FEBRUARY-DECEMBER OR SEPTEMBER-AUGUST ・ 11 MONTHS・ HOST FAMILY ・ TEACH ENGLISH ・ PÁGINA EN ESPAÑOL
Ecuador is a small country bursting with geographic and ethnic diversity. The country has 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, so moving from one region to the next it can feel like visiting a different country altogether moving from one region to the next. 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.
Quito, located at roughly 9,300 feet above sea level, is the second highest capital in the world and enjoys a largely temperate climate year round, as it is located only 11 miles south of the equator. Of the over 14 million people who live in Ecuador, approximately 2 million live in Quito, and it is here that WorldTeach the majority of volunteers serve for the year. Our other teaching sites in Ecuador are located in Riobamba, a smaller mountainous city located 3-4 hours south of Quito, as well as Ibarra, Ambato, and other cities and towns in the Sierra region.
WorldTeach has been providing international volunteer teaching opportunities in Ecuador since 1991, partnering with different organizations and institutions over the years, all of whom personally requested and helped fund WorldTeach volunteers. There are several placements in the WorldTeach Ecuador Year teaching program. These include Quito, Riobamba, and other cities within the Sierra region, where participants teach English to students ranging in age from children to young adults and motivated professionals in local colleges and universities.
The most interesting thing that I learned about myself through this experience was that I could solve my problems on my own, and handle my emotions better than I thought I could. This experience has made me more open minded, flexible and patient.
While teaching abroad in Latin America, WorldTeach volunteers have the chance 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. Tourism, both cultural and environmental, has become an increasingly viable means of generating revenue in this South American nation. Knowledge of English also helps Ecuadorians open their businesses to a wider audience.
You are usually responsible for teaching up to 20 hours a week. Apart from classroom hours, you are also responsible for preparation of classes, grading and any other duties assigned by your placement school. Class size varies, as do the types of students and their levels of English. You may teach children, high school students, university students, faculty and staff, and/or open-enrollment classes for members of the community.
In addition to your teaching responsibilities, you are strongly encouraged to actively participate in community life and engage in additional activities or projects of interest. Past projects and activities of volunteers include organizing English/Spanish conversation exchanges, volunteering with community organizations, starting sports teams, and participating in local sports clubs or dance lessons.
Placements are in the capital city of Quito at CEC or in smaller cities at institutions throughout the Andean region. During your service, you live with a host family and have access to electricity and running water. Most of the placements are generally well-connected, with some families having their own internet or availability of internet cafes in close proximity. After the first two months, participants can elect to move into independent housing. Quito is home to a well-developed, though hectic, transportation network that requires practice and a sense of adventure to get used to. Lunch is the largest meal, involving multiple courses. The first course of soup is typically followed by a main dish consisting of rice, meat or chicken, and beans or lentils. Potatoes are native to the Andes, and also featured prominently in the Ecuadorian diet. A wide variety of fresh tropical fruits and juices are also available throughout the year.
The volunteer contribution to the Ecuador Year program is $2,990. This amount in conjunction with local partner funding goes towards:
- Pre-departure preparation and visa assistance if necessary plus visa fee*
- Housing stipend of $250/month
- Living stipend of $250/month
- Supplemental overseas health and emergency evacuation insurance
- Comprehensive orientation, mid-service, and end of service training conferences
- 24-hour in-country field staff support
- Access to a remote teacher quality support
- Alumni services and networking
*Visa fee of up to $250 USD for regular processing of Ecuador Volunteer Visa
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 Year program must:
- Be a native-level English speaker
- Have a bachelor’s degree by the time of the program’s departure
- Be between the ages of 21 and 74
- Be highly flexible, mature, and have a genuine interest in teaching