MEDLIFE Tena | Volunteer Abroad Ecuador | MEDLIFE Movement
Tena, Ecuador

Population  Population: 34,800

Land Area  Land Area: 261.8 km²

Languages  Languages: Spanish

Currency   Currency: American Dollars


volunteer ecuadorOne of the entryways into the Amazon rainforest, Tena is the capital of the Napo province of Ecuador. Visitors come to Tena to experience the jungle’s incredible biodiversity, raft or kayak down the white-waters of the nearby rivers, and to learn about the indigenous communities that call the area home. If you’re looking to volunteer abroad in Ecuador, MEDLIFE Tena offers essential medicine, education, and development to underserved communities.

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Tena is an urban center in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador. It serves as the primary economic and governmental hub for a network of surrounding Indigenous communities. Due to isolation and poor infrastructure, residents have limited access to healthcare and other essential services. Travel restrictions and health risks have exacerbated this lack of access during the pandemic. Although our COVID-19 response brought hunger relief and some limited healthcare services to the region, many communities have had to rely on local resources and traditional medicine to get through the pandemic. The area also faces environmental problems caused by the Amazon’s large-scale industrial extraction of natural resources. This has resulted in severe health complications for its inhabitants, including higher rates of cancer and skin diseases.

By coming on a Service Learning Trip to Tena, you will empower local communities in their recovery from COVID-19 by bringing free healthcare and improved infrastructure. Sign up today for a trip today and join the MEDLIFE Movement!


Highlights of the trip

  • Explore various inspiring and impactful service learning trip options available year-round, including classic, nursing, dental, high school, physician assistants, engineering & architecture, and more!
  • Airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals (mon-fri), and 24/7 in-country support.
  • Free medical insurance is included.
  • Comfortable dormitory-style rooms during your stay.
  • Enhance your adventure with exciting add-ons!
  • Volunteer work in Ecuador that gives back and assists low-income communities

How we work in tena

Unique to some of our other homes in Tena, MEDLIFE has a longstanding and highly collaborative relationship with the regional government’s social assistance program. The region of Napo, where Tena is located, puts a strong focus and effort into serving the rural and vulnerable populations they call home. The result of this effort is a successful government social assistance program called Sumak Kawsay Wasi.

MEDLIFE and Sumak Kawsay Wasi collaborate daily on patient follow-up care and community development initiatives. When the local government does not have the staff, medical professionals, or tools to run a Mobile Clinic in a remote area, MEDLIFE steps in. When MEDLIFE doesn’t have the means to transport a patient from Tena to a specialized hospital located hours away in Riobamba, Sumak Kawsay Wasi steps in.

This relationship allows us to do what we do best and also avoids us building parallel systems to what the government already has in place. It is an excellent example of working hand in hand for social justice.

How You Can Help

Mobile Clinics

Since 2009 MEDLIFE has worked to address the needs of the underserved populations in the Ecuadorian Amazon through mobile clinics, preventative health education workshops, and patient follow-up. However, our efforts rely on dedicated individuals like you, who choose to volunteer on Service Learning Trips (SLT), making our work possible.

These are the stations in which you would participate during mobile clinics in Tena:

  • Triage
  • General Medicine
  • Dental
  • OB/GYN
  • Toothbrushing
  • Education
  • Pharmacy

Development Projects

Discover the development projects you could participate in while volunteering in Tena, Ecuador. These projects are collaboratively designed and developed with the community to address their needs, resulting in meaningful and sustainable impact and empowered communities.

  • Home Renovations
  • School Renovations
  • Hygiene Projects
  • and more!

To learn more about our volunteer opportunities in Ecuador, download our brochure!



When you sign up for a Service Learning Trip to volunteer abroad in Tena, Ecuador, you are automatically registered for medical emergency insurance for the duration of your trip. Visit our travel safe page or email us at [email protected] to learn more.

Explore & Support: Enhance Your SLT Adventure

Volunteer in tena ecuador

A trip to Peru would be incomplete without witnessing the majesty of Machu Picchu and experiencing the spectacular rolling sand dunes of Ica. Our optional add-ons let you dive deeper into your SLT destination, supporting MEDLIFE communities sustainably along the way.

Click here to view extension options