International Trip Overview: Ecuador
Partner Organizations/ Trip Organizers:
- Canada: Canada World Youth, a not-for-profit NGO (non-government organization)
- Ecuador: Fundacion Reto Internacional, a not-for-profit NGO (non-government organization)
Arrival and tour of Quito, Ecuador's Capital (2 days)
- Arrival and stay at a hotel in Quito, the capital of Ecuador.
- Tour of the colonial centre of Quito, including the Presidential Palace and a church.
- Tour of the middle of the world museum and monument on the equator.
- Boat tour of an ancient volcano-turned lake
- transfer to the host community of Peguche, 3 hours north-east of Quito
Host community and host families (8 days):
- trained and screened host families adopt the Canadian students for 7 days, providing them with a bedroom, three meals a day, and the care and security of a family home.
- the host families are indigenous people who are descendants of the Inca and practice customs that combine traditional Spanish customs such as Christianity (mainly Roman Catholic) and Quechua customs
- They are traditional in values and lifestyle. Many work as weavers and most farm as well. They dress modestly; women and girls do not wear shorts.
- Housing is simple, clean, and comfortable, but varies according to family-income in the same way it does in the Waterdown High School community.
- Work projects are safe and simple but still purposeful and useful. They are not 'mission'-type projects providing dramatic impacts to the poor; the families do not see themselves as poor.
Final Field Trips (3 days):
-visit to the nearby city of Otavalo, site of South America's largest indigenous craft market.
- cable car and then hike up Cotapaxi, a volcano south of Quito.
-The Northern Andes of Ecuador experience constantly changing conditions with sunny breaks and cloudy periods almost every day.
- temperatures drop as low as 12 degrees but rise to the high 20s.
- at the final field trip's elevation of 16,000 feet, the winds are strong and the air is cold
- Students should pack with late September/ early October in Ontario in mind.
Health & Safety:
- Comprehensive health insurance with Blue Cross
-students and host families are educated about the problems of gastro-intestinal effects from drinking local water. Avoiding juice mixed with water and foods washed in tap water is the rule to follow. Boiled water is the practical, sensitive, and appropriate solution.
- students are recommended by CDC (the Centre for Disease Control) to take the vaccination for Hepatitis A and B and typhoid.
- Yellow Fever and Malaria are NOT concerns in the Andes region that the students visit.
- $ 2850, which includes everything: all insurance, round-trip flight, taxes, in-country transportation, hotels, entrance fees, all meals, and the cost of building supplies.
- Students only need $40 for basic pocket money to buy snacks or souvenirs, but most students bring between $200 and $300 spending money as the host community is part of a thriving craft industry featuring beautiful hand-woven textiles.
- Students pay in installments:
September (1st day of school) - $800
October (end) - $800 or the balance after fundraising