Ecuador

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I was part of a host-family and shared an apartment with another ABV volunteer. All this was a bonus since I had my own space to write, yet when it came to family time, we were only one floor away from the warmth of a fabulous family. My host family took pride and leaving time aside to be with everyone together. Also, the host-family was very passionate with all the food they made. If you want to learn about the culture, food and traditions, please have a host-family in mind. The best part of this trip was helping all the children. I was inspired to see all the children so eager to learn and to see how passionate they were to hear what everyone had to say. Some children have to walk far, but they were there on time and eager to learn, I already miss them.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Dec 8, 2016
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10

uVolunteer

En la FundaciViverimenta un Programa de Voluntario en Verano haciendo Santa. Esros programas te permiten u trabajao voluntario de forma indión Ecuador Volunteer, te ofrecemos la posibilidad de disfrutar un increíble programa de voluntariado en verano. Aplica tus destrezas y talentos exitosamente en favor de las comunidades locales por medio de varias actividades.

https://www.ecuadorvolunteer.org/

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Oct 25, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

uVolunteer

En la FundaciViverimenta un Programa de Voluntario en Verano haciendo Santa. Esros programas te permiten u trabajao voluntario de forma indión Ecuador Volunteer, te ofrecemos la posibilidad de disfrutar un increíble programa de voluntariado en verano. Aplica tus destrezas y talentos exitosamente en favor de las comunidades locales por medio de varias actividades.

https://www.ecuadorvolunteer.org/

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Oct 25, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Ailola Quito

I have taken 3 months of classes in Quito and improved my Spanish a lot. I took group lessons to begin with and individual classes in the end. My teachers were well organized and always found a way to make the lesson interesting and fun. I stayed at a lovely host family that made me feel like I was part of the family. I recommend this experience to anyone who wants to get serious about learning Spanish

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Jun 6, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

The Projects Abroad operation in the Galapagos was a waste of our money, time, and abilities. If you are a young college student with low expectations and looking for a reason to getaway from home, then this placement is perfect. If you truly care about adding value to the conservation or education programs in the Galapagos, then look elsewhere.

Our three weeks there consisted of very little value-add work; most of our time was spent standing around, doing busy work, or working only a fraction of what we were promised.

Some examples: pulling weeds ‘outside’ the greenhouse on a plot of land where they do not grow anything and where volunteers had uselessly weeded three weeks earlier. Another example: 15 volunteers on a tortoise weighing project that only needed 4-5 people; everyone else stood around for 5 days. Then, after we spent 3 weeks measuring 50 tortoises, the park ranger quietly told me that none of the measurements actually get permanently recorded. Another example: two volunteer teachers were signed-up for teaching English, but when they arrived to the Galapagos, schools were on Summer break. Another example: a volunteer English teacher was given a group of kids where the age range started at two years of age. Most students were too young to even say their name in Spanish, let alone English; so she spent her volunteer time as a babysitter. Another example: for a simple beach clean-up, they had us work on a clean beach versus a garbage laden beach just down the road. Despite everyones recommendations to maximise our efforts on another beach, our young 19 year old Projects Abroad manager decided to cut short the work day. We can go on and on with examples.

We have been in marketing and brand-building for 15 years, have multiple degrees, and in our opinion, for Projects Abroad to be marketing this program to prospective volunteers is a travesty. We spent a lot of money, and all we wanted to do was work hard and lend a hand in building a strong conservation project in one of the most ecological sensitive areas in the world. In return, we were under-utilised by Projects Abroad staff and chastised for wanting to do actual conservation and education work.

Look elsewhere. In our opinion, there are far better organisations that you can connect with and where you can add true value to this incredible part of our planet.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: May 10, 2016
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

From the moment I submitted my application for the Pre Dental Program in Ecuador, to online chats, right before leaving the US, to arriving in Quito. It was extremely helpful to have pictures of my coordinator and host family before hand. It was comforting and stress reducing to have a visual of the first individuals you would meet and count on during your stay.
I was surprised at how quickly my host family felt like my real family. They were very accommodating. I may not have always understood what was said in Spanish but at the same time I was still always apart of family activities and discussions. This is also true with the extended family. Within one week I met extended family from both sides of my host parents and it made this experience even richer.
I had an amazing experience within the short time I was able to volunteer, 4 weeks. I loved basking in the breathtaking scenery. No picture could capture the essence of the mountains in Quito. Even though I wish they could, it made me absorb what I can in the moment.
I just happened to stumble across ABV by diligently searching abroad volunteer programs on the internet. I can now say I found the perfect organization for my first experience abroad.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Feb 2, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I had researched several volunteer organizations before I decided on A Broader View. As I have run an international volunteer organization, I know what a good organization looks like. So, I was a "tough customer".

During the informational phase and the application process, employees at A Broader View were thorough, professional and prompt, not to mention helpful, kind and understanding. I never waited more than 24 hours for a response (sometimes even on weekends!). I was relentless with my questions (in part because of my background, and in part because I was heading off to an unknown part of the world, where I knew no one and didn't speak the language). I received polite and informative answers from seemingly tireless ABV employees Sarah, Lynn and Lori. Everyone I had contact with was attentive, helped me find the right volunteer job and calmed my fears. They also checked in during my stay and followed up after my stay.

One of the beauties of A Broader View is that I was able to leave when I wanted; I wasn't tied to particular program dates. This was a distinct advantage for me. They also helped me get an extremely reasonable flight to Quito and very inexpensive travel insurance.

With their partner in Quito, they provided me with a host family and a volunteer job within weeks, and several weeks before my departure. I received a packing list and other helpful suggestions to help plan my trip.

Once in Quito, the incredible service and support continued. I was met at the airport by Germán, and brought to my WONDERFUL host family. My family greeted me warmly (at 1:30 AM in the middle of the week), and I was pleasantly surprised with the standard of the lodgings. I was taken into the family and shown much love and acceptance throughout my 3 months with them. There was another volunteer there for the first two months, and we became fast friends, despite our 40 year age difference! We worked at the same place and lived in the same apartment, and together we laughed, cried, complained, encouraged each other, went out, and participated in the family.

From past experience with host families, I knew that living with a host family can have its problems. Since I was over 20 years older than my "host parents", I wasn't sure how that would go. There were a few very small hiccups (and not for the difference in age), that, because of the willingness of all of us to discuss things together openly, were resolved in easy discussions.

My volunteer jobs were wonderful. The first 6 weeks, I worked with 2-year-olds at a day care center in one of the poorest sections of the city. I am not going to tell you it was an easy transition. The poverty I had to pass every day, the conditions I saw, the real suffering of some of the children and families were all extremely difficult to assimilate. The differences between Euro-American and Ecuadorian cultures are not small. Yet, the children... oh, the children. They captured my heart. I'll never forget the day about 2 weeks after I started, and they were going down for their naps (the time I always left each day). I said goodbye to them as usual, and for the first time, 9 little hands waived from their beds and several voices were saying goodbye ("chao"). One little voice, said, "Chao, Burbuja!" They couldn't yet remember "Barbara", so they called me the closest thing they were familiar with, "bubble". From then on, I was putty in their hands...

After 6 weeks, my Spanish was improving, and I was able to change programs and work at a shelter for abused women and their children -- something I had experience in, from the U.S. Again, the staff at La Fundación (A Broader View's partner in Quito) had arranged for me to volunteer there. It, too, was challenging -- and rewarding.

I also signed up for 4 hours of Spanish per day. I will say, it was tiring that first month, volunteering for 4 hours a day and then having 1-on-1 Spanish lessons for 4 academic (4 45-minute) hours, 5 days a week. HOWEVER, the teachers at S.B. are excellent! I learned so much in 4 weeks. I continued to take Spanish twice a week after my first month.

The Spanish school really takes wonderful care of its students, as well. In the evenings, there are cooking lessons, salsa lessons, football (soccer) games to play or watch, cocktail evenings, weekend trips -- all either free or at very reasonable prices. I especially recommend the weekend trips. What a wonderful way to see other parts of the country. It's also a great way to get to know others who are sharing the same experience.

I just want to reiterate that I cannot say enough about A Broader View. It is, at least in my experience, one of the best-run volunteer organizations I have ever come into contact with (and remember, I have worked in a few and run an international office of another). I don't believe I could have chosen a better organization or had a better experience.

Thank you to all of you at A Broader View.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Dec 24, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

CSA - Center for Study Abroad

If you're planning to study abroad in South America, I would not recommend booking through CSA. I pay over $100 more than students who booked directly with the school. Also, communicating directly with the school, it a lot easier than through this agency.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Aug 20, 2015
Overall:
3
Support:
4
Value:
1

New Horizons

New horizons is such a wonderful organization run by a woman with a giant heart, Laura Cordova. She welcomes volunteers into her own home or places them with people she knows close by. This organization does its best to help anyone in the country who needs help in whatever way they need it. Volunteers have been in medical clinics, playing with children in daycares, building bathrooms, teaching english and many other jobs. The best part is you can go for as long as you want, anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 years! and the type of volunteer work you do is tailored to your interests and skills! They also have spanish classes available to help you learn and will help set up travel within Ecuador on the weekends. An unforgettable experience! https://www.facebook.com/volunteersecuador?fref=ts

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Aug 7, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

A Broader View Volunteers helped me step outside of my comfort zone in every way, and I had the experience of a lifetime while I was working with this program. I used A Broader View Volunteers for my first international travel experience, and I have absolutely no regrets about using this program. I had an amazing volunteer experience, my hosts in both Quito and the Galapagos Islands felt like family to me, and I made some of the best friends I have ever had while working with this program. Traveling with A Broader View taught me a lot about international travel, and they also helped me to become immersed in Ecuadorian culture. I would definitely recommend A Broader View to anyone looking for a good international volunteer program.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Jul 14, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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