Amigos de las Americas - Ecuador: Chimborazo

Video and Photos

AMIGOS Ecuador 2016
AMIGOS Ecuador 2016
Participants on an excursion
Participants on an excursion
Walking in community
Walking in community
Market
Market
Excursion
Excursion
Andean vista
Andean vista
Participant with host siblings
Participant with host siblings
National Park
National Park

About

High in the Andes mountains, immerse yourself in the life of rural Ecuador. During your time in community, you might learn to harvest potatoes alongside your host dad or help your host sister milk the family's cows. Throughout the summer, work with local students to grow their microenterprise, earning 215 service hours. You'll have the opportunity to travel with your community counterparts and AMIGOS partners to entrepreneurship workshops, build your business savvy, and develop a sustainable microenterprise. Work together on your business pitch and plan a project budget, then defend your business in a competition to win extra funding!

Highlights
  • Work alongside local youth to develop a microenterprise
  • Live like a local with your host family in the Andean highlands
  • Improve your Spanish through cultural immersion - and learn some Kichwa!
  • Lead daily activities for people in your community

Questions & Answers

Reviews

94%
based on 14 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 8.8
  • Safety 10
  • Program Selection 10
  • Pre-departure Help 10
  • In-program Support 10
  • Impact on Student 10
  • Value 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 14
Default avatar
Kara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

No compare!

I did Amigos as a high school student in 1986 & 1987. My teenage son went to Chimborazo in the summer of 2018. I can speak to being both a volunteer as well as a parent, and I can confidently say that Amigos is a life changing experience. I like to say that my son came home with his eyes wide open. He was fully immersed in a new culture. He lead town hall meetings (in Spanish!!). He formed relationships with his host family that he continues to maintain. He became more independent, more confident and more engaged. No cell phones for 7-weeks, he came home well read and well rested. His love of reading returned as he
swapped novels with other volunteers over the summer.

I am so excited to have this shared experience with my son. There is nothing else like it!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Cuy - guinea pig
Default avatar
Rebekah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing, Impactful Program

I was a volunteer on the 2016 Chimborazo, Ecuador project. It was the first year that AMIGOS had operated in Chimborazo, and regardless, I had an amazing experience.
Throughout the entire summer, I felt safe and supported by my project staff, who worked hard to ensure that us participants had positive experiences. Not only did I have a supportive team of project staff, but I also had an incredible host family who was willing to help me through any issues that may arise. I lived with them in a small community at about 12,500 feet, where a typical day consisted of working with my host family in the garden, playing games with local children and youth, walking to the local store or $0.10 ice cream, and working to plan a new community store.
Since my participation, I have become active with AMIGOS as a trainer because my experience was that impactful. I developed leadership skills, gained independence, improved my Spanish, and learned about myself. I would highly recommend an AMIGOS program to any high school or college student eager to learn more about a new culture and get out of their comfort zones. It is important to note, however, that AMIGOS is probably not a good match for young people looking for a touristy trip, as AMIGOS focuses much more on cultural immersion than anything else.

What would you improve about this program?
Though I understand that a program like this costs a lot to run, I feel it would be beneficial for more scholarships to be offered. Currently, volunteers only represent a small portion of the diversity in the United States because the program is inaccessible to lower-income youth.
Rosalinda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Highly Recommended

I recently came back from AMIGOS this August. I was completely impacted by this program, in a good way. I have never felt so safe and at peace then I was with this program. I had this most amazing experience and would do it a thousand times more if I had the chance to. It really does help you find yourself and really makes you value your life back home. I think everyone should try this out, I guarantee you wouldn't regret it.

What would you improve about this program?
I believe it could be improved by making it more affordable or including a lot more scholarships. This would help a lot more people get involved with the program.
Default avatar
Annabachh
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Ecuador 2010

As volunteers, we'd wake up around 8 am and walk to a different house each day for breakfast lunch and dinner. The whole community knew that we were present and were very welcoming. The kids were extremely enthusiastic to play and work with us. Difficulties we had were just communicating with the president of the town to gather the materials we needed for the community project, but it worked out in the end. We had a rocky living situation in the beginning but that was also fixed after the first week. Overall, it was a great experience. The community was very welcoming, the town and scenery were beautiful and we had healthy meals throughout the whole trip.

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

The Most Amazing Program Ever--Such a Transformative Experience

I lived in a small community situated on the side of a mountain at an elevation of about 11,000 ft. A typical day consisted of milking cows, harvesting corn, working with the local children, playing lots of soccer and basketball and engaging community members in discussions about the importance of youth leadership, community development, government and lighter topics such as sports or life in America. AMIGOS is a supportive program that gives its volunteers the freedom to accomplish the most in their respective communities while offering a strong framework for success. I cannot express my love and gratitude for this program that positively altered my life forever. If you are a student looking for adventures, an unparallelled cultural immersion experience and the opportunity to form life-long bonds with people in another country, AMIGOS is the perfect program.

Default avatar
roseb45
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amigos de las Americas - Volunteer programs in Ecuador

It was amazing to live with a host family and feel completely accepted by the community. I loved working with the kids during the "Campamentos" (Summer camps) we did and they were really helpful in making us feel at home. It was really great to experience a completely different culture and view of the world; I came home with an entirely different perspective on the world. My favorite part was in the evenings after we finished our Campamentos. The kids would play and the teenagers would play the Ecuadorian version of volleyball while their radios blasted reggaeton music. The women would sit nearby and keep an eye on their kids while they knit and had a meeting for the knitting cooperative we started. We would just sit there, hang out with everybody, and feel like a part of the community. There were a few difficulties, such as overcoming the language barrier, but we adapted really quickly and our project staff were great resources at helping us. This was a fantastic program. I would do it again in a heartbeat and definitely recommend it to a friend, or basically just anyone.

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

AMIGOS is amazing!

The Amigos I participated on in Ecuador has made me think about everything that I do differently. I am much more appreciative of everything that I have. I also feel connected to a whole community and feel like I have a second family. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to try new things.

Default avatar
Delia
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amigos is the best!

Being apart of this program was one of the best experiences I've had. I would recommend this Amigos program in Ecuador to anyone willing to adapt and wishing to be adopted into a community that supports you as you support them. The experience was very rewarding.