Ecuador Teaching Internship Program DETAILED ITINERARY
IN-COUNTRY ORIENTATION (Otavalo): Week 1
After spending the first evening in the high altitude capital of Quito, you’ll travel north, crossing the equator past dramatic Andean peaks to the high altitude mountain town of Otavalo. Hike through spectacular scenery up the steep mountainside of Fuya Fuya and around the deep blue crater lake of Cuicocha. Admire the beauty and culture of the Otavaleño Indians with frequent glimpses of intricately embroidered blouses and distinctive golden necklaces adorning the women. Spend your nights in an idyllic hostel nestled in the rugged terrain of the Andean countryside and your days visiting textile markets, trying your own hand at tapestry weaving with local artisans and playing outdoor games with schoolchildren. Here you’ll bond with your group and prepare for your teaching internship and community stay!
COMMUNITY STAY AND TEACHING INTERNSHIP PROGRAM (Tropical Lowlands): Weeks 2-11
Teaching & Independent Projects, Ecuador (10 weeks including 10-day mid-program break): Share a more independent South American experience with one fellow intern as you move together into a host community outside San Luis de Pambil, a small town in the tropical lowlands of Ecuador. In this beautiful lush agricultural region, live together with your host family and teach at a local school where, depending upon your skills and interests and the school’s needs, you may teach English or any number of other subjects. Your in-country director visits you weekly to provide ideas, strategies and ongoing support. In your downtime, spend an afternoon conversing with the members of the Padres de Familia (PTA), visiting the family cacao farm, or drinking a strong cup of local coffee. Initiate an Independent Project such as volunteering at a local health clinic, working with a women’s cooperative, building a playground, starting an environmental initiative, or running a sports or arts camp. Enjoy several weekends gathering together as a group to cook dinner, share stories, or visit nearby sites of interest.
Mid-Program Break: 10 days: Together, you and your fellow interns will use the resources you have available to collaboratively design a 10-day mid program break. You may choose to visit the coast, the rainforest, or head to a retreat center. This is an excellent opportunity to try your hand at trip planning, managing a travel budget, and organizing logistics. Of course your program leader will be there to help you every step of the way!
FINAL TRAVEL: The Galápagos Islands! Week 12
Few have the opportunity to visit the geological wonders of the Galápagos Archipelago, famed for the blue-footed booby and giant 500-pound tortoise that make their home there. Joined by bilingual naturalist guides, spend a week exploring these exquisite volcanic islands as you swim among playful sea lions, witness the underwater grace of giant sea turtles and view countless exotic sea birds diving for fish. In this spectacular setting, you and your group begin the important process of debriefing your contributions and discoveries, evaluating the program, and preparing to come home.