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Reviews and Photos for Ecuador

international intern and volunteer abroad Ecuador


 

“I absolutely love my host family. This host family is by far the most fun, loving and energetic family i have ever met and stayed with. The school i work in is great, but the kids are very rambunctious. The good thing about this is that i can learn classroom management. I am sad to leave my students and my school, they are so amazing! I went humpback whale watching and also saw multiple blue footed boobies (a kind of bird). My time in puerto lopez has been life changing and my host family is by far the best host family i have ever stayed with. Thank you for having such a great organization and amazing host families, i am forever going to remember and hopefully return to Puerto Lopez.”

Carly Ellinger

From : USA

Volunteer Location: Ecuador

Volunteer Program: Teaching

international internships, volunteer abroad, intern abroad -Latin America-Ecuador-HIV orphanage work-with staff

international internships and volunteer abroad -Latin America-Ecuador-125-HIV orphanage work

“I first chose to volunteer abroad on a whim. It was probably not the smartest thing to do on a whim but CrossContinental has made it the best decision I have done thus far. The cost of living abroad via CrossContinental was much cheaper than what I would have been paying for rent and it included meals and support. Out of the choices of destinations (Ghana, Kenya, Ecuador, China, Nepal, Tanzania, and Mexico) I chose Ecuador from the list because of the price of the plane ticket and the wildlife I would find. Ecuador is great; it has beautiful scenery and gracious people. The food is amazing and everyone was very helpful when they learned I spoke no Spanish. Even at times when I couldn’t communicate properly with the locals or those in my work placement, support was always available via phone and E-mail.

I spent my time at an HIV orphanage in San Pablo del Lago (about 30 minutes away from a major city) and helped out taking care of the 22 children that lived there. I had never worked with children or been out of the country so it was a challenge. At the beginning, I spent most of my time cleaning/drying dishes (there were a LOT and it took up my day) and slowly became more confident in asking what needed to be done. I still took a great deal of time to clean but started working with the toddlers when the older children were at school during the day. I couldn’t really talk to them but I could show them what I wanted them to do and for the most part, it worked. By the end, some of the toddlers would come by my room after dinner and ask me to accompany them up to bed. I found it painfully adorable.

Other than the language barrier (don’t fool yourself into thinking you can learn an entire language in a month or even three) the culture was a pretty big transition. There are behaviors that you just don’t see in the United States. Sometimes I couldn’t tell if the some of the children were being rude or if it was just the culture in Ecuador. I was extremely surprised the first time I heard the kitchen staff call a little black boy “Negro”! I think that as long as you are polite and try to ask questions, things work out. Try to find things to help with and don’t worry too much. If you start out and feel like you can’t do it, it WILL get better. I’m a very shy person and I made it through with a smile on my face!”

Volunteer Name: Hannah Bemis

From: Florida (USA)

Work Project: HIV Orphanage Work (Ecuador)

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“I taught English in Ecuador with CrossContinental for two weeks. This was my first international volunteer experience and I appreciate what CrossContinental has done for me. I met a lot of amazing people when I joined CrossContinental. The Canadian and local coordinators gave me the best support and ensured my safety and that everything went smoothly. My host family treated me as a daughter and I missed them so much when I got back home. Teaching in the local primary school was a big challenge because I didn’t speak Spanish. But it was like magic! I would try my best to share things with the children using broken Spanish words and drawings, and I felt that they knew I was sincere and that they appreciated me. Before I left Canada, I was nervous and a little bit afraid, but after I came back, I was ready to do aboard with CrossContinental again.”

“The local coordinators were so helpful and helped me with everything in Quito and called me twice when I was in Puerto Lopez to make sure I was ok. The host families were so great too. They all treated me like a family member and food there was awesome. It was interesting teaching in the local primary school. I loved the children and teachers there. The day I left, I received a cake and some paintings from my students, and everyone said goodbye and hugged with me. If there was one thing could be better, it would be better if I could speak basic Spanish. In Puerto Lopez, the local people could not speak any English including the teachers and students, but I did have a great time and I would like to go again.”

“I appreciated a lot what CrossContinental did for me. The best thing is that the coordinators arranged every detail in my trip and concerned about any problem that I might have. Jenn in Canada talked to me a lot and gave me a lot confidence before I left. The local coordinators were amazing too that I have talked above.”

Yishu Ye

From: Canada (Langara College)

Volunteer Project: Teaching English

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“I was happy with my experience abroad. I believe that the most rewarding part of my experience abroad had to do more with the connections I made with people. I was really happy with my host family, and I think that it made the experience really enjoyable. I also believe that I did improve with my writing skills and speaking skills in Spanish. I knew Spanish before going to Ecuador, but it is completely different from the Spanish that I learned. I believe that it was a good way for me to improve my Spanish.”

“I would and have recommended the program to others. I really appreciate how affordable CrossContinental is. When you look at other programs it does not even compare. Most programs cost well over USD$5,000 for about a month, but the great thing about CrossContinental is that they are conscious about the needs of their participants. I really like how they consider this by offering a variety of different internships and volunteer experiences. CrossContinental really takes the time and effort to match its participants with a internship or volunteer experience that will be valuable to them. It has been great for me because it has reinforced thoughts I had about the career that I want to go in.”

Name: Berenice

From: USA (Smith College)

Internship Project: Journalism Work (at a local newspaper)