Lakefield Trip – Otavalo (Oct 29-Nov 5)

Oct 29 - Nov 5, 2023
  • Trip Type:
  • Cats
  • Dogs

Otavalo Ecuador waterfallThis is a small animal veterinary field project that will provide direct veterinary services and care to animals in need on a large scale. To aid in the delivery of such assistance, we have volunteer opportunities that not only facilitate quality veterinary care but also enable individuals to be a part of the work that we do around the world.

For this field project, volunteer opportunities are open to vets, techs (both licensed and non-licensed), and general assistants. Volunteer selection will be coordinated with Lakefield Veterinary Group. Read more about volunteer positions below.

**Note- This is a closed project made possible by sponsorship from Lakefield Veterinary Group. Please view our upcoming projects page for trips that are open to our general membership.


What’s included in the Project:

World Vets logo scrub top, volunteer kit, pre – trip planning and coordination per the project itinerary, accommodations for 8 days and 7 nights, breakfasts for the week, lunch on clinic work days, airport transfers in Quito per established meeting times on official arrival/departure days, ground transportation related to veterinary work, a group excursion/activity, veterinary and volunteer permissions, as well as all supplies and full participation on the project.

What’s NOT included:

International/domestic airfare, optional excursions, travelers’ insurance, health insurance, World Vets membership fee, lunch on non-work days, dinner and snacks, required travel documentation to enter/exit Ecuador (i.e. a passport that does not expire for at least 6 months from your initial date of travel, visa if applicable), incidentals and anything not specifically outlined as included.

What will I be doing?

This is a small animal veterinary field project. For this particular project, World Vets veterinary team will be operating a spay-and-neuter campaign targeting both owned and unowned animals, working in collaboration with our long-time local partners Bienestar Animal Imbabura (BAI).  World Vets has been providing much needed veterinary assistance in this region of Ecuador for over 13 years!  Volunteers can expect 75+ sterilizations to be performed each day. We may also see health consultations, perform other types of surgeries, and/or treat injuries on a case-by-case basis.


As a veterinarian, you primarily will be performing sterilization surgeries for dogs and cats. You may also be involved in the following:

  • Medical diagnosis and treatment and/or in providing health consultations
  • Performing other surgeries that may be deemed necessary on a case-by-case basis (based on your comfort level and/or ability)
  • Providing instruction to students and/or local volunteers or pet owners

The veterinarian volunteer category may be filled by a licensed DVM who is both competent and comfortable in performing routine spay/neuter surgery. PLEASE NOTE: We will require copies of veterinary licenses for veterinarians volunteering on this project.

Veterinary Technicians (Licensed and Non-Licensed) | Veterinary Nurses

As a veterinary technician, you will lead and/or be involved in running the pre-med/induction station to induce anesthesia and prepare patients for surgery.  This includes:

  • Administering, monitoring and managing the pre-medication given to surgical patients
  • Administering, monitoring and managing the anesthesia given to surgical patients
  • Assisting with surgical prep and patient monitoring

The “Tech (LVT/RVT)” volunteer category may only be filled by a veterinary technician that is either certified, licensed and/or registered. Please note, proficiency in IV catheter placement is essential in this position. Veterinary technicians and assistants who are not licensed, but who have experience in a veterinary clinic setting, should register under the “Tech/Assistant” category and further classify their position on the registration form.


The assistant volunteer category is open to anyone who loves animals and wants to help. Our assistant position requires no prior experience, just a willingness to learn! Assistants often help in the post operation recovery area and in a variety of miscellaneous duties (based on your skills, experience and comfort level).

A few special notes:

COVID-19: The global pandemic presents an ongoing health and safety risk both in the United States and abroad and conditions and recommendations change frequently. Please refer to information on the US State Department website for travel to Ecuador, as well as, the CDC website for current information on international travel and health recommendations.  Please read and fully understand the terms and conditions in the link below.

World Vets is not able to provide medical advice related to travel vaccines or other travel-related medical questions. Volunteers are encouraged to consult with their family physician, nearest travel clinic, and/or center for disease control regarding recommended immunizations and/or health precautions prior to the trip. It is recommended that volunteers be vaccinated for rabies for any international project, although is not a requirement for this particular project.

The gloves provided on World Vets projects are made with latex. Volunteers who have a latex allergy will need to provide their own gloves for this project.

Caps and masks are required to be worn by all surgeons, as well as, those assisting within the sterile field of the surgical patient. World Vets provides disposable caps and masks on field service projects, however, volunteers have the option of using their own surgical cap and/or mask..

We will be reserving double or triple rooms; volunteers should expect to share a room. Please view the accommodations tab for more details on the property and room amenities.

We highly recommend that you obtain travel and medical insurance for your trip. Global Rescue and MedJet are reputable providers of medical evacuation & advisory services. Be sure to read the policy wording to ensure the policy is a fit for your needsPolicies must be purchased prior to your initial registration in order to qualify- check with individual provider for details.

Please read and make sure you understand World Vets Terms & Conditions


October 28: Travel and Overnight Stay

Fly in to Quito, Ecuador (most flights arrive late PM or very early AM the following day). We recommend you book an overnight stay at the Quito Airport Wyndham hotel, a business hotel across the street from the airport with a free shuttle that runs 24 hours a day.

Day 1 (October 29): Official Arrival Day and Start Date of Trip

In the morning, the team will be picked up from the Wyndham hotel and take scheduled transportation from Quito to Otavalo, stopping on the way to visit the equator line. Once in Otavalo, you will have time to settle into accommodations, and the rest of the day is leisure time.

Day 2 (October 30): Group Activity | Clinic Orientation

After breakfast in the morning, the team will go together on a local tour to check out the area (to be determined)

In the afternoon, the field service veterinarian and a few team members will go to the clinic site with local partners to get orientated and set up for clinic work. Tonight the team will meet up to go over details and plans for the following clinic days.

*Breakfast provided
Days 3, 4 & 5 (October 31 and November 1 & 2): Clinic Days

Hopefully you are well rested because for the next three days you will be operating a field condition sterilization campaign. The team leave the hotel by 8:00 AM and walk a short ways to the clinic site.

Bring your scrub top, headlamp and comfortable shoes and be ready to pitch in and help wherever needed to make the project a success.

*Breakfast and lunch provided
Day 6 (November 3): Community Outreach | Free Time

Following breakfast the team will provide a community outreach clinic. Volunteers will be involved in assisting with health consultations and administering preventative health medicines to a variety of animal species. This will be a half-day activity.

The remaining part of the day is free for volunteers. World Vets does not have any activities scheduled for the afternoon, so volunteers will be responsible for making their own arrangements.

*Breakfast provided
Day 7 (November 4): Leisure | Free Time

Today is free for volunteers. World Vets does not have any activities scheduled for today, so volunteers will be responsible for making their own arrangements.

*Breakfast provided
Day 8 (November 5): Official Departure Day

Today is the official end date of the project and signifies the departure of the team. Transfers to the Quito airport will be scheduled in 1-2 groups depending on flight departure times.

(Please note: the day-to-day schedule may be subject to change.)


The team will stay at a beautiful and cozy lodge located within the town of Otavalo and within walking distance to local markets, restaurants, and shops. It is equipped with hot showers, Wi-Fi internet access, gardens, and an outdoor patio. The team will also enjoy breakfast (included with accommodations) each morning at its very own restaurant located on site. Rooms will be shared.

General Packing List

*NOTE:  This is a general packing list.
Please research your project's forecast information for weather permitting items.


  • Shoes (anything comfortable w/ covered toes for clinic days)
  • World Vets scrub top (required during clinic days)
  • Scrub pants (optional)
  • Pants
  • T-shirts (weather permitting)
  • Shorts (weather permitting - shorts are ok for surgery)
  • Bandana/hat
  • Swimsuit (weather permitting)
  • Sweatshirt (weather permitting)
  • Light jacket (weather permitting)
  • Pajamas
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle (highly recommended)
  • Headlamp (highly recommended)
  • Camera
  • Tote bag
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Prescription medications
  • Over the counter meds (Tylenol, Imodium, cold meds etc)
  • Personal bottle of hand sanitizer (highly recommended)
  • Soap
  • Sunscreen (highly recommended)
  • Bug spray (DEET) (highly recommended)
  • Brush
  • Band-Aids
  • Glasses/contact lenses
  • Beach Towel (if applicable)
  • Ear Plugs
  • Flip Flops/Shower shoes/Water shoes