Volunteers in Ecuador stay with local host families. ELI truly believes that this is the best way to fully immerse in another culture and get the most from an international experience. All families are carefully screened and are well-respected members of the community. Host families do not speak English, creating a full immersion environment to help participants improve their Spanish language skills. Participants will have either a private or shared bedroom with secure storage (volunteer must provide own padlock). Bathrooms are shared with the host family. Volunteers will be provided with breakfast and dinner daily.
Spanish classes are not included in the program fees but can be set up either at a language school or with a private teacher in Quito. The classes cost about $7-9 an hour.
Most participants will end up flying into Quito’s new airport, Mariscal Sucre International, which is a ways outside of Quito. From there, participates will need to take a shuttle bus found inside the main terminal to the "old" airport. The shuttle bus runs roughly every 30 minutes and costs $8 or so. Our coordinator will have airport pick-up arranged from the "old" airport which is closer to town. The shuttle is much cheaper, and we think, safer then flagging down a taxi to drive you to the old airport or into town. Mariana, the in-country coordinator for Ecuador, will go over this process in more depth about a week before your program start date.
Note: Most flights tend to arrive later in the evening. Please try to arrive before 7PM if possible.
The programs in Ecuador have completely flexible start dates. However, it usually works well if participants can arrive in Quito on a Thursday or Friday. This allows for orientation and getting settled in over the weekend before starting the project on Monday.
In December, we ask that participants not arrive December 23-29. This allows our coordinator to spend the Christmas holiday with her family.
After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.