Volunteer in this unique school working with blind and deaf children

  • A volunteering opportunity for those considering a career working with blind or deaf children
  • Ideal for any volunteer who has experience working with children who are deaf or blind
  • An opportunity to work alongside qualified staff, lending them assistance
  • Located in a quiet area of Quito, Ecuador

Project summary

This is one of the only schools for blind and deaf children in Quito, run by a foundation but receiving funds from the state. Of the fifty children attending, most are deaf, some are blind and a minority have both disabilities, possibly with associated mental or physical disabilities.

There is a good team of teaching staff. In addition to practical primary subjects the children are taught a number of vocational skills in gardening, jewellery making and sewing.

In addition to eight classrooms there is a big, grassy outdoors play area, learning areas for each different age group and plenty of indoor space.

The more able children are integrated into mainstream schools for a limited number of hours, when they are accompanied, requiring further support from staff.

As with most welfare services, volunteer support is needed to provide increased support to the regular staff. The teaching and care of the children requires much higher ratios of teachers to students in order to make it effective.

This is a volunteering opportunity for those considering a career working with blind or deaf children but qualified volunteers may also be able to provide new skills and experience to the existing staff.

Volunteer roles and responsibilities

The project operates in the mornings and the afternoons are spent preparing activities for the following day. Your time will be spent as an assistant in the classrooms with groups of up to twelve children. There is considerable focus on arts, craft, music and practical hands on activities. However academic subjects are also important. All the children study basic English and are taught to communicate in sign language.

In addition to normal lessons the children enjoy hippo-therapy at our horse riding project and swimming therapy. There is every opportunity to accompany the children and enjoy these therapies with them.

How you can make a difference

You will improve the staff to student ratio. This is important on a project where the children are ideally taught in small groups. Doing so means the children receive a higher standard of education and care.


The children are integrated where possible into mainstream school for a few hours each week. This can only take place if there are sufficient volunteers willing to work with one or two children at a time.

One of the joys of the project is seeing the positive reaction the children have towards volunteers and the huge rise in their self-esteem when they have your focus and support.

What is distinctive about this project:

This is the only project of its kind that provides a specialist service for blind / deaf children and provides a unique volunteering opportunity for experienced or aspiring vocational workers with an interest in supporting blind and deaf children.

Blue Tiger Features:

While this is an established school it is a new volunteer project for Outreach International and we will coordinate with the project and each prospective volunteer to confirm the suitability and role of each applicant.

The project has been visited and assessed by both our UK and in-country staff, but we would benefit from detailed volunteer feedback. As a pilot project we reward a higher degree of feedback with a reduction in the placement fee (see Prices)


The school is closed in July and August and at Christmas


The staff do not speak English, so an intermediate level of Spanish will be essential in this placement, which can be boosted by the lessons included by Outreach.

Experience required:

It is beneficial if you know sign language and have had experience working with the deaf or blind, but it is not required or expected. The nature of the project means that volunteers need to be proactive and confident in making contributions to activities, as it is important the volunteer is not an incremental burden.

Good to know:

The project is 45 minutes from your accommodation in a quiet residential area of Quito. You will most likely be the only volunteer at the project, but you will share your host family accommodation with other volunteers, with whom you can enjoy both Quito and Ecuador.

Price table

1 month6 weeks2 months10 weeks3 months4 months5 months6 months

Pioneer: Fees include discount for Pioneer project, in return for expanded volunteer feedback
Includes: Comprehensive travel insurance (supplements may apply to older travellers). Accommodation, food, airport transfer, travel to projects, in-country support, welcome meal, excursion. Two weeks of good quality 121 Spanish tuition.
Excludes: Flights, visas, vaccinations

Things to see and do

  • Visit the Amazon rainforest
  • Downhill mountain-biking in Cotopaxi
  • Go Wild in Banos
  • Visit the Galapagos
  • Straddle the equator

Country co-ordinator

Monika Montes

Monika is superbly connected throughout Ecuador and has been working with Outreach International since 2003. She lives with her two teenage children in central Quito and plays host to many of our volunteers who work in the city. Monika’s passion for volunteering is reflected in her commitment and level of support that she provides. She speaks fluent English and is a qualified Spanish tutor.

About Ecuador