Los Cedros

Volunteering at Los Cedros

Los Cedros Biological Reserve is a non-profit organisation that depends on the hard work and contributions of volunteers for its continued survival. Volunteers muck-in where they are needed and typical day-to-day tasks can include:

  • trail maintenance and development
  • checking the integrity of the reserve’s borders
  • assisting with research project work, when active
  • development of new projects (for the self-motivated!)
  • maintenance of the facilities
  • feeding the chickens, cultivating the vegetable patches, picking oranges and cutting down bananas
  • purchasing and transporting additional food and other supplies to the reserve from Quito
  • monitoring camera traps

Los Cedros volunteer experience is, paradoxically, both hard working and relaxed.

The length of the working day varies with the projects at hand. Volunteers can count on breaking an occasional sweat and earning their appetites. However, they can also count on plenty of time to relax, chat, read, eat, hike, drink tea, swing in hammocks, admire the views, and generally enjoy a well-earned sense of accomplishment from the day’s labours.

Long-term volunteers are particularly valuable since they have more time to get to know the reserve and to develop their own initiatives. However, shorter-term volunteers are also a necessary source of energy, ideas and labor. A minimum commitment of two weeks is required for volunteers, although a month or more is preferred. Most people who come here end up wanting to stay for longer anyway and many have.


To apply to volunteer at Los Cedros simply contact the reserve with some basic information about yourself and we will get back to you soon, usually within a couple of days. Useful info for us is your name, where you are coming from, why you’re interested in volunteering, when you would arrive and how long you would like to stay. A short email is usually sufficient. We can also answer any questions you have and provide additional travel information in response.


View accommodation


  • International volunteers: $300 for two weeks – $500 per month

  • Ecuadorean volunteers: $150 for two weeks – $250 per month

  • All prices are in US dollars. Fees include all accommodation, bedding and food. Vegetarian cooking is available. Food is plentiful and good.

  • Mule transport is provided for bringing you and your gear up the mountain to the reserve at no additional charge. Some volunteers prefer to hike the journey themselves for the extra challenge and experience.

  • Los Cedros is a non-profit reserve. All fees go to maintenance, staff wages, and the development of projects which are part of the reserve’s goals of conservation and education.