Tutoring Program Volunteer



Time Commitment

Full time (30+ hrs/wk)


Short-Term (few weeks/months)




 The Starfish Foundation (Fundación Estrellitas del Mar) is looking for short and long-term volunteers to work with our high school students in Guayaquil, Ecuador! This is a great opportunity for anyone who enjoys working with youth, is passionate about Latin American culture, and believes that education is the path to a better future!

WHERE: Guayaquil, Ecuador 

Starfish Foundation volunteers work and live with a host family in a neighborhood called Flor de Bastión. All families with which Starfish volunteers stay receive extensive training prior to hosting foreign volunteers and the accommodations are comfortable. Buses are easily accessible to take you to the center of the city on your days off.

VOLUNTEERS RESPONSIBILITIES: Each volunteer must propose his/her own project to carry out during his/her volunteer time based on interests and passions. Past projects have included photography, fundraising, nutrition, ESL classes, sports, music classes, etc. If you have videography, photography or strong computer skills, Starfish would especially love to welcome your contributions to the 2018 Summer Volunteer program. Starfish has monthly themes and if known ahead of time can incorporate your project into the monthly theme. Additionally, all volunteers may:

  • Help run our tutoring program in Monday-Friday and be a good role model for our scholarship students
  • Bring your own talents to the program through planning supplemental activities or icebreakers for our tutoring sessions 1-2 times per week
  • Write for The Starfish Foundation’s blog with updates on your volunteer experience
  • Assist with field trips, special workshops, house visits, monthly meetings and other programming as they arise
  • Opportunities for teaching a small group English (or other subject of your choice) class to help students.
  • Provide professional development and leadership guidance to current employees in Ecuador
  • Continue to foster deeper relationships with Starfish families via our “Humans of Starfish” project and other time spent in the community
  • Help Starfish gather necessary data for growth and grants through conducting program evaluations with students & parents, as well as neighborhood data collection surveys


  • Intermediate Spanish (and willing to learn more!)
  • High School graduate, 18+ years old, (College preferred but not required), 16+ with Chaperone
  • Experience working with youth
  • A passion for education and working with youth
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Patience & flexibility
  • Strong sense of initiative
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Travel experience in developing nations (recommended)


All volunteers will work Monday – Friday 7:30-11:00am and 1:30-5:30pm at the refuerzo program. (Exact hours may vary..) Additional hours may be required at other times to assist with special workshops, house visits, or other programming needs. Volunteers will also assist 1 weekend per month at a weekend activity (usually on Sundays, could be community service, leadership school, therapeutic group, etc.)


Before your volunteer experience, all volunteers are expected to hold a fundraiser for Starfish. You can be creative as to what to do, and we are available to help guide you in this process. The funds raised will be used to cover some of your expenses (including housing and food) while with Starfish. Fundraising goals begin at $400 for 5-week summer volunteers and increase based on length of stay. Your fundraiser will be an important way for you to share with others about Starfish and the work you will be doing!


  • Airport Pick-Up and Drop-Off
  • Starfish Shirt
  • Cell phone for use during volunteer experience (will need to add minutes)
  • Work related business expenses (Copies, etc.)
  • Coordinate housing with a family in Flor de Bastión
  • 1 week in-country orientation
  • Assistance with Visa paperwork if staying beyond the 90-day tourist visa


  • Cost of Flight
  • Cost of Housing and Food
  • With host families this is $35/week including housing and 3 home-cooked meals per day
  • Personal Expenses including re-charging cell phone with minutes, toiletries, bus fare, personal items such as laundry detergent & free time travel
  • International Health Insurance (please send verification of your insurance coverage prior to departure)
  • Updated vaccinations before the trip
  • Suggested Donation to The Starfish Foundation or a Fundraiser before your time in Ecuador
  • If you do not wish to live with a family, we can give advice but you will be responsible for finding your own housing.


Starting Dates: 

5+ week summer program - approximately June 1 each year

10+ week school year program - flexible start dates September - March

We recommend at least a 10 week commitment (or more)*. If you have a special project proposal for less than 10 weeks, please contact us as it may be possible to do an adapted version of our volunteer program during the summer months! For start dates September - March, please contact us to coordinate.

  • Note* The school year in Guayaquil runs from April-February. In March preparations are made for the new school year, including the selection of new scholarship recipients. During this time, a volunteer would have a less-fixed schedule, less structured time with the students and would have to be flexible and patient with last-minute schedule changes.
  • **If staying longer than 90 days you will need to get a visa before leaving for Ecuador. We can provide assistance with the visa forms.


Fee Required


  • Housing Available
  • Language/Cultural Support Available


  • International Volunteers