I volunteered in Quito, Ecuador for 4 weeks and for the most part it was a wonderful journey, but it's been over a year after my experience and it's important I finally write a review. Part way through my stay, I was robbed with a knife a block away from my host family's house during daylight (7:30 am). I was wearing plain, modest clothing and had no flashy jewelry on etc. I was carrying a backpack as I was going to meet a volunteer friend at the bus stop for a weekend trip. I was in no place to fight off a man in my face with a large knife (and turns out he had an accomplice waiting for him a block away) and gave everything to him as he demanded. I was fortunate that I was not harmed. I ran to the bus stop to find my friend. The director of VCE was called. He asked if I was okay which I appreciate but to my knowledge did nothing else. My host family was really helpful and walked with me to the police station. The police tried to ignore what happened. My host father, who I will forever appreciate for this, argued with 3 different officers for nearly an hour until they agreed to write a report. My complaint IS NOT that I was robbed. This is not anyone's fault. It was difficult in many ways, to do things like acquiring some medications I lost, but my complaint is how it was handled by VCE. Although I would have preferred VCE share this with volunteers to alert them, at the very least they could have asked if I needed help replacing anything, or asked how I was doing. I told different staff what happened and this was not shared between them. Maybe one time, one of the staff could have said, "How are you doing?". My fellow volunteers were amazing. They gave me extra things they had like a rain jacket, basic medicines, etc. There was another volunteer, also a young white female, robbed with a knife nearby her host family's house (different house from mine) a couple weeks after I left Ecuador. I heard she was not hurt but that there were 5 criminals involved; I never heard the full story. My roommate there witnessed a daytime robbery a few blocks from the office, near the mall. I am concerned at the safety of these neighborhoods. I had been to South America twice before (once before to Ecuador) so I felt I had good travel common sense. This review would be entirely different had I not been robbed and I would be raving about the VCE staff and experience, the awesome Spanish lessons, the bakeries, adorable Ecuadorian kids, and friends I made from around the world. Those are bright memories I have and I understand all the stellar reviews for VCE, as I almost was in that position too. But it bothers me how my robbery was handled. IVHQ I WOULD recommend to people; the Ecuador program I would not. IVHQ handled the situation much better. I told them about the robbery in the review and I could tell in the email they truly cared and wanted to understand what happened. That meant so much to me, so thank you, IVHQ. VCE does incredible things for people of Quito, and the staff really are wonderful people that provided great program support. I was the first volunteer I'm personally aware of that was a victim of robbery at knife-point, so I realize they may not have known how to handle such a situation, which is one reason why I wrote this review. So many areas of Quito are beautiful, and I hope things are going well for VCE, but I will never return.