Ecuador

Projects Abroad

I spent 6 weeks on the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador working on preserving and restoring its delicate ecosystem. That project lasted 4 weeks, and the last two weeks I spent helping teach English at a local high school.

The family I stayed with was completely wonderful. They provided three meals a day (always filling and delicious) and even had a housekeeper! I was given my own private room and bathroom that had a separate entrance from the house itself. While I did not get as close to my host family as other volunteers did, I always enjoyed talking to them and their large extended family. My house was in a fairly central location and I could easily walk anywhere in the city in no more than 20 minutes!

In regards to my volunteer experience, it was the opportunity of a lifetime. During the environmental portion, I was able to see and do things all over the island that tourists are unable to do. I fed tortoises over 100 years old, walked through and restored parts of the island that no tourist has been to before, etc. We ended each day by 1 o'clock, so I had the rest of the day to explore or just hang out on the beach with other volunteers!

The teaching experience was OK. It was very easy (but slightly boring). I helped grade homework and tests, as well as helped the teacher with punctuation and grammar rules.

The staff was extremely helpful in answering all questions I had and even helped me and my friends plan a weekend getaway to another island nearby.

I would definitely recommend the environment program to anyone interested!!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Jun 27, 2015
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
7

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

This organization was horrible to work with. Not only did they false advertise about me being able to work at an orphanage in Quito, but they said I didn't pay when I have records that I did (and they finally confessed when I threatened to post negatively about them), they didn't give any money to the host family or the organization helper in Quito, and employees didn't communicate with each other so some were verbally aggressive towards me about the money paid. This organization scammed me out of helping orphans in Ecuador by false advertising and I had to come home early. The only good part of their work was the program organizer in Quito who set me up with the most wonderful host family in their great home. The host family was the best part - which is not what I was there for.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Jun 24, 2015
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
2

Comments

Dear Danielle We apologize for the inconvenience and misunderstanding. We strive to maintain transparency by encouraging our volunteers to pay directly in country upon their arrival. Our host families clearly require compensation when accommodating volunteers and we apologize if there was a misunderstanding at some point while exchanging funds with our in-country coordinator, but we can assure you that a portion of the proceeds from your program fee is delegated to the host family. While each country and placement is different, the program fee not only covers our volunteers food and accommodations, but also a donation to their project. We would be happy to provide you with proof of payment if necessary. Again, we are committed to providing the world's most affordable and ethical program and we apologize for any misunderstanding.

Projects Abroad

For four weeks this summer, I had the incredible opportunity to volunteer in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador through Projects Abroad teaching English to students ages 6-15. From the very first minute that we signed up for the project, Projects Abroad staff was incredibly helpful and supportive. The volunteer coordinator called us multiple times to make sure all of our questions were answered and we were prepared for the experience. In the country, the staff checked in with us daily about how we were adjusting and if we had everything we needed. They made it clear that they were there if we needed anything, even something as small as asking where to buy a water bottle or something as large as helping us plan a weekend trip. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable and made an effort to get to know us and welcome us into their work family.

Staying with a host family instead of in a hostel was an incredible decision and I'm so glad that Projects Abroad could set that up for us. I also didn't know when applying, but found out from the staff in the country, that a lot of our program fee goes to paying the host families to help them support us while we stay with them. My host family was amazing and I never heard any bad reviews from any other volunteers. The staff also made it clear that if we weren't comfortable with our host family, all we had to do was speak up and they would help us solve the problem. Staying in a host family's house really allowed us to grasp the culture and get a much closer look at how daily life on the islands looks.

Teaching was such an amazing time! Although it was challenging that we did not have a curriculum, the kids were so great and working with them every day was so much fun and so rewarding that it made the challenge almost disappear. I really felt like we could connect with the kids and make as big an impact on them as they made on us!

I would truly recommend Projects Abroad to anyone. They facilitated an amazing experience!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Jun 23, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
7
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

I went to the Galapagos Islands to teach English for a month though the program Projects Abroad. The staff was incredibly supportive, not only passionate about their work, but also personable and kind to every volunteer. Immediately I felt looked out for and like all my needs we're being met. For my teaching project, I worked at one of the local high schools. I was paired with an English teacher and helped him plan lessons, grade, and worked with him on his pronunciation. I lived with a well selected host family. Every volunteer had such a great experience with their families and the staff constantly checked in to make sure there were not issues. I had the opportunity to see so much on the galapagos, it was far and away better than I could have ever imagined. I met so many amazing people, locals and volunteers. There were always new volunteers each day from all over the world of all ages and purposes! Projects abroad really immerses you into the culture of the country and by the end you feel like a local, living with a family, working with locals, discovering the secrets to the country or area that tourists don't always know about. I always felt safe and loved every minute of my volunteer trip!

Program: Gap Year
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Apr 8, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I spent an amazing 8 weeks in Quito, Ecuador volunteering in the health care programs. I got to visit lots of amazing places and had incredible experiences in my free time and while volunteering. The people in Ecuador are super friendly and became great friends with many people all over the country. I also grew very close with my host family and have memories that I will never forget with them. Those 8 weeks were by far the most incredible weeks of my entire life.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Dec 21, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

The support in country was amazing. I lived with the in country coordinator, and she was the nicest woman I have ever met. She helped me every step of the way, with both the details of my program placement and the transition to living in another country.
I am so grateful for my experience in Ecuador. It was incredible, I have had the best 10 weeks. I am leaving with memories that I will never forget, friends from all around the world, and a second family to come home to one day. I cannot thank A Broader View enough!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Dec 6, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

This experience was a wonderful opportunity to greatly improve my spanish and also learn a lot about another culture. It definitely takes you out of your comfort zone, but is well worth it. I will carry this experience with me for the rest of my life. I lived with a host family and with a few other volunteers. The house was very nice and all of the meals were home cooked and catered to dietary needs. I am a vegetarian and they were very good about making sure there was something for me to eat without making me feel like a burden. My favorite memory is swimming in a waterfall in the jungle. It was chilly, but I went with another volunteer and some other travelers we met that day. I never would have been able to meet those people or be in that place if I did not travel here with ABV. If you do not know any spanish at all it is possible to come. However, if you have time before coming it is a good idea to take some sort of basic lessons or use an application. It really enriches the experience if you are better able to communicate with everyone. The immersion will really help with learning spanish no matter what level you have at arrival. The local coordinator was amazing and provided complete support. The coordinator really goes above what is expected. She helped us figure out the best form of transportation to various weekend destinations. She even came with us on one weekend trip. She also makes sure to ask often how the project is going and will talk to the director of the project if there is a problem.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Oct 10, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I truly had a great experience while in Ecuador. I love everything about the family, the culture, the country, and the city, and I am very sad to leave. I hope I can return some day to volunteer and/or live here, because it has been a great experience. It’s great to see how your efforts volunteering can make such a difference in others’ lives, and how far your support can extend. 

Accommodation was great. Each volunteer has their own room, the apartment has internet and wifi access, and the meals and security were great. I never felt unsafe for one minute while in Ecuador. The food is all natural and fresh and the fruit is incredible. I am definitely going to miss the fruit and the daily soups at lunch the most!
. The family is some of the most caring, kind, and genuine people I have ever met. They truly make you feel that their home is yours, and they are willing to do everything possible to make you happy and comfortable. It has been a blessing getting to know this wonderful family and I am sad to leave them. I hope to return some day! Laura and family were always willing to do whatever needed to be done to make sure the project runs smoothly and happily.

Even though I had checked the weather, I wasn’t prepared for the climate. It gets really cold at night. I would have bought more long sleeve shirts and less short sleeve shirts, because it gets to almost freezing temperatures at night.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Sep 26, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Visions Service Adventures

the two weeks i spent in ecuador during the summer were the best two weeks of my summer! i loved being in a new setting with new kids and a whole new culture. being in ecuador really changed my perspective on life and getting to see a new culture was incredibly interesting. The other kids i met on the trip made my experience so much better along with the awesome councilors.

Program:
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Aug 23, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

After traveling two summers with Abroaderview, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I have had two amazing experiences and have been able to see two different parts of the world that have truly helped me in my life's journey. I felt safe, cared for, and empowered to meet new people and learn about myself! I believe each project will bring its different challenges, but the people in country really care about their work and helping the city and people around them. While this is considered a volunteer trip, it was truly me who gained knowledge and life experiences from this trip.
The apartment was huge and I had my own bedroom and shared a bathroom with only one other girl. The food was delicious and always plenty. The cook always accommodated to our preferences and made food that she knew we liked. The building had a security guard as well as a secure entrance. I always felt extremely safe at the apartment and in Quito in general. 

When the family and all of the volunteers traveled together to Quilotoa and Otavolo. It was such an amazing trip. We laughed, listened to music all together, and enjoyed each others company. We also truly felt like we got to understand the culture of some of the people that lived in Quilotoa as we had tea and cheese at a family's house! I will never forget that experience. 


I was surprised at how quickly all of the volunteers became friends. We were like a family at the volunteer house. The Cordovas even took us on a trip to Quilotoa and Otavalo one weekend. It was amazing to have a group of supportive people to live with while away from my own home. Even without other volunteers present, I knew I would feel at home with the Cordovas because they always say that their house is my house and they really mean it!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Aug 19, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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