Experience the sights and sounds of this microcosm of South America – Mountains, jungles, beaches, ancient ruins and the Galapagos Islands are just a few of the most sought-after destinations in Ecuador. Wandering cobblestone streets and exploring 17th-century monasteries can give you some insight into the complex history of this beautiful land. Ecuador’s natural and cultural diversity and ancient Inca heritage appeal to many volunteers.
United Planet is the US and Canadian member of the International Cultural Youth Exchange, or ICYE. As a volunteer in Ecuador, you will be hosted by VASE, ICYE’s Ecuadorian partner organization. VASE is a nonprofit that is committed to promoting global citizenship and fostering social support in Ecuador through volunteerism.
Volunteers work in elementary schools and high schools where they assist in teaching English, Science, Art, Physical Education, and other subjects. Also, schools may offer volunteers the chance to create their own activities for the students such as coaching their soccer team.
Volunteers help children from a variety of disadvantaged backgrounds including street children, disabled children, abused and orphaned children, etc. Depending on the host organization, volunteers could be assisting in fundraising, supervising, and developing activities and workshops, or supporting families from some of the poorest areas through re-integration and support counseling.
Stare straight into the eyes of a Land Iguana or explore numerous habitats belonging to animals such as giant tortoises, sea lions, and exotic birds. The Galapagos Islands are home to unique species of animals that can be found no where else in the world. Learn more about the natural beauty of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands when you visit.
The Amazon region contains one of the highest levels of biodiversity on the planet. See a large percentage of this biodiversity by visiting Podocarpus Park. The park is considered to be a large botanical garden that contains about 3,000-4,000 different species of plants. If you visit Ahuano, Napo, you can learn how the Ahuano community has been using a blowgun to hunt for centuries. They also teach visitors how to use the blowgun by practicing on puppets.
Ecuador celebrates its independence on August 10. This is a national holiday that is celebrated in throughout the entire country. This is a perfect opportunity to celebrate a great day in Ecuador’s history and take part in the cultural activities throughout the day like watching the parades as well as the dance and music performances.
Be in two different Hemispheres at once by straddling the Equator while you are visiting Quito. You can also explore the historic Old Town and take a walk around Independence Square. The Old Town is the best way to see the historic colonial architecture of Quito, which has been beautifully restored. There are so many opportunities to learn more about Ecuador’s history while visiting Quito.
United Planet Quests are designed to be immersive, authentic, comprehensive and provide you everything you’ll need to succeed. The program elements allow you to engage fully with a new culture, forge strong relationships, and challenge yourself. Most importantly, we partner with the community to ensure your experience will be important, relevant and helpful to the community you serve.
|Start Date||6 month fee||1 year fee||Early Bird Deposit Deadline||Regular Deposit Deadline||Late Deposit Deadline|
|August 2017||$9,075||$12,445||Monday, March 6, 2017||Monday, May 8, 2017||Monday, May 22, 2017|
|January 2018||$9,075||$12,445||Monday, July 31, 2017||Monday, September 4, 2017||Monday, September 18, 2017|
Enroll by the Early Bird Deadline and take $300 off your Quest fee.
Please note that deposits received after the Regular Deadline (before the Late Deadline) require an additional $150 fee.
We want you to succeed. That means having in place the support our volunteers need. We don't just drop you in country and hope for the best. We provide training before you leave … language exposure … 24/7 in-country support … support for your host family … accommodations, meals and airport transportation … activities and excursions. The whole idea is to make the experience successful and productive for you and the host community, and we have found that these things are crucial. Remember that we are a non-profit, mission-driven organization – we wouldn’t spend money on something that wasn’t important.