Storytelling Volunteer in Ecuador



Time Commitment

Full time (30+ hrs/wk)


Short-Term (few weeks/months)





The Tandana Foundation is seeking volunteers to collect and prepare information that will be turned into posts for our blog. Located in a region that is rich in natural beauty and cultural diversity, this position is available year-round, and the minimum time commitment is 3 months. While living and working in mountain villages in the Otavalo canton of Ecuador, the volunteer will collect information mainly from local community members, scholarship students, beneficiaries from our patient follow-up program, and even from participants of our programs & staff members. 

Position Description

In this position, you will work alongside Margarita who is Tandana's Program Assistant and who in addition to managing our accounting, works to keep our office organized and assists our programs in many important ways. Your primary duty will include the collection of stories for our blog. Because Tandana facilitates many volunteer programs and community development projects throughout the year, you may also help coordinate service- and cultural-learning experiences for groups of U.S. students that are visiting as well as assist with other Tandana projects as need arises. Finally, you will serve as a a cultural ambassador and a positive representative of The Tandana Foundation. In return, you will be placed with a host family, which will allow countless opportunities to explore the indigenous cultures and subsistence lifestyles of highland Ecuador as well as the natural environment around you. You will also be given all the support you need to succeed in your work and be encouraged to accomplish your personal goals.


  • Conversational Spanish.
  • Strong writing, translation, and editing skills in both English and Spanish.
  • Experience living in cross-cultural situations, preferably in Latin America.
  • Ability to work cooperatively with a diverse array of people, to solve problems creatively, and to promote a positive experience for all involved.
  • Self-motivation, responsibility, and an ability to work independently.
  • Photography skills encouraged but not required.
  • Minimum age is 19.
  • Minimum time commitment is 3 months.


Primary duties (75%):

  • You will work with our program assistant (Margarita), Public Relations Specialist (Susan) Communications Specialist (Bridgit), and work independently, to collect, edit, and translate stories from all our beneficiaries for our blog and fundraising efforts.
  • You will collect, take, and edit photos to include with the above blog posts.

Secondary duties (25%):

  • Collection of data to be used for evaluation (e.g. contact past scholarship students, find out what they are doing now, administer surveys, etc.)
  • Keep various inventories that we have in our office up to date (e.g. books, cooking supplies, tools, etc.).
  • Help Margarita with the inventory of medications and medical supplies. 
  • Assist with volunteer programs as needed.
  • Support the Ecuador Program Manager (Diego) as needed.


  • The opportunity to participate in unique cultural activities and be a part of a dynamic, multi-cultural team.
  • Detailed orientation and ongoing support from Tandana's Ecuador Program Manager as well as a mentor.
  • Room and board with a local family (homestay).
  • Work expenses including local transportation, cell phone, and consular fees. (Volunteers pay their own airfare to Ecuador).


  • Training Provided
  • Housing Available
  • Language/Cultural Support Available


  • International Volunteers

How To Apply

Interested parties should send a resume and a letter addressing each of the following questions to Aaron DiMartino, Operations Director, at

  1. Please describe any experience you have living in Ecuador or in another cross-cultural situation.
  2. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a leader?
  3. Describe an experience that was very challenging for you. How did you deal with the difficulties, and what did you learn from the experience?
  4. What are you passionate about, and how do you express that passion?
  5. What do you think will be most exciting about this opportunity?
  6. What do you think will be most difficult about this opportunity?
  7. What are your personal and professional goals for this opportunity and how can we help you accomplish them?