Our Summer Program in Ecuador
8 Weeks (June - August) |
In the Ecuador Summer program, you will teach English in communities that would otherwise not be able to have a native speaker. Participants are typically placed in small cities or mid-sized urban communities. You could be in the cloud forest, the highlands, or the Amazon, so flexibility with climates ranging from high altitude to hot jungles to misty forests to chilly mountain pueblos is key. The ability to communicate in English is a highly-valued skill throughout Ecuador because of the country’s developing tourism industry, as well as Ecuadorians’ desire for improved access to the global economy. WorldTeach works with a variety of schools and organizations throughout the country to provide participants with the opportunity to teach in a diverse set of summer placements.
Ecuador is a small country bursting with geographic and ethnic diversity. The country has four distinct regions: the coast, the Andes mountains, the jungle, and the Galápagos Islands. Each is unique and boasts its own climate, ethnic groups, and natural beauty. The culture is dynamic and the people lively, but at the same time, the pace of life is a quite laid back and “Ecua-time” is a phrase used to encompass things moving at this slower speed.
Quito, located at roughly 9,300 feet above sea level, is the second-highest capital in the world. Of the over 14 million people who live in Ecuador, approximately 2.5 million live in Quito. Those who serve in WorldTeach’s Year program often serve in this capital city as well as other cities throughout the Andes.
Our summer sites within the country vary tremendously--but that’s part of the joy of serving in Ecuador. You could be teaching at a school summer camp high in the Andes mountains, working alongside kichwa adults at a community center in the Amazon, serving elementary school children in a small mountainous community known for its leather artisanry, or working with elementary or secondary students at a small school in the cloud forest. Previous volunteers have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to visit one another at each of their unique placements!
You will be placed with at least one other WorldTeach volunteer at your site and your students range in age from elementary to high school to adults. Placements vary from school-hosted summer camps, summer school, or community classes, where you could find yourself teaching primary or secondary level, or even adults in the community centers because every age-group desires to improve their English acquisition. You will generally be teaching in the realm of 20 hours per week, with ample time to devote to getting to know your host community and participating in extracurricular events. Each site is unique from another.
Past participants have felt that they were provided a more well-rounded experience when they became actively involved in their communities by organizing sports teams or English clubs. Some past volunteers served food at community soup kitchens, or participated in musical events with the indigenous community in kichwa. You can do the same: bring your skills and imagination to this wonderful South American country!
Placement & Housing
One of the most meaningful connections you will be able to make during your experience will be with your host family at your placement. They will be your guide 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 introduce you to diverse elements of Ecuadorian cultures and provide a unique experience of living in Ecuador. However, some volunteers may be placed in school-provided housing or a family-owned hostel. Whether living with a family or surrounded by fellow teachers, any housing placement will provide a safety net for settling into life 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 participants for a Mid-Service Conference, which has been held in locations as varied as the Andean mountain town of Otavalo or the lush green city of waterfalls, Baños.
At the completion of your service, you will spend several days traveling with your volunteer cohort to explore new areas 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 you will have a few days to explore various destinations in the sierra and coastal regions in the south of Ecuador--places that will likely be new to you! Past excursions have included trips to Quilotoa, where you can see a gorgeous crater lake; Cuenca, a colonial city filled with history and close to a highland national park; Puerto Lopez, a fishing village famous for its whale-watching and Blue Footed Boobies; Puyo, an Amazonian city where there are opportunities for volunteering at a wildlife refuge in the Amazon; and Mompiche, a quiet surfing village. Your Field Staff will have specific information for you by the time you arrive in-country!
Your contribution to the Ecuador Summer program of $4,990 goes towards:
- Comprehensive orientation, mid-service, and end of service training conferences
- Planned excursions during program
- 24-hour in-country field staff support
- Pre-departure preparation and visa assistance if necessary
- Supplemental overseas travel medical insurance
- Alumni services and networking
Participants 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 city or community