I was a WT Volunteer in Ecuador from 1998-1999 and it was a life changing experience - probably one of the most challenging years of my life, with no regrets.
I chose WT b/c it was a one-year commitment and I could choose the country to which I applied (unlike Peace Corps, for example). I didn't like the idea of a fee, but at the time it really was the best option for me based on what I wanted out of an overseas experience. After college I was living at home and saved my money; I also fundraised part of the fee while simultaneously recognizing that not everyone has the luxury to partake in a program like WorldTeach because of the costs.
The one-month training was excellent and the field staff at the time was top notch. In early 1998 Ecuador went through some economic/political upheaval and there were many strikes. When I returned 2 years later to visit, Ecuador was using U.S. dollars, to give you some context. There are definitely safety issues in Latin America, and they were increasing in Ecuador over the course of the year I spent there because of the economy. Safety and security risks depend on your level of comfort and street savvy but should not deter you!
I taught at a university in Ambato, a medium sized town. There were other volunteers in my town which was great in terms of having support. We didn't hang out all the time, so there was plenty of time to spend with my host family and get to know the community a little better while still feeling like I was not completely isolated. I taught 4 or 5 classes a semester to both beginning and advanced learners. I really grew to love my students and became close with a few of the teachers that worked at the university.
Being a WT Volunteer really gave me confidence, a better sense of direction for my career (international education), and experiences I will never forget. I felt like I learned about the world and about myself in a way that I have not experienced since (I was 23 at the time, so that could have been part of it).
I am very well-traveled and Ecuador is one of the most beautiful countries I've ever been - it has everything including the mountains, the beach, the culture, the color, the history, delicious food, friendly faces! It is also full of pain and poverty, dirt and grit, a slower pace, and people just trying to have a better life.
I think WorldTeach is a great organization. What you will probably find by reading these reviews is that people had quite a range of experiences. And this is the TRUTH about WorldTeach, Peace Corps, and any other organization - it all *depends*. Are you ready for the challenge? Because life doesn't go as planned, and the question is: can you make the most of it? The second thing is this - what is the best organization for YOU and WHY. It might be WorldTeach and it might not. Contact people, do your research and learn to live in ambiguity - because nothing in life is guaranteed.
I know that I wouldn't be who I am had I not served as a Volunteer in Ecuador and I hope you find a way to live and work overseas - it's amazing!