Travel to the Andean highlands and immerse yourself in Ecuador’s indigenous cultures and stunning natural landscapes while engaging in community service projects or studying and practicing Spanish. Meet local people, from farmers to conservationists, as you collaborate on community-directed projects. Live in a small Quechua village and work to improve access to clean water, construct a classroom, or teach English to primary school students alongside community members. Learn traditional weaving and construction techniques. Stay overnight in Otavalo and visit its renowned indigenous market. Hike around the Laguna de Cuicocha and visit a cloud forest and coffee cooperative to learn about sustainability and eco-tourism. Cap off your trip with a visit to the Galápagos Islands, home to giant tortoises, lava tunnels, equatorial penguins, marine iguanas, and blue-footed boobies.
- Don ponchos and ride horseback through the stunning Andean páramo at the base of Cotopaxi Volcano
- Snorkel with sea lions and seaturtles in the Galápagos Islands
- Learn to make homemade empanadas with your homestay family
- Join local friends in a community-wide minga to refurbish a town building
- Participate in the Inti-Raymi festival with Quechua dance, dress, and songs to celebrate the summer harvest