We look forward to working with volunteers who want to share their knowledge and abilities with our kids. For example those with musical talent can come, play and instrument and sing as part of our programs. Those interested in nutrition can share what they know with the children. If it’s photography, children love to play with phone cameras and would love to know more about photography. All knowledge sharing is welcome and can be fit to a reading session, for example by finding a book related to the volunteer’s passion.

If the volunteer possesses any formal studies in education, pedagogy, child psychology, or any other area related to children, the experience at Casa Búho will be a perfect fit for them as they will be able to apply their specific knowledge to any of the programs we run and help us make them better.  

We want volunteers to help us make this initiative better and better. We are not just looking for day to day help but also intellectual contributions, feedback and suggestions on how to make this program the best it can be.

Volunteering activities

Work planning meetings: This is where ideas come to life to implement with the children during our daily sessions.

Feedback Sessions: Here’s where we analyze the results of our daily work with the children. We modify what may not be working as expected and highlight what we identify as positive.

10 to 15 different children attend the daily after school reading club called “Mi Tarde de Lectura” (My reading afternoon), where we focus on developing the reading abilities of those who come. We do so by having one book reading session (read aloud to the children), followed by free exploration of books and a planned activity related to the book read.

Another program developed by Casa Búho is called “Bebé Búhos” (Baby Owls) where we work with mothers and their babies. The dynamic in these sessions is different since we focus more on the sensory development of the babies who attend and give their parents guidelines on what to read to them and how. These are very fulfilling sessions and are constantly evolving.

English as a complementary language is one secondary objective of Casa Búho. Simple picture books in english can be read to the children and expose them to a different language through literature.

Volunteers might also be asked to help with an artistic project or craft to contribute to the aesthetics of the physical space where Casa Búho operates.

Volunteer support

Volunteers receive a formal project induction on arrival and work with the guide of Casa Búho’s director Valeria Sáenz.

When?

The project is available year round.

Minimum Stay Duration is 1 week.

We Provide

Volunteer accommodation

Accommodation is provided at the Casa de Voluntarios in Machalilla. We provide a private room with a private bathroom, a communal kitchen and dining area and a place where you can relax. The house is located in a nice part of town and is less than 5 minute walk to the beach.

The House has a well-equipped kitchen and self-catering is a popular option for our volunteers. It’s cheap and fun to buy food locally and cook together as a group. Fresh fish is the local specialty!

Program includes

  • Local project coordinator
  • Project Orientation
  • Project transport
  • Accommodation
  • Hot water
  • Independent Room
  • Independent Bathroom
  • Shared kitchen
  • WiFi

Not included in the program

  • Meals
  • Tourist Visa
  • Insurance
  • Tourist activities
  • Laundry Service

Casa Búho Staff

Valeria Sáenz is Casa Búho’s full time director and founder of this initiative. She works directly with children, performs the reading aloud sessions and participates in many other activities together with the volunteers. 

Casa Búho also counts with the help of a part time house host and other local volunteers composed of mostly family and friends.

Program Costs

There’s no fee for volunteering but we do ask volunteers for a one time $25 USD (per volunteer) donation which we use to cover costs of running the project (mostly buying materials and books). We provide accommodation for volunteers who wish to stay in Machalilla. The cost per night (per room) is $10 USD for volunteers. See section We Provide for details about the room. 

Why are there any costs associated?

The costs are for covering accommodation only. We have a private room with a private bathroom in Machalilla available per person or for a couple (One full sized bed). If you would like to book your own accommodation while in Machalilla, you are welcome to do so. In such case we would only ask for a $25 USD donation which helps us buy more books and materials and together with your valuable work are very necessary to keep us running :).

Please contact valeria@casabuho.org to apply 🙂