volunteer checklist

The following is a list of recommended and useful items that you may need when you are volunteering in or visiting an indigenous community. Feel free to email us using the Contact Form above if you have any questions about what to bring, or what not to bring with you.

Please also click on the Norms of Conduct link as a guide to preparing for your visit.


Volunteer and Visitor Checklist


 ♦ High SPF/waterproof sunblock and After Sun lotion

 ♦ Insect repellent

 ♦ First aid kit and medicine (especially cream/gel for insect bites)

 ♦ All-natural, biodegradable shampoo, conditioner, soap (Purchase in your home


 ♦ Hat or Cap (especially for communities in the Sierra)

 ♦ Sunglasses

 ♦ Lightweight pants, long-sleeved shirts, and T-shirts

 ♦ Rubber boots (for rainforest communities, can be bought here for about $7)

 ♦ Sneakers or hiking boots

 ♦ Raincoat or poncho

 ♦ Bathing suit and rubber/foam sandals

 ♦ Light sweater or jacket

 ♦ Lightweight sleeping bag

 ♦ Towel

 ♦ Wet wipes

 ♦ Small backpack for daytrips

 ♦ U.S. money in small denominations

 ♦ Photocopy of passport (in plastic bag to keep dry)

 ♦ Flashlight or headlight

 ♦ Soap for handwashing clothes (for those planning to stay in the community for longerdurations)

All these items can be bought in Quito, so there is no need to panic if you do not have everything.


Yanapuma Foundation
Our work is founded on the belief that the processes of globalization are inevitable. Without help indigenous cultures and communities most often end up losing control of or destroying their resource base. They lose their traditional cultural values and relationships to their environment. Thus they are drawn into a system in which they are ill-equipped to compete and are destined to remain at the bottom of the economic ladder, with under-developed infrastructure, and poor prospects for future generations. We believe that such communities have the right to maintain control of their resources and to live dignified and sustainable lives. With the right help they can develop suitable strategies and work towards a fulfilling future. But their responses need to be coordinated across all axes in order to achieve truly sustainable lives. Thus we believe it is important to support sustainable practices on multiple levels in order to present viable and holistic options.