To work with youth of parents who are currently or were formerly in juvenile detention, as well as the parents themselves in order to effectively reinsert each member of the family into society and become productive citizens. We support each participant’s physical, psychological, behavioral, educational, and professional development while cultivating a better quality of life. Finally, we work with society at large to raise awareness about a culture of compassion and social support.



The minimum duration to volunteer is 3 weeks, although our volunteers typically come for around 3 months. We want our volunteers to constantly work and develop their soft skills, such as empathy, creativity, communication and problem-solving skills, etc., and the volunteer program provides training and opportunity to do so. The program is designed so that you are truly living and volunteering — experiencing Ecuador. Volunteers will also have opportunity to travel and explore Ecuador on weekends. 

Children/ Teenagers

Children and teenagers from troubled family life and difficult backgrounds attend youth development programs. Programming supports physical, psychological, behavioral, educational, and professional development. These are children whose parents are currently or were formerly incarcerated. Programming aims to cultivate a better quality of life for these children with the goal of developing productive citizens. 


↝ Organize and lead different activities and courses that generate an educational and caring atmosphere
↝ Create established routines to engage kids in a manner that is enjoyable for them
↝ Utilize positive strategies to increase a sense of self-improvement
↝ Introduce lifestyle opportunities and provide skills to make lifestyle changes
↝ Provide opportunities that are developmentally age appropriate; let kids be kids and give them a moment of relaxation and recreation

Entrepeneurship Program

The development and progression experienced by the children at the foundation is not supported by the lifestyle at home. In our 12 years of operation, it has been observed that when the children return home each night, the challenges at home set back their progression. In efforts to support the children, the foundation strives to provide the families with the same educational and development support. 


Many of these families live in a state of poverty. In order to break this cycle of poverty and improve the state of living for the entire family, we are starting an entrepreneurship program for the parents of the youth. This opportunity will provide those who are released from prison a second chance at life, as they often find themselves unemployable after a prison sentence.

Being unemployable compels them to then resort to bad lifestyle habits and means of making money. The entrepreneurship program will include the areas of baking, construction, and carpentry. We are providing them with consistent employment and income, as well as the dignity that comes from having a job. By joining this endeavor, you will share your knowledge and skills with those less fortunate and become a part of the Awaken team, building something bigger than yourself.

During your stay, the following is provided:

↝ Accommodation during the entire stay
↝ Breakfast Monday - Friday
↝ Airfare (optional - can be purchased through Awaken)
↝ Transportation from the airport upon arrival and to the airport on the day of departure
↝ Safe and spacious house along with being part of an Ecuadorian family
↝ One cultural activity a week
↝ Tour of Quito

There are no program fees to volunteer with Awaken. All volunteers live together in the Awaken house. It is a large fully equipped house located in a safe area. The cost of accommodation is $390/month. 

The objective is to generate an educational, positive, and caring atmosphere and empower our youth to build strategies toward self-improvement. Activities that the youth partake in include art, painting, theater, music, dance, sports, yoga, and workshops.