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Volunteer Abroad in Ecuador - United Planet - 1-12 Weeks

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My experience in Ecuador opened up a new door in my life

My experience in Ecuador opened up a new door in my life. After just 5 weeks I became a valued community member and I know that I will be welcomed back whenever I wish to visit again. I have to return because I have amazing friends that will be waiting to see me again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I loved the outcome of volunteering

I loved the outcome of volunteering. The people I helped really were appreciative of everything I did. Walking in the first day they clapped for me. It was such a rewarding experience. The country staff was very flexible and really wanted to make sure we were doing something we enjoyed. I could not have had a better host family. They were so welcoming and by the end I was calling my host mother mom! The two daughters even invited me out with friends. I was truly immersed in the culture and they helped me every single way. I love them.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The people are amazing!

The one thing I loved the most about being abroad were the people. They were always so nice and kind and seemed to always being happy, especially the kids at the daycare. The culture in Ecuador is really different from the one in the U.S. For example, it’s not common to see people on their phones in public while in the U.S you might even see a toddler playing with one. Another example is the amazing naturally flavored water they have at practically every restaurant. However, in the U.S it’s not that common to have mango or watermelon naturally (not artificially) flavored water at restaurants. Another difference that I noticed was that it is common to see kids or the elderly selling stuff, such as gum or bracelets on the streets to make money. That in itself is a lesson that I will never forget. No matter what problem I will be facing it will not compare to the kid that has to wake up possibly every morning in order to buy himself a candy he wants or maybe even help his parents to put food on the table. Witnessing these cultural differences has made me aware of the culture here. It seems to me that many (not all) individuals here in the United States can never be content with what they have and I have been guilty of that. We always want the best, the latest phone, those new shoes that came out, that new gadget, etc. It seems like what we have is never enough. This has changed my whole attitude on life. I value the things that I have much more and also the loving family that I have. This is something that our society should learn from. For us to not get so caught up with having the latest things and buying this just because all my friends have it. Going to this trip was an amazing experience that has motivated me so much to study abroad, it is not even a question anymore – I will study abroad. I am not sure where but I will. Another important aspect that I took out of this trip was helping those in need. It has motivated me to keep doing great in school so once I graduate I can make a difference in the world by volunteering and helping the less fortunate.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

This experience was very eye-opening for me

The trip guides were very informative and also very personable. They were easy to get along with and by the end of the week, they felt like our friends. There was a great mixture of volunteer work, cultural immersion and sightseeing. Also, we were housed in a nice hostel and at no time did I ever feel unsafe.This experience was very eye-opening for me as I have never been immersed in another culture before. While I have visited other countries before, I have never been outside of tourist areas or areas of main attractions. This trip showed me just how similar USA is to Ecuador. There wasn't much that I can do In the US that I couldn't do in Ecuador. The city and life in the city reminded me a things in the US as well. The trip also showed me how similar people in general are despite our geographic location. Seeing young adults my age in Ecuador participating in similar things that I do in the US helped me realized how much we have in common. Also, not being able to speak Spanish was a very humbling experience. Living in the US, I always see people who are unable to speak English and before this trip, I never really thought twice about them. Now however, I have a more sympathetic view of them, knowing first hand how scary and difficult it is to be in a country where you cannot speak to most people or even read most of the signs. On the other hand, the language barrier also showed me that human nature runs deeper than any spoken language. While I couldn't always communicate by word with most of the native people there, I was still able to communicate through gestures, smiles, etc. While it is difficult, you can communicate without language. Overall, this trip was very humbling! I was able to see just how vast the world is and how much life truly exist outside my own little world!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Being able to interact with the locals is what made my experience excellent.

Playing futbol with the locals, meeting college students in Quito, and attending an wedding will be my most memorable experiences that i had while being in Ecuador. I think my favorite parts of the trip occurred while being in Otavalo. There I grew closer to my team members, i had a better interaction with the locals and members of the community, and the service that we did there felt more meaningful.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

I had an amazing experience in Ecuador

I had an amazing experience in Ecuador. My favorite part about the experience was getting to connect with the people in Ecuador. It was great learning about their culture and language. Our guide was amazing! She was always there to help and answer questions and was right along with us serving the community.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Thank you United Planet!

My quest allowed me to be completely immersed in a culture completely different from my own. I could not have gotten this experience anywhere else. Thanks to United Planet, I have a completely new perspective on the way that I view the world. I met the most incredible people in Ecuador. From people on the streets of Quito smiling at me every chance they got, to the people of the indigenous Chilcapamba community who were as eager to learn about my culture as I was to learn about theirs, personal connections are what made my experience unforgettable.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

United Planet is professional, well-organized, and offers many options for volunteer opportunities.

Having the opportunity to experience another culture and language while also doing something meaningful so that I felt that I had a purpose there. We celebrated Dia de Los Mujeres while I was on my Quest in Ecuador. I brought home a cake, and my family consisting of myself, a mom and two daughters, all gave hugs and exchanged flowers. It was very special.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

I loved seeing a different culture from my own and being able to help in any way.

I loved seeing a different culture from my own and being able to help in any way. I especially enjoyed working with underprivileged kids in the day care and the orphanage.
My best experience was being able to participate in indigenous medicine and seeing what kinds of practices the shaman preformed. The biggest hurdle was the language barrier, however, we had fantastic interpreters who made the transition much easier.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

The whole experience was very organized and well run!

Such an AMAZING experience and worth every penny! From the clinical time volunteering to the excursions we did on our free days it was all a blast. Everything was so organized and planned out. Our hostel was close to everything and in walking distance to shopping and restaurants. It also felt very safe! The hardest thing was the language barrier because none of us speaks Spanish! The Spanish lessons and salsa lessons were so much fun!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

My volunteer experience in Ecuador

My experience was made excellent because of everyone who helped us all connect with Ecuador. Our tour person and our driver did great in helping us all arranged where we were traveling too and made our experience much more smooth.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Our country coordinator and his team were A+

I definitely cannot pick on part of the Quest that I enjoyed over the other. I honestly enjoyed every minute of it. One of the biggest challenges was the language barrier. In Canada, French is our second language so most of us had very minimal language skills in Spanish. However, Pablo and his team were by our sides every step of the way and they helped us overcome this barrier.
This Quest has definitely changed my life for the better. It allowed me to experience a whole different culture and have hands on experience in a third world country. The lessons I learned while in Ecuador is knowledge that I will carry with me throughout my whole career and the rest of my life. I have a better appreciation of healthcare in my own country and an even stronger passion to help those in other countries. With that being said, I would 100% go on another Quest to Ecuador in a heartbeat and I definitely have plans to return someday down the road.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

I wouldn't change a thing about the trip!

What was most challenging was not being able to communicate well, due to the language barrier. We were very grateful to our translator guides, and did manage to pick up some basic Spanish phrases. I absolutely loved going to the local orphanage and helping out there by painting murals, playing with the kids, and giving out donations. As well, having the privilege of being able to visit the local public clinic was such an amazing experience. I wouldn't change a thing about the trip!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

I loved seeing a different culture from my own and being able to help in any way.

I loved seeing a different culture from my own and being able to help in any way. I especially enjoyed working with underprivileged kids in the day care and the orphanage.
My best experience was being able to participate in indigenous medicine and seeing what kinds of practices the shaman preformed.
The biggest hurdle was the language barrier, however, we had fantastic interpreters who made the transition much easier.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Very organized and well planned. Loved the experience.

I loved visiting the clinics and seeing how health care works there as opposed to here in canada. The language barrier was challenging when traveling next time I will be sure to study the language better. My best experience was at the orphanage i loved playing and interacting with the children.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

We had the beautiful opportunity to volunteer

We had the beautiful opportunity to volunteer and also an opportunity to engage with the Ecuadorian culture and customs. It is more impactful to volunteer in a place you also have an opportunity to meet.I have always loved hearing and reading about other customs that are different from mine because I believe that our diverse world is what makes our world beautiful. Being able to experience the medical part was eye opening to me because not only did I learn t be open to other people ideas but also be open to other customs like the ginny pig. Here in the US we see them as pets. They are pets we give for granted as in Ecuador they are very meaningful. This experience overall changed me in many other ways.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

getting to know so many genuine, compassionate and kind people

From the pre-departure support in Boston, to the In-Country Coordinators, to other UP volunteers, to tour guides, to local Ecuadorians, and, last but not least, my host family, I was touched by such a warm and collaborative environment overall, and I had never experienced such a beautiful thing on such a large scale before. Everyone I interacted with before and during my Quest was helpful and supportive, and my experience would have been very different if so many people had not reached out to me during the program. I also loved being able to experience so many different aspects of service in Ecuador in such a short amount of time. The In-Country Coordinator provided much freedom and flexibility in the itinerary, which allowed me to see and do so much more than I had anticipated, which was quite the pleasant surprise.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

overcome my nervousness of traveling to South America for the first time

United Planet was able to help me overcome my nervousness of traveling to South America for the first time. The pre-departure support I received from the Program Coordinator was very helpful to calming those nerves. My quest to Ecuador was an eye-opening experience. I felt a lot more comfortable in myself traveling alone, learning the local language (which I was a beginner in) and interacting with the locals and learning cultural experiences. The quest helped me experience Ecuador in a way I never would have before. I took part in the Environmental Sustainability project, whereby at YanaCocha I stayed for three weeks in the Wildlife Conservation Quest. The quest helped me become more adaptable, confident, patient and increase my problem solving skills. I enjoyed every moment there and would absolutely volunteer with United Planet again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

Gaining Confidence in Ecuador

I found not speaking fluent Spanish to be challenging because it was often necessary. The best part of my trip was meeting the people, I feel like I was able to form really strong relationships. I am more confident now because I had to be self reliant so many times.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    6

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Unforgettable trip in Ecuador

Even though our plane was delayed and we didn't land until 4am, Alberto our guide and Fernando our driver were still enthusiastic and excited to greet us at the airport. Along with Pablo, every step of the trip was well organized and allowed us to arrive at the locations and contribute as much service as possible without wasting anytime. Everything went along very smoothly and we were truly able to enjoy what we were doing during every moment of the trip. Our group got to bond over fun experiences like salsa lessons and ziplining which along with all the kids we got to help, made this trip unforgettable.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Those Moments were Priceless

The best part of this experience was seeing the happiness and smiles on the faces of the community members of Ecuador who we were helping. Those moments were priceless and really affirm the reasons for why it is so important for people to become aware and get involved with community service domestically as well as internationally! This experience was one of the best parts of my college experience and I gained new life-long friends and memories that I will cherish forever!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Found my Passion in Ecuador

I went into this experience knowing I had to challenge myself to have an open mind, not be afraid of my surroundings, and to try new things but I never would have imagined that this experience would have changed my life so much. Being able to see a different part of the world and engage in a different culture was beautiful every moment of everyday. The struggles that we faced made me realize a new aspect on how to handle situations and learn from them. I have found my passion to serve others and see the world.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

This experience was a great way to be fully emerged in a new culture.

This experience was a great way to be fully emerged in a new culture. We were able to live and work within a culture and language that is much different than ours. We were able to experience many different parts and cultures of Ecuador. Being able to work in the day care was amazing because I felt like I was actually helping. In the school there is 75 children under age 5 with 6 teachers. All the children and teachers were welcoming. Our host family was incredible and very welcoming. They made us all feel at home. We were able to use the rest of our free time well by exploring Quito.

This quest had a huge impact on my life because it was very eye opening. I was able to see the many different ways that Ecuador helps maintain the environment. People in Ecuador are in no way wasteful and they are very mindful of the things that they use. We had a few people explain to us that Ecuador is feeling the effects of global warming because of the actions of other countries. Working in the day care was also very eye opening and different. It is run much differently than those in the United States. It was sad to hear that children get left home alone when parents have to work and can't afford day care. One day while we were working, a man brought a 4 year old child to the day care because he found the child walking the streets alone. When administration called the police, they found out the child was left home alone and had left his house.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Eye opening experiences in Ecuador

My time in Quito was a life changing experience as I had the opportunity to live and work in a completely new place. Volunteering with street children at mi Caleta was one of the best aspects of my trip because the kids were so caring and considerate. I learned a lot not only about them and their lives but also about myself. Quito forced me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things on a daily basis. Whether it was adapting to the schedule at mi Caleta or zip-lining over the rain-forest, I was compelled to live outside of my normal world in the United States. The trip was an exhilarating experience of a lifetime that I would never trade for anything, I am incredibly grateful for my time in Ecuador.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Completely Immersed in the Culture of Ecuador

What I enjoyed most about my Quest was that we were completely immersed in the local culture. Our tour guide and United Planet coordinator made sure that we knew what the locals do, ensuring that we made the most of our experience abroad!