Review from a pharmacy student

Impact: 10
Support: 9
Fun: 10
Value: 10
Safety: 9

I am currently a Pharmacy student in Florida, United States. I completed this program during spring break of my senior year of my undergraduate studies. The program was a week long and I traveled with 13 other students.

My host family was amazing. They provided fresh, cultural food, a full 3 meals a day. The neighborhood was safe. There were no communication issues; in fact, the family members were a wealth of information in regard to culture, lifestyle, academics, and transportation. They were enthusiastic in helping in any way possible. It was not the first time they housed international students, and we were even exposed to a few volunteers from two separate countries.

Our duties as a group was to shadow at the Sangolqui Hospital. I learned much about a different perspective in healthcare, and I'm sure anyone who completes the health volunteer program will agree. In order to thoroughly understand the structure of US healthcare versus the availability of health services around the world, one would require some sort of eye opening experience as mine in Ecuador. The hospital highlighted differences in work duties, work flow, costs, and patient diseases- definitely an educational experience. Not to mention, the health care workers were both knowledgeable and friendly.

In addition to hospital shadowing, my group also contributed to caring at various children educational programs (daycares and orphanages). The volunteering was really where I had the most fun and influence. Our duties consisted of cleaning, playing with children, and even planning some bilingual learning lessons.

In regard to recreation, our entire group enjoyed zip lining, sight seeing at the equator, cultural market shopping, and even the streets of the authentic city of "Old Quito." There is plenty to see and do, and all certainly at affordable costs for a traveler. Our host, Maria, showed fantastic hospitality; she even through a goodbye party for students and host families.
Although one could survive without knowing fluent Spanish, I would highly recommend being fluent if you really want to grasp the beauty and culture of Ecuador. All in all, this was a fulfilling experience, and I would highly recommend it for anyone looking into an affordable, educational, and cultural experience in health learning.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would