EcuaExperience: Pre-Medical and Volunteer Programs

Video and Photos

paint
paint
ecuador
ecuador
Medical Rotation
Medical Rotation
Pujili community
Pujili community
friends for life
friends for life
OR Rotation in PAS hospital in Quito
OR Rotation in PAS hospital in Quito
Giant Tortoise that is native to the Galapagos
Giant Tortoise that is native to the Galapagos
Volunteer site in Pujili
Volunteer site in Pujili

About

Help, Learn and Discover is a student-driven volunteer organization that offers four week Pre-medical and Volunteer programs in Ecuador. These programs provide students with three main opportunities: to Help those less fortunate, to Learn first-hand knowledge about the medical field, and to Discover the amazing diversity of Ecuador. In the Help component, students use fundraised money to participate in a specific large-scale volunteer project. For example, in 2012 we built 21 homes for underprivileged families in a rural community called Pallatanga.

Students work alongside local families and are able to see the homes develop while integrating themselves into the community. In the optional Learn component, students shadow leading doctors and health professionals through eight different wards in a hospital setting.

We conclude the program with the Discover component, where students embark on an 11-day tour through the jungles, rainforests, highlands and beaches of Ecuador.

Questions & Answers

Most of our students are 18+. However, we have had students under 18 that need their parents to co-sign their contract.

Reviews

97%
based on 231 reviews
  • Impact 9.7
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 166 - 180 of 231
Default avatar
K.
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Lifetime Ecuaexperience

Help, Learn & Discover has been an breathtaking, wild, knowledgeable and extremely valuable program. Not only does it cover aspects of medical rotations and show you the hot spots of Ecuador, but it also allows you to help the unfortunate communities by providing them with homes that they can cherish for the future.

Personally, my favourite part of this program was the "Help" portion where we were able to support the community in Camarones by helping build 20+ homes. Fundraising money in the places we live and knowing 100% of the proceeds going to the constructions of these houses as well as dealing with the money by ourselves makes this program exceptional as it gives you a great amount of responsibility and you are able to see all your fundraising work helping the lovely children and parents that are in Ecuador. In addition, the program allowing you to get to know the community on a personal level by holding meet & greets and parties makes this portion of the program important and emotional as you build a friendship with the community that you are helping. The smiles on children that you get to see everyday when you are working; that is something that words really cannot describe and one must travel to experience first hand. This program allows you to truly feel and see the support you are showing to the community and I would highly recommend anyone to join this program on this reason alone.

However, Ecuaexperience not only has a Help section but also a "Learn" and thus makes this program is truly worthwhile. Since I did the pre-med program I was privileged to see some amazing things in hospitals that I would never be able to see in Canada unless I was to be in medical school. For anyone wondering if they would like to pursue a medical career the "Learn" quadrant of HLD gives an exceptional taste of what it is like to be a medical student with case studies, morning rounds, physical exams, surgery viewing and much more. By doing this program I have assured myself that I want to pursue the medical path even after seeing how difficult it is. HLD also hires English medical students to help you out throughout the week and therefore you do not feel lost at anytime during the learning process and you can have as many questions answered. The med tutors are extremely knowledgeable, supportive and you get to know them on a personal level so this program also gives you the opportunity to make a lot of overseas friends.

If that isn't enough alone HLD goes above and beyond with the Discover portion by taking students to some of the absolute beautiful places in Ecuador including waterfalls, natural hot springs, jungle, stunning beaches etc. They also throw in some crazy activities such as water fall repelling! I wont say much more so I do not ruin the experience for those that are intending to embark on this lifetime adventure.

I can understand how the prices may seem high for this program, however I assure you every penny I paid was completely worth it for what I received out of this program. Not only do you get a sense of accomplishment as you get to support an entire community, you also learn some really cool things along the way and you get to travel the beautiful land of Ecuador!

There isn't much to say other than its time for you to go experience Ecuador yourself and to say this program is the best is an understatement (its simply amazing) as it manages to let you find out a lot of things about yourself as well as see and do things that you will be sharing for pretty much the rest of your life!

What would you improve about this program?
One thing that would be nice is if they told us a little more in advance what would be happening in the near future. There was times where we received information on short notice and it was a little more difficult to adjust, however it was a very minor problem.
Default avatar
August2013
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Pre-Med

This trip was absolutely incredible and life changing. The places we visited were so beautiful and the people I met were amazing.

Help- the volunteer component was great, it was a really good feeling to know that we were making a positive difference.

Learn- absolutely amazing and no complaints about this part of the trip. I got to see things I would never see back home. The tutors are all incredibly bright, mature, friendly and intelligent. They make sure that you understand everything you are seeing and that you learn as much as possible. I stood in on numerous surgeries and natural births, and got an idea of what the work day of a doctor was like. The seminars at night are interesting and fun. For anyone interested in medicine I would highly recommend this trip.

Discover- Ecuador is such a beautiful country with so much to offer. We visited Quito, Banos (waterfalls and cable cars, night club), Papallacta (hot springs), Mindo (hiking, waterfall repelling, white water tubing, el quetzal chocolate factory, salsa dancing and butterfly sanctuary) , Misahuailli (jungle hike, tubing into hotel) , Otovalo (indigenous market), Cotopaxi (incredible scenery), Canoa (surfing and partying) and Mompiche (all inclusive resort). Every place was awesome for completely different reasons.

Overall my impression of this trip was very positive. it was my first time travelling for that long and I was amazed at the things we saw and did. I would definitely recommend it to people looking for a safe and enjoyable trip, especially if you are contemplating a job in healthcare.

What would you improve about this program?
Help- I know that lots of the other groups had great experiences overall and I did too HOWEVER I hope that in future years, HLD ensures that ALL volunteers are able to spend adequate time on the work site, that the collection of funds is more organized and that the spending of funds is more transparent (as it was originally promised to be). My group only spend 3 or 4 days on the site even though we were scheduled for 9. I was really looking forward to spending time with the families and putting a lot of work into the homes but never got a chance to, in part because of scheduling confusion and in part because of disorganized ordering of supplies.
Learn- No complaints. awesome!
Discover- The only complaints for this part of the trip are that it was disorganized at time- there were transportation issues like the bus breaking down several times causing us to not be able to visit the equator line, having to take random taxis to make up for malfunctioning vehicles, waiting around for other groups for a long time, going to some places twice but not even once to others. Everything we did do was amazing and I would do it all again in a heart beat, but the organization could definitely improve.
The only other complaint I have is that if you run into problems like losing a passport or luggage, you will have a hard time dealing with it as the trip organizers are often to busy to help you.
Default avatar
August2013
5/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience like no other

If the med rotations are what draws you to this program then you will be more than thrilled. You'll never get an experience like that anywhere else. You're right behind the surgeons and can take pictures for later use. So so so amazing. The tutors are great and I learned so much.

Unfortunately the other parts of this trip weren't as great as I hoped. I feel like the help and discover portions should be predictable and the same amongst groups but they weren't. There was time wasted & missed opportunities due to extreme disorganization. If that's the part you most look forward to, I suggest looking elsewhere.

Anyone going on this trip will undoubtably have an amazing time and meet such great people. It's only the experienced traveler that will notice the discrepancy with other tour groups for the volunteer and travel portion.

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

Ecuaexperience= The Best Experience

This trip was the most rewarding and challenging experience of my life. I learned so much about Ecuador as a country, about medicine, and, most importantly, about myself through this month-long journey.

If I had to pick a favourite week, it would definitely be the volunteer site. Nothing compares to the looks on a family's face as they see their new homes come together. Even though we didn't speak the same language, we still were able to understand each other. It's incredible how close you can get with a community in a single week. The families receiving the homes work beside the volunteers every day, and it really gives perspective and meaning to your work.

In the touring sections, you were given the opportunity to discover the diversity of Ecuador. We travelled from the highlands, to the coast, to the jungle and back. Along the way, we hiked, surfed, tubed in the Amazon, and sat at the base of a volcano. You truly saw a bit of everything Ecuador has to offer. The guides were hilarious and really made these weeks worth-while. It was a lot of bus rides, but they flew by in a wave of dance parties and sing-alongs.

Med rotations were so unique and educational. On top of shadowing doctors in Quito hospitals, we were given access to bilingual tutors who answered all of our questions. We were able to see the ER/ICU, pediatrics, births, OR, radiology, and sports medicine. Nightly labs gave us the opportunity to learn stitches, and how to draw blood (from each other!!!).

Overall, this was the best month of my life, and I will miss the country and people every day. Everyone remotely interested in this program should go. You won't regret it.

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I would change is the all-inclusive resort in Mompiche. I didn't think it was a necessary spot on our tour. As nice as it was, we were only there for one night and had to travel ~4 hours to get there. I much rather would have spent that day at the volunteer site or in Canoa surfing.
Default avatar
Marc-André
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Help, Learn & Discover - Nothing but the truth

I honestly don't know where to start... HLD Ecuaexperience has been an opportunity I won't soon forget. The people are remarkable, the things we see and people we meet are life changing, and the impact we make is heartwarming.

Help: The long and hard days at the volunteer site are worth every drop of sweat when you accomplish something as worthwhile as giving a family (especially 21 families) a home. The community is so appreciative, it really gives you a new perspective on life.

Learn: Thinking about medicine? The medical rotations are definitely an eye opening experience. During the long hours in the hospitals, you'll see anything from live births to a rhynoplasty, all while interacting with knowledgeable tutors and medical staff that really want to make your experience enjoyable.

Discover: Want to see sights that take your breath away? Ecuaexperience is not short on awe inspiring scenery. You haven't really hiked until you've hiked through the Amazon to one of the most breathtaking waterfalls.

All in all, this program is top notch and I would recommend it to anyone interested in making a difference. On top of it all, the friends you will make during this trip are ones that you will never want to let go. Trust me, this trip is more than worthwhile.

August 2013 HLD Participant

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

Best month of my life

As I was in the Bio-premed group, I got the chance to visit the Galapagos Islands. We had days jam packed with activities and everything was easy to do. The medical rotations were so amazing, I got to see many surgeries, like a cholecystectomy and a tubal ligation. We also had the great experience of preparing a case presentation. The only difficulty that I had was that I needed warmer clothes. The leaders and guides were awesome, supportive and good friends too! Love you HLD!

What would you improve about this program?
Because we were going from one place to another a lot I didn't get to experience nightlife as much as I would have liked. More time in Quito please.
Default avatar
Kelsey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

By FAR the best month of my life

Words cannot describe how incredible the HLD program really is. I went into it knowing very little about what it would be like, but quickly fell in love with the country and the people. My group started our journey at the volunteer site, where 21 homes were being built for 21 deserving families. The fact that we worked with members of the community and the families that would soon be living in the homes made the experience so much more meaningful. The children were always running around and the time we spent playing with them was so much fun. After volunteering for a while, we went to several different places in Ecuador.
Almost every single day of the trip we would say to one another that it was our favourite day yet.. only to find out that the next day was just as exciting, if not more exciting. There was never a dull moment. We did everything from repelling down a waterfall, tubing to our hotel in the jungle, swimming in hot springs (which were right outside our chalets) and the list goes on and on. I was in the Pre-Medical program which was so much better than I expected. We were right behind the surgeons watching surgeries and the things we saw were incredible. We also learned how to do stitches and draw blood. The highlight of my trip was probably the inauguration party, where the completed houses were given away to the families. They were so grateful and I was so happy for them. I decided to end my trip off with the Galapagos and it was by far the best decision I ever made (aside from going on the main part of the trip). It was absolutely amazing and the perfect way to end the best month of my entire life. The friends I made on this trip will honestly be lifelong friends. Those who didn't sign up for the Galapagos had the hardest goodbye because by the end of the trip we were like a little family and they weren't coming with us. If I can give you any advice, don't be the one who's going home while your new best friends are going to the Galapagos (or one of the other optional places).. you won't regret spending the extra money I GUARANTEE it. This program is one of a kind and I would recommend it to absolutely everyone!!!

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly can't think of a single thing I would change.. and I can be pretty critical
Default avatar
Eva
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A month was all it took for me to fall in love with Ecuaexperience.

Before coming to Ecuador, I never knew how hard it would be to leave this beautiful place. There are so many great things I can say about my experience with Ecuaexperience. I never had to worry because with great company, comes with great pleasure in this beautiful, mind-blowing country. I went on my trip not knowing a single soul and I came back with so many friends all around the world. Many activities were planned very well: waterfall rappels, tubbing down rivers, volunteering in local communities, bonfires next to the beach, bargaining in local markets, relaxing in hot springs, and eating ONLY the best food I have ever had. It was beyond my expectations; the accommodations made me speechless. No words can ever explain how much this trip has changed me personally. This trip has made me realize that my goal of studying medicine is set in stone. After getting exposed to the life in the hospital, it really motivates me to help others in need in the future. While learning about how to help others, it helped me find myself in the process. I am so glad that this program had offered me so much, and I can never be more thankful for the leaders, tutors, and our guides for making this trip a life time experience. A month was enough to fall in love with Ecuador.

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

I Think Everyone Should Do This!

There are no words I can say to express how amazing this trip was. It was a life changing experience. I learned so much, and not just about medicine (I was in the premed program) but about life, my goals and about myself. I got a whole new perspective abut what I want in life and had a blast in the process.

Help: we work super hard and fundraise as much as possible before we leave on this trip and we get to see where every penny we raised goes. We also get to get our hands dirty when we spend time at the volunteer site building the houses we fundraised for. The best part is meeting the people of the community. Which ever community HLD chooses to help, you can bet on it being a great one. The people are so welcoming and friendly and also so willing to help. Meeting the people who live in Camarones was the best part of my trip and I'll never forget them! I had so much fun playing with the kids and the community organized some special events for us to get to know them. We had two soccer games in which we volunteers played, and two community parties where we all got together danced and had snacks! You know when you're there that you've made a difference in these people's lives and they appreciate it.

Learn: I was in the premed program so I did rotations in the hospitals. I got to see so much in fields such as orthopedics, obstetrics, and geriatrics. I got to see lots of surgeries and interact with the patients. You learn a lot about the different fields of health care and can maybe even start to narrow down which ones you're the most interested in. The tutors HLD arranges to take you around on these rotations are invaluable. You will learn more from them in a day than you do in any class in your undergrad and this knowledge will help you to achieve your goals. They are the coolest people too so you can feel free to ask them any questions and just have a good time when you're with them! I can't thank my tutors enough for the time and effort they put into us.

Discover: HLD will show you all the best of Ecuador! I can't even choose a favorite site because I loved them all, everywhere I went I'd say this is perfect! They plan so many activities ranging from hikes, to waterfall repelling to surfing. One of my favorite parts of the trip was the Amazing Race. I wasn't that excited for it because I wasn't too sure what to expect but it turned out to be so much funner than I'd imagined. The best part about where they take you in Ecuador is that they show you what Ecuador is so you're not in all the touristy areas doing touristy things. You get to know the country and it's people and you will fall in love! I certainly did.

I had no idea what to expect when I signed up for this trip and I got way more than I could've hoped for. The things I got to do and see helped me grow as a person while having the best time of my life. If I could do it all over again (and I probably will) I wouldn't change anything! Except maybe stay longer than 35 days!

Thank you HLD for everything this was the trip of a lifetime!

What would you improve about this program?
If I had any criticisms during the trip I cannot remember them now. All I can think of is how much fun I had and how much I miss it already!
Default avatar
Melissa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

HLD experience

This trip was absolutely amazing in every aspect. Everyday we were seeing or learning something new. We got to participate in Med rotations which consisted of very long days, but well worth it. I saw many surgeries which opened my eyes to what the real medical field would be like. Leaders and tour guides were upbeat, fun people who encouraged us to live the trip to the fullest. They will all be lifetime friends for sure. We got to help build houses by putting up walls and other jobs. It was an incredible experience. As we helped build we developed friendships with the locals and the families who would later be living in the houses. One of my favourite memories is when we played soccer with all the locals. The girls actually got to throw on jerseys and play on the communities women's team. We travelled a lot on this trip, allowing us to get a good feel for all of Ecuador and the amazing things it has to offer. And of course, we also got to party and enjoy the beach. This trip was the perfect balance of learning, seeing, and doing. A few of the activities you may look forward to on this trip are: hiking, waterfall rappelling, surfing, paragliding, and much more. I definitely recommend this trip to everyone.
One last thing... As someone who has been to other countries with other organizations, I can honestly say HLD is a great one. It is extremely well organized, safe and aims to give you the best experience possible.

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change one thing, I would make the Med rotation days more spread out so that the days were not quite as long.
Default avatar
Monica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Incredible Experience

This trip to Ecuador was definitely one of the most incredible things I’ve ever done. From the people I met to the experiences we shared to how many things I actually learned, my experience with Help, Learn, Discover far exceeded what I ever thought it would be like coming into this trip. The unique part about HLD is how they offer such a multifaceted way of experiencing the beauty of Ecuador as it allows you to gain so much more out of it than you can ever imagine. The activities are really well planned and you don’t have to worry about the accommodations and food, which leaves you free to enjoy it to the fullest without having to stress over those little, yet incredibly important details.

For the Learn part of the trip you get to spend a week in Quito shadowing doctors by visiting different wards and watching surgeries while actually standing right there inside the operating rooms! It’s an experience unlike any other, especially for aspiring doctors. The Help portion was definitely my favorite part, as you’re in the village building houses for the local people who cannot afford proper housing themselves. It is sometimes hard, physical work as we did things like mixing concrete with only shovels, digging for the foundation of the house, etc. but I finished each day with the most rewarding feeling that we’re actually physically making a difference in other people’s lives. To see the result of our work at the end of the day, and to know that all of our fundraised money is going directly toward people who truly need it is amazing. And because we work alongside the locals and play with the children, we quickly built strong, lasting bonds with them, making it very hard to say goodbye when we had to leave. But the Discover part of the trip, which is scattered throughout the whole month, quickly helped take our minds off of missing the village too much, as we travelled to some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen and got to do some pretty exciting things. From Amazon hikes to waterfall rappelling to surfing to tubing down a river through the rainforest for a couple hours, this month was utterly packed with so many exciting things that I look back and wonder how we managed to fit all of it into only four weeks. But what really made this trip for me was getting to do all these incredible things with some of the best people I’ve ever met. You come into the group meeting so many new strangers, but you leave with some of the greatest friends.

I would also definitely recommend going on one of the extra weeks if possible. I went to Peru after finishing the month in Ecuador and I was really skeptical of how this next week could even meet the level of the rest of the trip, but once again, Peru far surpassed all expectations. It was different from Ecuador as there was a lot more sightseeing, but doing things such as spending time in the beautiful city of Cusco, watching the sunrise at Machu Picchu, and going paragliding off the cliffs of Lima on the Pacific coast were the perfect conclusion to what I already knew was one of the best months of my life.

What would you improve about this program?
Though it might be hard to accommodate because of the already busy schedule, I would love more time at the volunteer site.
Default avatar
Jessica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a Lifetime (July 2013)

The experiences that I gained from this trip are honestly something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. From the moment I landed in Ecuador and through the duration of the trip, there was not a single moment that I felt unsafe or was worried about anything. I was quite surprised to see how involved and supportive the HLD staff were, they always made sure our needs were taken care of and that we were having a great time. The leaders were also amazing and defiantly made my trip that much better.

The "Help" portion of the trip was amazing. We got to see first hand where and on what our fundraised money was being spent which was very satisfying. It's hard to describe how, but having to physically dig trenches and mix concrete with shovels undoubtedly added to the satisfaction to the work we were doing and the impact it had on me. It puts into perspective the things we take for granted back home. But it is an incredible feeling knowing that we are able to impact a families life for the better and give them hope for there children's future.

The "Learn" portion was just as amazing. We were given the opportunity to see and experience so much that would not be possible in Canada. To this day I cannot believe I was able to stand next to a surgeon and watch them operate on a patient, the experiences from med rotations were unreal for me!
The tutors were also very helpful and taught us so much.They were very helpful in answering our questions and providing us with a realistic overview of medical school. The experiences I gained from the med rotations has defiantly given me the motivation to pursue my goals of becoming a doctor.

Finally the "Discover" portion of the trip was the most surprising for me. I was defiantly challenged to step out of my comfort zone but its totally worth it. Each day was always different whether it was hiking through the rainforest, tubing through the amazon river, repelling down a waterfall, surfing etc. All the travelling and long bus rides are totally worth it. Throughout the entire trip I had no sense of time which was nice and added to the experience, its not often that we live for the moment without worrying what comes next.

Its crazy how many different people you meet that share the same interests and goals as you, it was truly an amazing experience meeting these people and forming new friendships!
Ecuaexperience has truly created a once in a lifetime adventure.I would recommend this trip to anyone in a heartbeat.

What would you improve about this program?
I wouldn't change a thing!
Default avatar
Sonal
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A truly life changing and eye opening experience e

Ecuaexperience is a once in a lifetime oppertunity for all students. Being a student it is difficult to fit in time to travel in our busy schedules. HLD offers the perfect chance for students to fit travelling, volunteer experience, medical experience, and extraordinary activities into 28 days! For me this was perfect as taking more than one month of school is not practical. This program embodies so much. The first time I went was in August of 2012 and I did the Bio-Med program, which I would say is the best for its value. I had the most amazing time, especially as this program includes a trip to the Galápagos Islands which by itself is a once in a lifetime oppertunity. The week you spend in these islands is beyond amazing as you get the chance to travel from island to island experiencing t he uniqueness each has to offer, volcanoes, giant tortoises, spectacular marine life... What is good about going to such a place with HLD is that you are taken to locations which would be difficult and not to mention much more expensive if one were to plan a trip on their own. Also, a lot of the locations are not very touristy therefore you may not come across them while looking online. The learn part of this trip includes medical rotations which are again a very rare and beyond amazing oppertunity especially if you are interested or considering a career in medicine. You are able to explore the private and public sectors of health care and step into the role of doctor by shadowing some of Ecuador's top doctors and surgeons. This experience solidified my love for becoming a health care professional and increased my motivation to do so. Watching surgeons operate during rotations in the O.R was especially unreal as I witnessed an open knee surgery and a facial reconstruction while standing right next to plastic surgeons, trauma surgeons and neurosurgeons. The help part of this program became the most close to my heart especially the second time I went on this trip as I did the volunteer program this time. We volunteered for almost 2 weeks and the amount of time we spent interacting with the families and young children of the village made it very hard to say goodbye. I learned so much from the amazing people of Camarones and miss them alot. One thing I really appreciate about this program is that all the money you fundraise you take down to Ecuador and you buy the materials so you know where 100% of your donations are going. And personally knowing the families who are working alongside with you makes it that much more heartfelt and real. It makes you see that you really are making a huge difference. The last part of this trip which I would like to discuss is the travel and activities part. There is a lot of travelling and every minute is worth it for all the things you get to see, Ecuador is filled with unreal sights; mountains, volcanoes, the coast line, the middle of the world, and much more. You get to experience all of Ecuador's diversity! I would highly recommend travelling with this organization it is most definitely an amazing opportunity. You make lifelong connections with amazing people, the staff is aweosme, and you witness things which you would never even imagine.

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

Amazing Experience

July 2013 concluded my second summer with HLD. I can't seem to stop myself from going back because there are so many aspects of this trip that keep drawing me in.

I love how HLD provides opportunities to travel and to volunteer in a small remote community at the same time. They take you 4000m above sea level to Papallacta where the natural hot springs are and then bring you back to the coast to surf and enjoy the company of surfers and paragliders in Canoa. As a traveller, you must be prepared to do things that are out of your comfort zone. It's hard for most people but when you've accomplished what you've done it's an amazing experience. HLD makes this trip an experience you never want to forget.

My favourite part of this trip is the volunteer site. Being part of the smaller volunteer group both summers I was able to interact (mostly through sign and body language) with the actual villagers who were receiving these homes. Even with a language barrier they were very welcoming and quickly shared their kids and fruits with us! As rewarding as it was, being there was also very eye-opening. Monthly rent in Camarones is around $20USD. To imagine how easily I can spend $20 for a meal back home just puts everything into perspective. I've made life long connections in Pallatanga and Camarones and I wouldn't trade that for anything.

I find that aside from the itinerary and the programs planned the people you travel with are also an important part of the trip. Since HLD offers volunteer and pre-med programs, I find that the students who come are all very enthusiastic, hardworking and passionate. My travel buddies have become my best of friends because our goals and passions align.I am so thankful to have gone on this trip twice and I definitely recommend this to everyone interested in travelling and volunteering abroad!

What would you improve about this program?
Make the volunteer week longer because I love it that much!
Default avatar
Ecuador5
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Well-rounded experience

Overall HLD provides a great experience, in a positive environment, where volunteers are able to make a difference. There are many well planned, and fun activities, that really help to enhance group bonding. However, transportation can be very lengthy on a few occasions, more than what most people can handle for a day. Better planning would allow to reduce transportation times and cost, while also allowing for more time to enjoy all of the destinations in Ecuador.
It may also be necessary to have more guides, at times they could seem over-tired and lacking enthusiasm.

What would you improve about this program?
More time at the volunteer site!