.
WHAT TO DO IN
YOUR FREE TIME
Quito offers a lot of things to do and it is full of nice places to see like parks, museums and plazas. Its large historic center is a great place to spend a couple of afternoons, visiting its historic plazas, churches, and beautifull colonial streets; you can also take the cable car to go up the Pichincha volcano, where you can have amazing views of the whole city. You can also visit the Mitad del Mundo (middle of the world), Pululahua volcano´s ctrater, and much more! During the weekends you can go to the rainforest, to the very popular Mindo town or north to the famous Otavalo indigenous town.
Quito, the country’s capital, is an old Andean city located at 2850 m.a.s.l. Although it doesn’t maintain much of its Inca origins, it’s still a testimony to Ecuador’s history and the merging between the Spanish and native cultures. Its historic downtown is the largest and best conserved in all Latin America, which resembles the rebellious character of old and new Quiteños, who in the words of Alexander Von Humboldt “are strange and unique beings: they sleep peacefully surrounded by roaring volcanoes”.