Otavalo, Ecuador (November 23 – 30, 2022)

Nov 23-30, 2022
  • 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), students (vet, pre-vet, and tech) and general assistants. Read more about volunteer positions below.

How much will it cost?

The project fee associated with this veterinary field service project is $1595 USD. Before you register, please ensure you do not have any scheduling conflicts that may impact your participation as project fees are non-refundable and/or non-transferrable to other trips and/or persons.

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, breakfast and 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 and authorizations, 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, breakfast and 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/Student” category.


As a veterinary student, pre-veterinary student and/or veterinary technician student, you may be involved in any of the following activities:

  • Pre med/Induction: Assisting with prepping patients for surgery  (i.e. animal handling/restraint, expressing bladders, assisting with catheter placement, shaving and sterilizing surgical field, positioning patient for the surgeon).
  • Surgery:  Assisting a veterinarian in surgery, cleaning up surgical area for the next patient and/or observing surgery. Note: Only veterinary students are allowed to participate in performing surgical procedures and only under the direct guidance and instruction of a veterinarian. Veterinary students can expect to assist with surgical procedures however they should not assume that this will be the main focus of their involvement during clinic.
  • Recovery:  Monitoring patients after surgery, administering appropriate post-op medications per protocol chart and grooming.

The student volunteer category may be filled by veterinary students, pre–veterinary students, and veterinary technology students. When registering select the “Tech/Student” category and further classify your position on the registration form to reflect the student type that you are filling. 


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. Proof of COVID vaccination OR a negative PCR test for COVID are required for travel to Ecuador.

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 rooms in a hotel for the team; volunteers should expect to share a room. Please view the accommodations tab for more details on 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


Day 1 (November 23): Official Start 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 (November 24): 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 (November 25 & 26): Clinic Days

Hopefully you are well rested because for the next two days you will be operating a field condition sterilization campaign. The team will be picked up by 8:00 AM to be taken 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 5 (November 27): 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 6 (November 28): Clinic Day

You will return to the clinic site for another day of surgeries with cleanup afterwards.

*Breakfast and lunch provided
Day 7 (November 29): 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 vaccines and 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 8 (November 30): 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.

For volunteers who wish to extend their stay, this is something that is not included in the project fee. Also, please know that if you stay past the official end date of the project, you will then be responsible for any accommodations and the return transportation to the airport.

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


Otavalo accommodations are being reserved at a lovely property within walking distance of the town markets and restaurants. Free high speed internet (Wi-Fi), laundry services, and private bathrooms with hot showers will be available, along with social and/or restful hangout areas (courtyard, gardens, library, rooftop balcony, etc.) Photos show actual or similar property to what is being reserved.

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