FAQ’s

Details about ARP programs are available in our Annual Reports. Updates can be viewed through ARP’s social media channels. Make sure to review the ARP Volunteer Preparation Manual for more pre-arrival details.

Q: When can I serve with ARP?
A: Year round – check each position description for specific information. Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis until positions are full, in which case staff will let you know next available dates. Participants are typically asked to arrive on site the first Monday of the month, preferably serve a minimum of six weeks and depart on a Saturday – exceptions can be made when space permits with prior notification.

Q: What vaccinations and health measures do I need to take?
A: Please refer to the CDC website or other international health authority for the current recommendations. It is the responsibility of the volunteer to be informed and consult with medical professionals regarding vaccinations and other personal health issues prior to travelling abroad.

Q: What language skills do I need to participate?
A: This varies by program and position. If you have an advanced level of English OR Spanish, there is a place for you at the Project. Generally to serve in a leadership position, you must have advanced levels in both English and Spanish. Regional Kichwa (Quechua) is also spoken – it is similar to Andean Kichwa – as well as several other indigenous languages, which are not required.

Q: Can I study Spanish while serving with ARP?
A: Improving Spanish skills is a frequent goal of volunteers, which is easy fulfilled through immersion and reverse learning. Some study resources have also been compiled by previous volunteers. However, to receive further instruction, ARP can help you arrange a couple of different options:

Language exchange: ARP often can help pair up volunteers and Ecuadorians for language exchanges where an hour of instruction of English is taught in exchange for receiving an hour of Spanish instruction.

Skype classes: ARP has a partner in Quito who is now offering Skype lessons for a fee (the volunteer house has free WiFi). These classes can be arranged in coordination with face-to-face instruction in Quito either before or after serving with us.

In-person instruction: At times we are able to point volunteers toward a local teacher who charges by the hour. If interested in this option we would need to see if someone is currently available.

Q: How do I get in touch with ARP’s community of present, past and future volunteers and supporters?
A: Request to join the Project’s Facebook group. You can also view testimonies from past volunteers.

Q: Why is a financial contribution required to volunteer or intern?
A: As important as the work is that ARP does, there is little funding for it, and even less so for basic operational costs (Project center, basic materials, staff, transport, communications, taxes, bank fees) that make it all possible. While ARP remains low-cost, it would not be possible to run quality programming, nor keep the doors open, without this contribution. Please see the financials section of the annual reports for further information.

Q: How do internships work?
A: Internships differ from volunteering in that in addition to the core program work, interns are expected to carry out a special project. The special project is chosen based upon Project needs, and intern interests and skills. ARP requires that interns create a proposal and work-plan once a special project is defined. The scope of the special project depends on the length of the internship – internships ideally should span at least 2 months.

Q: What are reduced-fee and non-fee positions?
A: A limited number of specialized and leadership positions are offered each year. Successful applicants generally have advanced language skills, strong education and/or professional backgrounds, demonstrate strong social skills, and commit to serving multiple months. ARP covers the basic costs of these positions in exchange for this level of service central to ARP’s mission.

Q: Is there anything useful for the Project that I can bring with me? 
A: Yes! ARP is often asked what material donations would be helpful to support and further the work of the Project, and often many unused items at home can be utilized here. See ARP’s wish list for more details.

Q: How do I get to ARP?
A: There are several ways listed below. Please make sure to let ARP know when you will be arriving so staff can meet you at the Puyo bus terminal and accompany you to the center and/or your accommodation – street addresses are not used here so it is difficult to find locations upon arrival.

Flying: It is recommended to fly into Quito. Guayaquil is another option but it is further away and an especially dangerous city.

Land: Tourism companies typically offer a more comfortable and safer way for these long journeys. For example, Cruz del Sur (based in Peru) allows you to book tickets online and makes the border crossing easier than local transport methods.

From Quito (recommended): Volunteers can either make their own way to Puyo or request the Quito Meet & Greet Service where ARP makes arrangements for you with our partners (covers everything between the airport pick-up to arriving at ARP’s doorstep, cost $105 as of August 2014). Unless already in country or arriving on an early morning flight, it is recommended to spend a night in Quito. If making your own way down, please take the 9:30am bus on the San Francisco line on the indicated day of arrival – we will meet you at the Puyo bus terminal at 2:30pm.

From Guayaquil: There are a handful of direct buses to Puyo each day (bus lines San Francisco, Flota Pelileo, Baños Express). As these are somewhat infrequent, another option is to take a bus to Ambato or Baños, and then change buses. You will need to notify ARP when you will be arriving or have arrived in Puyo so that staff knows to meet you at the Puyo bus terminal.

Q: How can I access money in Puyo?
A: ATMs and Western Union. Several ATMs in Puyo accept international cards – costs of withdrawal depends on your bank and there is normally a $300-600 daily limit depending on the ATM and your bank. Project staff can accompany you to/from financial institutions if desired.

Q: Can I receive mail?
A: Yes, but it can be complicated. To receive mail, please instruct the sender to mail to:

[Your Name]
Arajuno Road Project
Casilla 16-01-803
Puyo-Pastaza, Ecuador
EC160150

TIPS: To avoid problems with customs, DO NOT send a package that weighs over 2kg/4lbs, declare a high value of the contents, or label the contents as something desirable (used books is a good choice when listing the contents of the package). Failing to observe these precautions could result in a hefty fee/fine when receiving the package, the package not arriving intact and/or a long delay before the package arrives. Mailing out can take 1-2 weeks and costs a minimum of $1. Receiving can take several weeks and costs a minimum of $1.