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 226 - 231 of 231
Default avatar
jszakacs
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Baggage

The trip was fantastic but the fact that American Airlines struggled with delivering bags on time for several volunteers, I say fly with Delta from now on!

What would you improve about this program?
I wouldn't change anything.
Default avatar
Suvan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome

Travelling to Ecuador had to have been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Everyone was friendly, the program was well planned and I definitely got way more out of the trip than I expected. I still remember the feeling of giving away the houses to the people of Pallatanga. I was so grateful I had the opportunity to have such a positive impact on these peoples' lives. HLD is an awesome program and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish we could have seen some of the other places the other groups had but besides that it was perfect.
Default avatar
Sbrowne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Experience, without a doubt.

As a pre-medical student, I found that this program was perfect for me. It inspired me to continue my pursuit of medicine by giving me the opportunity to work in both public and private hospitals. It set the stage so that I could learn about the cultures of South America, and solidified my interest in helping others on an international level. I always felt comfortable and safe, and by working closely with peers, leaders and the owners of the program everyday, the atmosphere was always positive. Highlights: scrubbing in on surgeries, giving away homes to families, generating life-long friendships.

What would you improve about this program?
Not much, I've been on many volunteer programs, this one fit very well with what I wanted to do. The plane rides are long, but it is worth it!
Default avatar
Ella
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The real experience!

The staff did an amazing job at making sure everyone's personal needs were met- they definitely went above and beyond to cater to everyone! The group had a diverse set of personal needs- from food allergies/preferences to rooming preferences and I felt like all of my needs were covered! Furthermore, I felt safe with all of the leaders, the CEOs, tour-guides, the bus-driver, etc. They really look out for you!

In terms of their program- they definitely covered all that they offer! There is nothing hidden here. They give you exactly what they advertise- the Experience and the chance to help, to learn, and to discover!
I went in July on the pre-med program with the additional Machu Picchu week and I got all that I expected plus more! I was able to help a community in Pallatanga, Ecuador and it is an experience that goes beyond what words could express. I came in expecting to give to the community but they taught me so much more. And the CEOs were there the whole way- guiding us and teaching us how the community works. We worked hand-in-hand with the community and used materials that were sustainable/worked for their lifestyle. This was important for me... knowing that the CEOs came in and talked to the community beforehand... they had discussed what the community needs and what materials would best suit their lifestyles.
I definitely got to learn as well! In the pre-med program, we were given a Medical Booklet that we were required to study in its entirety. We then got to go into rotations in both a private and public institution. The group of us were split into different shifts and got to work intimately with Ecuadorian pre-med students/other doctors. We got to witness operations, had ER day and night shifts, OB/GYN day and night shifts, and were taught an immense amount of techniques, skills, etc. along the way. There were several work shops as well- we even got to learn/practise several sutures! The pre-med students were extremely helpful as well! They gave you a real picture of what it is like to work in the hospital and study at the same time.
And I discovered. I hiked through the jungle at night in Misahualli where the group of us were instructed to turned off our flashlights and listen to the orchestra of creatures that came alive in the dark. I remember looking up and seeing an unreal sky filled with stars (having both the northern and southern hemisphere stars.) These moments are irreplaceable and of course, priceless. I remember hiking up to the top of Huayna Picchu and staring out at the surrounding mountains- feeling so small and humbled. I was given the opportunity to surf in Canoa and I was able to swim in the ocean off the coast of Salinas.

I helped, I learned, and I discovered.
And I couldn't have done any of this without Ecuaexperience-HLD and all of the people that make it what it is. You can tell that this is their passion and that they love doing what they are doing. And THAT is what makes this the ultimate experience... the people that can not be replaced- the people of this program that dedicate their lives to giving you the real Ecuaexperience.

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

best trip of my life

This was the best trip I have ever gone to. The medical shadowing was very educational - as were our case studies. Our volunteer project in Pallatanga helped many families get homes they could not previously afford. Also, the tours of Ecuador (hiking through the jungle, waterfall rappelling, seeing the equator, surfing in Canoa, stay at resort in Salinas) were beyond what I expected. This is a trip of a life time! Jose and Juan take very good care of their students!

What would you improve about this program?
to spend even more time in Ecuador :)
Default avatar
Emma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Time of My Life

I had such an incredible experience with Ecuaexperience. The first day we arrived at the work site in Pallatanga I knew we would be making a difference. We got up every morning, worked on the houses, played with the kids and crawled back into bed at the end of the day but it was great! The people were so thankful and I wish there was more I could have done. When we did our hospital rotations, it was better than anything I could have expected. The doctors, nurses and tutors were so helpful and they wanted you to learn.