• Ecuador

Program Details



Starting Price
Dec 21, 2016
Dec 21, 2016
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About Program

International Student Volunteer's (ISV) program in Ecuador focuses on restoring the country's natural beauty and environmental resources. There are several options for volunteer projects in Ecuador from ISV, including wildlife conservation, community development, children's programs, and environmental management. ISV works hard to make sure that there are opportunities to match all of its volunteers interests and skills. As a volunteer in Ecuador, you will be making a huge environmental impact.

Your tasks in general could include some of the following: monitoring of local species, supporting recycling start-up programs, trail maintenance, agro-forestry including reforestation and organic farming, clean ups in mangrove forests, English and environmental education classes with children and community members.

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from ISV (International Student Volunteers).

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 10 reviews
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  • Impact 4.8
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Value 5
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 8 of 10 reviews
Yes, I recommend this program

Follow your heart!

In 2011, a couple of ISV student reps enthusiastically promoted their program in one of my lecture halls my junior year of college. Little did I know this moment would change me life dramatically. I picked up the flyer and thought, I could never do this! I can't afford this experience. It sounded amazing though and I didn't want my doubt to be what hindered me. I looked into it more and decided to try fundraising for it. It was super hard and I didn't come up with all the money, but I begged my family to help me pay the rest. In a nutshell, the 2 week volunteer experience opened my eyes to the large-scale social problems of gender inequality, economic hardship, and poverty which was the hallmark motivation to pursue my Masters in Social Work. This trip was my first overseas experience as a traveler, not as a tourist. I met amazing people and it opened my eyes and my heart to the meaning of life, of traveling, and of being a humanitarian. Since then, I have completed my Masters in Social Work with a focus on international community development and am currently serving a 27 month service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru. It's been 4 years since my trip to Ecuador with ISV and I believe now more than ever, I would not be where I am in life today if it weren't for this experience. So, if you are considering doing a trip with ISV, but have doubts, find a way to make it work because it could be a big step in fulfilling your destiny!

47 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Left my heart in Ecuador..

I have never considered myself to be a person who would rather travel the world than stay at home but ISV has changed that. My few weeks in south America have changed my life forver and I am forever thankful to the people who made it possible. From teaching English to moving around gardens in the amazon we did it all. Bridge jumping, spas, white water rafting it was all unreal who am I to have gone to the Galapagos islands? People dream of things their whole life and often don't get the opportunity to do things like this. However, I did. I am so so happy and so truly blessed.

39 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

ISV all the way

With ISV you usually spend 2 weeks volunteering in a local community. There you do various activities from community development to conservation based on your preferences. Everything is oversaw by a group leader who works with ISV. Meals are provided this entire time. Then the fun begins with a second two weeks traveling via bus around the country with a tour leader. This is great because my tour leader got us all sorts of extra perks and activities because she had befriended a ton of people along the way, so our bike tour guy made us lunch, and the guys who took us waterfall repelling gave us a tour of the local bar scene and the rainforest. The lodgings were absolutely amazing and there was always someone around to help with translation if needed. Traveling in a group was nice to because we became a family by the end of our four weeks. I also took an optional week with ISV before hand in a local school to help learn some spanish and local customs.

40 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic Experience that Beats any Regular Vacation

I would pick doing this again over any vacation at a resort or any other tour. Unlike staying at a five-star resort, I gained so much more through hands-on work experience with the local communities and being involved in their cultural activities. I also saw so much more of another country's lifestyle than traveling with any other tourist agencies I've had. Furthermore, the new friends who I made during this program was certainly the best part of this trip. They all have similar interest and passion for adventure and volunteer abroad to be here, so it was always fun and enjoyable wherever I go with them. It has been almost a year since my four-week program in Ecuador and even though I am apart from them now, they are my lifetime friends who I think about everyday.

44 people found this review helpful.
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Los Ilinizas- Ecuador 2011

The trip I took through ISV was a life-changing experience. I learned so much about myself as well as the world around me. I was placed in a project in the Andes, in a town called Chaupi. I was exposed to a whole new way of life, and by the end, this town became a new home for me. My group did various activities for our volunteer work. But the highlights by far were we planted over a thousand paper trees, taught English to the kids in the village, helped out a local widower with farm chores and putting on a skit to teach environmentalism to a nearby town.
My project leaders were fantastic, they didn't just lead us in our work, but they also took on adventures on our day offs, which wasn't part of their job description. We went to a festival in a nearby town, hiked Quilatoa Crater, climbed Los Ilinizas (one of the volcanoes in the Andes) and went to a hot springs.
I thought all the food was delicious, we stayed in a hostel called La Lloveniza, and the family who owns it cooked all our meals for us. My project was really lucky, we had really great living conditions. We had hot water and showers. There was a living area in the hostel, so sometimes we would have movie nights. The weather was a little cold, but it is what you would expect in the mountains. The family who owns the hostel was absolutely amazing, some of the nicest people ever. They really made us feel at home, and it really emphasized the impact we were making there, because of how much they appreciated our help.
The Adventure Tour was also a lot of fun! Personally, though, I valued the volunteer experience much more, and I think it would have been neat to do two volunteer placements instead of one and then the Adventure Tour. But the Adventure tour was really awesome. We rappelled down 100ft water falls, went puenting, had a spa day, hiked and canoed through the jungle, surfed, went to the largest outdoor market in South America (Otavalo) and got to stand on the equator.
I also recommend the Galapagos Excursion! Saw so many unique animals that you can't see anywhere else! The highlight was definitely swimming with the sharks at Kicker Rock. Lots of snorkeling and hiking on this trip, and way more down time. It's a nice way to relax after the craziness of the four weeks before it.

44 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A Beautiful Beginning

If you have ever wanted to truly change the world… here is a real fine place to start.

Ecuador offers some of the most breath-taking, bio-diverse landscapes on this planet; from the Andes Mountains to the Amazon Rainforest to the world renowned Galapagos Islands.
International Student Volunteers offers you the opportunity of a lifetime to “travel with purpose” and immerse yourself into another culture through education, hard-work, and adventure- all wrapped into one.
As a volunteer you will be placed in one of many needy communities throughout Ecuador. Here you will spend the next two weeks teamed up with a native NPO/NGO and several other students from across the globe working to contribute to the greater good of that community. Each and every ISV site is dedicated to community and social development, as well as environmental and conservation initiatives. Your work will be facilitated through an ISV-appointed Project Leader who is familiar with the country, the culture, and the local people.
When your two weeks are up you have the choice to return home or continue on with your volunteer group- and other ISV groups from across the country- on the Adventure Tour. Within these two weeks you will be led by one or two tour guides who will take you a non-stop cross country travel tour to view the best of what Ecuador has to offer. You will live more in these two weeks than you have in your entire life; visiting the cities and the national parks. Bridge-jumping, waterfalls, hiking through the rainforest one day and to the top of Cotopaxi volcano the next, surfing, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, the Otavalo market…. Late nights and unforgettable memories.
I spent the beginning of my 2010 summer volunteering with ISV in the small fishing town of Puerto El Morro- just outside Guayaquil- and can sum it up in short: Nineteen volunteers. Ten states. Two countries. One love. I have participated in a lot of volunteer programs, but they all pale in comparison to what we accomplished here. In two short weeks we built a house, mended a garden, taught English in elementary and middle schools, reforested a depleted mangrove area, hosted and Earth Day parade, started a green-house project, taught English to local tour guides, and reached out to the entire community about the importance of dental hygiene and nutrition. This community was so welcoming and admiring. Truly it was an amazing and beautiful experience to let go of the life you lead back home and immerse yourself in something completely different. I am proud to call every single one of my fellow volunteers and leaders lifelong friends- by the time we left we were all family and remain so.
Once you’re home this will be the ONLY thing you talk about for the next year… ask any past ISV participant.
I was so inspired by my time in Ecuador that I decided to return 8 months later and lead myself on a 3 month tour volunteering in coordination with the host NGO and multiple 2011 ISV groups and other return ISV participants- adding another ISV project site to heart, the Quichua community of Campo Cocha. I am proud to report that Puerto El Morro welcomed me back graciously and remembered me by name. The conditions continue to improve as the community grows and strengthens with the help of volunteers like us.

For me International Student Volunteers marked the true beginning of my journey as I set out to change the world.

45 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Changed my life

I have never imagined going abroad especially to Ecuador of all the other amazing countries out there. I originally wanted to volunteer in Costa Rica but I don't regret going to Ecuador at all. It's a beautiful country that I have fallen in love with. I'm so grateful for the opportunity that ISV had given to me. My experience was wonderful. There really is no word to describe it. I was in Las Flores, a small town in Ecuador for two weeks. I lived in the middle of the Cloud rain forest where I helped plant coffee plants, banana trees, did field work, observed and studied native birds, helped teach English to the local community members (Oh, they love learning!), played soccer with the kids, practiced my Spanish with the parents, learned how to make peanut butter, built a new playground for the deserving kids, and realized how happy one could still be without an ipod or a laptop. We take so many things for granted in America that when I actually saw these kids begging to learn English, something in my heart grew. This experience was literally a gift to me, and in addition to this, I was awarded with another two weeks of just simply traveling around Ecuador, learning how to surf, experiencing whale watching, climbing waterfalls, riding bikes around a beautiful canyon, climbing a volcano, standing at the equator of the Earth, and I took in all the beautiful art pieces at the largest outdoor market. I honestly didn't want to come back home! There is so much to see in an entirely different country that traveling is a must! This trip was worth every cent of the $3500 that I paid. It was worth an entire lifetime! Plus, the trip was so safe, I did nothing but enjoy my time in a breathtakingly beautiful country with beautiful people. ISV will always be a part of me, and Ecuador will always have a place in my heart. I plan to go back soon!

44 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Lifechanging Experience

Volunteering with ISV in Ecuador was life changing. I learned so many things about the environment and did so many things I could never do in my own state.
I met amazing people and felt like I made a difference at the Animal Rescue Center I stayed and volunteered at.
Safety was the number one concern when on site and I always felt that way. It was amazing to experience the culture and ways of Ecuador. I learned life lessons that I could never learn in a classroom.

42 people found this review helpful.

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