WorldTeach: Ecuador Volunteer Teaching (Year)

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About

Journey to Ecuador, this December to August, for a year of service with WorldTeach. Placements are in the capital city of Quito or in smaller cities at institutions throughout the Andean region. During your service, you live with a host family and have access to electricity and running water.

As a WorldTeach volunteer you will be tasked with teaching English to youths and young adults. In addition, to teaching responsibilities, we encourage all volunteers to actively participate in community life and engage in additional activities or projects of interest. The ability to communicate in English is highly valued throughout Ecuador because of the country’s developing tourist industry, as well as Ecuadorians’ desire for improved access to the global economy. Tourism, both cultural and environmental, has become an increasingly viable means of generating revenue in this South American nation. Knowledge of English also helps Ecuadorians open their businesses to a wider, global audience.

Qualifications:
  • Native-level English speaker
  • Flexible, open-minded and patient
  • Bachelor's degree
Highlights
  • Work with youths and young adults
  • Engage in extracurricular activities and community life
  • Have a meaningful homestay experience (optional)
  • Endless opportunities to practice Spanish
  • Earn an accredited TEFL certification (optional)

Related Programs

Questions & Answers

While I served quite some time ago, I believe the commitment is still 1 year. There was a summer program at one point so that could be an option depending on if the fit is right for you. Check their website. Quito has a fair amount of NGOs if you wanted to try to set up your own sort of assignment. You should be able to do internet searches, etc. to figure that out.

Reviews

8.9 Rating
based on 31 reviews
  • Benefits 8.8
  • Support 8.9
  • Fun 8.7
  • Facilities 9.1
  • Safety 8.2
  • Instruction 8.5
  • Support 8.8
  • Value 8
  • Academic Rigor 6.4
  • Job Assistance 7.1
Showing 1 - 8 of 31
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Russell
6/10
Yes, I recommend this program

WorldTeach - Ecuador 2008-09

The experience of teaching abroad is one that I would not trade. It is rewarding beyond any tangible measure and helped to mold me into a great teacher. That being said, were I to do it again, I would have more carefully scrutinized the programs that I considered. WorldTeach, while it provided a beneficial experience, could have done more to support me as a volunteer. I feel that there are other programs that offer a more comprehensive training program designed to better prepare their volunteers to run a classroom. While we did receive close to 100 hours of training, I did not feel prepared to succeed when I was given my classroom. However, if you view the initial mistakes that new teachers make as an inevitability, then you should not be deterred. I knew that I would make mistakes, but I did not feel incredibly well-supported to understand and evaluate them, and ultimately use them to improve.
I found that one drawback to the program was the wide variety of teacher placements. There was too much of a difference in the teaching loads, institutional support, and stipend pay across volunteer assignments, even within the same city. I was unlucky with my placement in that I ended up at a school with the lowest pay, least vacation days for travel, and a less than ideal daily schedule. While one school in the same city had 8 week terms with a 2 week break, my school offered 10 week terms and a 1 week break. The former school also paid approximately $100 more per month. While I did not enroll in this program to make money, the stipend that I received was not enough to get by each month and I had to use my savings.
My daily schedule was to teach a two hour class from 7am-9am and 6pm-8pm, five days per week. The 8 week school, as a comparison, offered classes closer together and teachers did not teach on Fridays. These stark differences only caused me to envy my fellow volunteers who were lucky enough to teach at that school.
I can look back on the experience with mostly fond memories, but there is some definite room for improvement. The students were of course the most inspirational and memorable part of the experience. I also learned a great deal about perseverance, grit, and self-reliance through this program. Overall, it was an incredibly valuable experience, if not always fun.

What would you improve about this program?
Instead of having the host institution pay its individual teachers, they should pay WorldTeach so that they can average the stipends and pay the teachers equally. The pay inequity was a source of strife. WorldTeach can lean on institutions to improve the teaching schedules to be more favorable, or at least consistent across host institutions. Work with the government to increase the number of hours volunteers can work from 20 hours. It is not enough to fill your day, and it would void your visa to work more. I had days to fill with no money or activities. That was a great challenge.
Default avatar
Jeff
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Volunteer Opportunity

I was at a crossroads in my life, two years out of college, close to completing a two-year job, looking for the next thing, when I met someone who had recently returned from a year in Costa Rica with WorldTeach. I immediately sought more info and decided to apply to the Ecuador program. For a very reasonable fee the organization provided a month of training in Quito, placed me with a family in a small town, found a school for me to teach at, visited during the year, and provided a mid year and end of year training. My experience in Ecuador was otherworldly and life changing and led me to pursue an advanced degree and to pursue an international career. The program is demanding. There are volunteer hours you need to complete before departing the United States. The teaching schedule is demanding. More is expected of you than the other teachers. But it was a very rewarding experience seeing how I could help impact others and it certainly led me to an interational career.

Default avatar
Christina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

WorldTeach changed the course of my life!

WorldTeach definitely changed the course of my life in the best way possible. I arrived in Ecuador with zero Spanish and very little teaching experience. Now, two years later, I still live in Ecuador and work for another organization 50/50 in Spanish and English. I keep in contact with people who were my students while I was with WorldTeach, and I still see my host family regularly. I would definitely say I lucked out by finding this program because when I knew I wanted to go abroad with an organization and possibly get my TEFL I was overwhelmed with options. Some of my favorite memories from my time with WorldTeach range from visiting the jungle with my host family and playing with monkeys, watching one of my least confident, lower level English students graduate at the end of my service, and getting to know the incredible mix of cultures and landscapes that Ecuador has to offer. The friendships I made, my personal and professional development, and the deep love I've developed for Ecuador are some of the best things to come out of this experience for me.

Default avatar
Deirdre
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Ecuador Year

I loved my year teaching with World Teach. The volunteer requirements leading up to my departure really helped prep me for teaching English. Once I was there, the the month of Spanish language courses and Teaching English classes were excellent preparation for my year teaching English. I felt so supported both acclimating to my new home and in my growth as a teacher. I made so many great friends and had such a rich experience professionally and exploring Ecuador. I really liked The approach they took to working with and immersing yourself in the community.

Default avatar
Phillip
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Just Go

This program was perfect for a someone like me. It gives you enough freedom to really find yourself and plenty of guidance if you are confused or lost. The month-long orientation was extremely helpful. It is crafted to make you feel as comfortable as possible with your new environment, new language, even with your new colleagues. My field directors were really cool people. They don't act like parents or bosses. They do whatever they can to make sure you are safe and sound. And in extreme cases, they will stop what they are doing an come to your site to assist you. All of this is to say that my transition to into my new situation was smooth thanks to this program.
Be prepared to work. When I arrive at my site in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, I assumed I would be a teacher's assistant or work with children in the community. Some of my colleagues did get those types of assignments, but not I. I was given the responsibility of a university professor. Structuring curriculum, grading papers, assigning project, uploading official grades. It was a challenge but a welcomed one. You've been warned.
Then there's the culture. Man, oh man. Culture. It's everything. Your new world will change the way you food, language, friends, family, humor, love and everything else.
I highly recommend this program to anyone, like I, who is reluctant to begin working right out of college and you think you might like teaching, or, in the case of some of my colleagues, you just want to try something different.
I'm still here, by the way! Five years after my initial journey, I still live and work in Esmeraldas. I am now a full-time professor with benefits and have an Ecuadorian wife and son. So, just go! If your heart is in the right place, it could change your life forever

What would you improve about this program?
I believe that the traveling restrictions put on volunteers gives them a warped view of the country and the people. As adults we should be able to travel when and where as long as it does not interfere with our volunteer duties. The night traveling ban complicated everything.
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ROSETTA
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Oh Ecuador!

What an amazing experience to be able to teach and live in this new culture for a year and see a whole new perspective of life. I learned so much about the culture and the people, and I grew stronger as a person, learning how to overcome cultural differences. One year with World Teach and I became such a different person - all for the better. Everyone needs a year abroad, and maybe the world would be more accepting and tolerant. Thank you World Teach.

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Rajni
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Change your life forever in one-year abroad

WorldTeach Ecuador has made me into a new person. Despite the inevitable struggle that comes with culture shock and a deep longing for the familiar, slowly a new me emerged, one who spoke fluent Spanish, hitched rides with pigs on trucks, marched in rallies, sold chickens to locals, or whatever new adventure the day presented. I taught English at night and spent the daytime planning how to create clubs at our school or take my students on field trips to practice English, learn Backstreet Boys lyrics, or live the life of an Ecuadorian in a gateway city to the jungle. I made lifelong friends even with spiders, which I indicated on my WorldTeach application I was deathly afraid of, guess I got over that. Like a lot of others fears in life, my year in Ecuador helped me let go and focus on what matters. I found a career path in international development and pursued international studies in Latin American at the post-graduate level and returned to Ecuador several years later with my now husband. I hope the next trip will be with our children and some day with theirs. A legacy was started more than 20 years ago by volunteering with WorldTeach Ecuador and it has changed my life forever. In just one-year. I love Ecuador and traveling and hope that other people will allow themselves the opportunity to explore our global community.

What would you improve about this program?
It already has since I was a volunteer. I wish I had access to more career guidance and counseling, but it all worked out and I can see WorldTeach is offering more of these services to its volunteers.
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Olivia
6/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Worth it for a new traveller

It's been a few years since I returned from Ecuador, and although the program was a little expensive for what it is and has its flaws, it is a good start for someone who wants to start traveling and seeing the world. The orientation is great. My main qualms with the program were where the host families were located and some issues with the program directors, but as I said, it's been a few years and I hope they've worked out those kinks. The Spanish classes at the beginning of the program were great for someone who doesn't know much Spanish like me, and I really, really valued the toolkit they provided as far as teaching goes, with orientation, resources, and support. Ecuador is a beautiful country and anyone who has the opportunity to spend some time there is supremely lucky! If you are a more experienced traveler and speak Spanish, however, I think it is probably easier to just move there and find a job with one of the schools, but it is super nice to have WorldTeach take care of the visas, housing, etc.

What would you improve about this program?
Host families closer to the places where we worked, getting paid on time.