JUNE-AUGUST ・ 8 WEEKS ・ HOST FAMILY ・ TEACH ENGLISH
Ecuador is a small country bursting with geographic and ethnic diversity. With four distinct regions in the coast, the Andes mountains, the jungle, and the Galápagos Islands, each is unique and boasts its own climate, ethnic groups, and natural beauty. Ecuador is a diverse country comprised of various ethnic groups and moving from one region to the next can feel like visiting a different country altogether. The culture is dynamic and the people lively but, at the same time, the pace of life is a bit more laid back than what one finds in a big city in the United States.
WorldTeach volunteers in the Ecuador Summer program teach English and are primarily placed in communities that would not otherwise be able to have a native speaker. For the summer program, volunteers are placed in rural areas as well as larger, more urban communities and in some cases, a summer program volunteer may pioneer a new site that may eventually host a year-long volunteer. Students range in age from elementary to high school to adults. You will arrive in the capital of Quito and commence your summer of service in Ecuador with a week-long Orientation, spending the first week of the program at Orientation with your fellow volunteers, taking daily Spanish lessons and participating in teacher-training, health and safety, and cultural sessions.
Growing up in the US and in big cities, I've never really trusted strangers. But in Ecuador, people are so friendly and helpful, that I've regained trust in society (at least in Ecuador). I always can count on someone being there to help me if I have a question or if I need help in directions.
While teaching abroad in Latin America, WorldTeach volunteers have the opportunity to improve their Spanish language skills, become part of a new culture and community, and gain invaluable skills in the classroom that will transfer to any professional environment.
The ability to communicate in English is highly valued throughout Ecuador because of the country’s developing tourist industry as well as Ecuadorians’ desire for improved access to the global economy. WorldTeach works with a variety of schools throughout the country to provide volunteers the opportunity to teach in a diverse set of summer placements. You could find yourself teaching primary or secondary level, or even adults in community centers and universities, because every level desires to improve their English acquisition.
Past volunteers have felt they were provided a more well-rounded experience when they became actively involved in their communities, and you are encouraged to do the same! Getting to know students through sports teams or English clubs outside of school hours will allow you to make meaningful connections that will follow you past your summer in Ecuador.
After spending the first week in the metropolitan capital of Quito, you will explore multiple regions of Ecuador throughout your service. You will reunite with your fellow volunteers for a Mid Service conference in the Andean mountain town of Otavalo, with the peaks of Imbabura behind you. This is a time for revisiting some of the teacher training sessions after you’ve had some time in the classroom, as well as swap your experience with the other volunteers. It is both revitalizing and reflective, and allows you to go back to your site armed with the tools to complete the rest of your summer.
At the completion of your service, you will head to the coast with your volunteer cohort to explore another climate of Ecuador and finish up the summer with an End of Service conference. The End of Service conference will give you a chance to reflect on your previous two months of teaching, and then you will have a few days to explore the small fishing village of Puerto Lopez. Puerto Lopez is the headquarters for Machalilla National Park, where you can hike to the black sand beach of Playita Negra. To get off the beaten path, you may also take a boat to Isla de la Plata, or the “Poorman’s Galapagos” by some. Activities abound on this island less traveled, ranging from snorkeling, whale spotting, and you still have the chance to see a blue footed booby.
One of the most meaningful connections you will be able to make will be with your host family at your placement. They will be your pulse to things that are happening around you. You will likely be the only English speaker in the household, which will allow you to walk away with increased Spanish knowledge by the end of the summer. Not only will they provide you with your own room and meals, they will show you the true experience of living in Ecuador.
The volunteer contribution to the Ecuador Summer program is $4,990. This amount goes towards:
- Pre-departure preparation and visa assistance if necessary
- Supplemental overseas health and emergency evacuation insurance
- Comprehensive orientation, mid-service, and end of service training conferences
- Excursions throughout program
- 24-hour in-country field staff support
- Access to a remote teacher quality support
- Alumni services and networking
Many volunteers are able to successfully fundraise all or a significant portion of their program expenses. Please refer to our fundraising page for more information about fundraising possibilities.
Volunteers in the Ecuador Summer program must:
- Be a native-level English speaker
- Be between the ages of 18 and 74
- Be flexible, open-minded, and patient
- Have a genuine interest in teaching, particularly in a small, rural community