Ecuador

   

From tropical jungles to the volcanic landscape of the Galapagos, Ecuador is an enticing, exciting country. The colonial Spanish influences are evident throughout the country, particularly in the stunning cities of Quito and Cuenca, but take a trip into the villages and you will be amazed by the native Amerindian cultures that still flourish in the Amazon basin. There is a real chance to make a difference to the lives of children here in Ecuador, where education and the ability to speak English will transform their lives.

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Placement Locations

Placements are located in and around Quito and Cuenca with a couple of placements in Yunguilla in the rainforest north of Quito. Click here to view a map.

Is It For Me?

If you are up to the challenge of helping a variety of different students whilst learning a new language and becoming immersed in a completely different culture then Ecuador is for you. Volunteers must be mature and behave in accordance with their host family’s rules. It is also desirable to have at least a basic knowledge of Spanish, however, if you haven’t studied it at school, it is still possible learn to an elementary level before you leave. Volunteers will attend a one or two week language course in Quito before starting their placements.

Placements Explained

Ecuador is unique among our programmes in that it offers each volunteer the chance to work at two placements each day, perhaps teaching in the mornings and working with street children in the afternoons. This gives you the chance to make a difference to two distinct communities during your time in Ecuador.

Community Worker

Placements involve working with children in care, with physical or learning difficulties and street children. Volunteers will be based in a state school for children with disabilities and will help with teaching, caring, gym, dance, art and anything else the children want them to do! If working with street children, volunteers will be involved with teaching, helping with homework, art and writing a newsletter.

 

Environmental Worker

We offer a unique placement to teach English to a community in the Andean cloud forest. This is an isolated but beautiful organic farming community home to about 40 families. Volunteers are needed to teach English and will also get involved with other activities taking place in the community including looking after the animals and caring for the crops. This is a fascinating, demanding and very rewarding project where you will stay in Yunguilla during the week and return to Quito at weekends. Environmental and teaching placements in Ecuador are located in Yungilla, in the Andean cloud forest. This community, which has united to form an association to protect their environment, produce local products and promote eco-tourism.

Schools Assistant

Ecuador offers opportunities to work in either primary or secondary schools. Many of the schools only have basic facilities, but some better endowed private schools are also included in the programme. Volunteers will assist teachers in the classroom, teach English and help to organise extra-curricular activities.

We have one exciting opportunity to teach music in Cuenca. Volunteers will have their own students and will also be able to sing in the Conservatoire choir and audition for the Symphony Orchestra. There is another placement in Quito to work with children who have musical talent but no financial means to learn to play an instrument. This placement has been rated very highly by our previous volunteers.

 

Select the drop down titles below for more information:

Accommodation And Food

All volunteers will live with a host family whose son or daughter is volunteering in the UK. You will therefore be included in all family activities and it is an excellent opportunity to be part of the Ecuadorean way of life. Living with a family is also the best way to learn Spanish and when you leave you will have gained a second mum, dad, and brothers and sisters who you will never forget.

Need To Know

  • Pre-departure Briefing - all volunteers are invited to a group briefing prior to departure
  • On Arrival - all volunteers have a week-long orientation in Ecuador
  • Language - Volunteers need to be able to speak (basic) Spanish and those who need to will attend a one or two week immersion course on arrival in Ecuador. If you are concerned about your level of Spanish, get in touch!

Support Provided

Before Leaving:

  • We find out about each volunteers strengths, skills and interests through an in-depth interview which helps us select the right people as well as identifying what they are hoping to achieve while away and helps us select the right people to be Lattitude volunteers
  • A second interview with our In Country Programme Manager (often via Skype) helps match them to a placement perfect for them.
  • Once you have been accepted by the in Country Programme Manager you will be looked after by a specialised Volunteer Coordinator in our NZ office who assists with all preparations, support with logistics such as flights and visas, and are there to answer any questions.
  • Everyone attends a predeparture briefing to meet other volunteers, Lattitude staff, other professionals such as our travel agent, travel doctors and insurance company representatives as well as hearing from returned volunteers, learning in person about the expectations and exciting prospects that lie ahead.
  • Volunteers are seen off at the airport, where they travel together to their destination countries
  • All volunteers sign our Term and Conditions to ensure that Lattitude's expectations of each volunteer are agreed and clear from the outset.

While Overseas:

  • Volunteers attend a group orientation upon arrival in-country and, where needed, undertake training such as a local language or teaching skills course.
  • We have paid staff based in each country. Our Country Managers oversee the program and work with a team of Local Representatives who provide support in the local areas and develop close relationships with placement hosts.
  • Each volunteer is visited at their placement soon after arrival by an in-country staff member to check how things are and provide additional support if needed.
  • We work with Embassies and High Commissions to ensure we can respond to any situation and provide 24/7 emergency support from the Lattitude office in New Zealand.

Upon Return:

  • We recognise that coming home can be difficult and provide one-to-one support, with onward referrals for further professional support if needed. Volunteers are invited to debriefing events and become part of our network of alumni.
  • Our debriefing session will include discussions from industry professionals regarding the identification and articulation of the new skills the volunteer has invariably acquired during his/her placement, and how to use these new skills to get ahead.
  • We are always happy to supply written and verbal references to our successful volunteers upon return home, to aid in applications to higher education or the workforce.

Costs

These costs are for Lattitude placements in Ecuador in 2017 and a full explanation of costs can be found here:

Lattitude fees (exact costs):  
Lattitude Application Fee $150
Lattitude Contribution Fee $3,900
Lattitude In-country Orientation $400
Lattitude Teaching Skills Course (if required) $350
   
You will also need to budget for the following (approx costs):  
Return Airfares (approx cost of group flight) $3,000 - $3,500
Travel Insurance (6 months) $1,150
Visa $720 AUS
Travel from orientation to placement $0
Medical examination $50 - $200
Travel Doctor and Immunisations $0 - $750
   
Total cost (approximate) $9,750 - $11,150

 

Travel

Volunteers have the opportunity to travel around Ecuador during school holidays and after their placements.  Ecuador is environmentally diverse and an adventure traveller’s dream destination. You can take in Incan culture, get close to iguanas and tortoises in the Galapagos Islands, trek up active volcanoes or straddle the Equator.  Spend time in Quito and Cuenca where Ecuador’s colonial past comes alive through festivals, art and culture. 
From tropical jungles to the volcanic landscape of the  Galapagos, Ecuador is an enticing, exciting country.  The colonial  Spanish influences are evident throughout the country, particularly in  the stunning cities of Quito and Cuenca, but take a trip into the  villages and you will be amazed by the native Amerindian cultures that  still flourish in the Amazon basin.  There is a real chance to make a  difference to the lives of children here in Ecuador, where education and  the ability to speak English will transform their lives.


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