Volunteer in the Cloud Forest

Live, Learn and Share in Mindo

Cloud Forest Institute's volunteer program in Mindo is in partnership with Amazon Mycorenewal Project, Fundacion Cambugan, the city government and local community members. The program subcontracts existing lodging and food service infrastructure owned by local residences of Mindo, and places students in the homes of trusted families. Volunteers work with a variety of community initiated projects and campaigns promoted by Cloud Forest Institute and partner organizations. 

Projects and Activities

Volunteers are guided towards projects based on their interests and skill sets.  Volunteers are also invited to propose projects of their own particular skills and interests.

Medicinal Mushroom Cultivation "MindoDragon Mushroomery" In partnership with the Amazon Mycorenewal Project CFI is cultivating medicinal mushroom strains including Oyster, Reishi and Shitake. These natural medicines are processed and donated to people suffering from contamination related illnesses in the communities affected by oil extraction. This project is supporting the development of a cooperative business based on the Mon Dragon model to produce edible and medicinal mushrooms, mm chocolates and mm teas and tinctures for sale.
Cambugan Conservation Campaign In partnership with the Fundacion Cambugan volunteers help design and promote aspects of the save an acre and plant a tree fundraising campaigns as well as help in forest protection and reforestation activities.
Mindo Saludable In greenhouses CFI is growing organic food and medicinal plant starts and giving them free to locals registered as participants in the Club de Salud. The Club also organizes exercise activities, cooking classes, and education about nutrition and other aspects of healthy living.
Bio-Huerto A small kitchen garden helps feed volunteers and shows local participants how to grow organically. Red worm composting, integrated animal manure production from egg laying chickens amend the vegetable garden that is irrigated by tilapia and coy fish ponds. Natural pest management techniques of tradition plant based fumigants are utilized when necessary.
Self-Guided Permaculture Tour The Bio U Center is implementing different permaculture design models onsite. Educational displays are laid out to be observed by visitors. A pamphlet is in progress to support a self guided tour.
Administrative Assistance Volunteers are encouraged to help with CFI administrative tasks including developing PR materials, social networking and web presence, grant research and outreach etc.
Junta Parroquial Mindo Volunteers support the different projects of the local city council. Activities range from  helping design and landscape the town parks, the municipal trash collection and composting programs, to municipal planning and development design projects.
InfoCentro This Technology and Education Center was funded by the Ecuadorian Federal Government and built in 2012. A couple dozen computers exist to provide free internet access, there is class room facilities for community education initiatives. Only one person staffs the facility. Volunteers can help at the InfoCentro providing tech tutoring and other capacity building workshops like language learning etc.

Other local projects that need help are considered for volunteer placement.


$150 per week, $400 per month

Fees cover fresh, healthy, preference appropriate meals, and safe, comfortable lodging. Volunteers are expected to work 20 hours per week.

Application Process

Please fill out the form located on the drop down menu under the Volunteer tab. All fields with a red asterisk must be filled out for the form to send. CFI will respond to your message and answer any questions you may have. Once you have decided to participate in the program CFI will send required forms to be filled out and mailed back with your payment. Payment may be made by mail with a check or money order or we can invoice you through Pay Pal if you would like to pay by credit card.