Me to We Ecuador: A Natural and Environmental Discovery
80% Rating
(4 Reviews)

Me to We Ecuador: A Natural and Environmental Discovery

• Volunteer abroad and help build a school for children who have limited access to education.
• Build lifelong skills through leadership and global development workshops.
• Learn Spanish and volunteer alongside local community members
• Experience remarkable biodiversity and gain first-hand experience with environmental and development issues.
• Take an unforgettable journey to the Cloud forest or Amazon rainforest.

Locations
South America » Ecuador » Quito
South America » Ecuador
Length
2-4 Weeks
Language
English
Housing
Guesthouse
Hotel
Starting Price
$2,000.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
Your youth trip includes round-trip airfare from Toronto, Canada (when arranged by Me to We).

Adjusted program fees are available for trips departing from gateways outside of Toronto.

Also included: accommodations while on the ground, three meals daily, bottled and/or purified water, and entrance fees to activities. In addition, language lessons, volunteer placement activities, and leaderships training (including comprehensive action planning) are provided. You will also have access to a facilitator, who is available 24 hours a day, as well as a 24-hour emergency service.

Your trip does not include travel medical insurance, AMREF Flying Doctor’s insurance, passport and visa fees, or additional baggage fees.

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    85%
  • Support
    73%
  • Fun
    70%
  • Value
    83%
  • Safety
    78%

Program Reviews (4)

Default avatar
Emma
Female
17 years old
Edmonton, Alberta
Other

A trip of a lifetime

9/10

Going to Ecuador with Me to We was an experience of a life time! I learned so much about myself and others,and helped build a kitchen and dining hall for the school in a small village called Shuid. We were given proper instructions telling us how to work with the equipment, wear protective gear, and told to take breaks whenever we were tired, and we were off! We started off with three rows of bricks, and ended up having finished with about twenty rows of bricks. We also had an opportunity to meet with the children attending the school, but unfortunately most of them were at home, as it was their summer break. After our work in Shuid, we left for the Amazon where we spent our last couple of days doing jungle walks and meeting the locals. Overall this experience expanded my world view and taught me so much about myself and what life is like in other parts of the world. I would recommend this trip for anyone who is looking to make a difference, explore different parts of the world, and make life long friends.

How can this program be improved?

If I could change one thing, I would change the amount of time we spent on the buildsite. I know that my friends and I had wanted to spend more time building, but instead were given cooking lessons and visiting churches. While that was awesome, I know that a lot of us had wished to spend more time with the children at the school, and more time building.

Response from Me to We

Hi Emma,

Thank you for taking the time write your review, please know that your comments are very much valued.

We are so happy that your trip to Ecuador allowed you the opportunity to have a life-changing experience!! The community of Shuid has also experienced a life-changing event when you helped to build their kitchen. You should be very proud! We truly appreciate your feedback in regards to more time on the build site and have shared this information with the relevant teams. Your feedback will allow us to continue to create life changing experiences for youth in the future.

If you have any more suggestions or thoughts, please contact us at [email protected].

Sincerely,
Me to We Trips

Default avatar
Hannah
Female
19 years old
Rosemary Beach, Florida
Other

Incredible Experience

9/10

In March 2015, I went to Ecuador with my school to build water filters. The trip was incredible and by far one of my favorites. I have travelled to 31 different countries but never have I had an experience like this one. We were able to see the city and the rural area of Ecuador. Before we began to put in the water filter, we went to the school we were building it for. We were able to talk to the children, play with them, and learn more about them. I really enjoyed this because it helped me grow a stronger connection with who the water filter was for. The trip was by far one of the best I have ever done, and if I could go back, I would. Although the climbing and the altitude was rough on the body, building the water filter was an unforgettable experience. During one point of the trip, we were able to watch how a guinea pig was cooked because in their culture, they eat guinea pig. It was the most gruesome process I have seen but I will never be able to get that experience again. Our guides were amazing and so kind to everyone. They really connected well with all of us and I enjoyed every minute of their presence.

How can this program be improved?

Overall, the trip was astounding! I wouldn't want to change anything. I enjoyed being immersed in the culture and visiting the country.

Response from Me to We

Dear Hannah,

Thank you for taking the time to write your review and share your amazing experience! We are so glad to hear that you had such an amazing and unique experience in Ecuador. If you have any more experiences you would like to share with us please contact us at [email protected].

Sincerely,
Me to We Trips

Default avatar
Catherine
Female
42 years old
Ontario, Canada
Other

Good local projects, but poor organization and programming

5/10

I attended this trip as an adult volunteer with a school group. Our experience was mixed, with some positive elements and some negative.

The community building project was well organized, and the group participated in meaningful work with members of the community. The group laid a foundation, mixed concrete and poured it. The organization is clearly having a positive impact in the country. The locally hired construction managers were well trained and organized. On the otherhand, our group leaders were very young and inexperienced. The had no control over the daily routine and were regularly on the phone with headquarters for directions. This lead to a lot of wasted time, waiting around for instructions. A plan to spend a day in a village living with a local family completely fell through and there was no plan to replace it.

The accommodations were very basic. The sleeping and eating areas were acceptable, but the washrooms weren't cleaned frequently enough and by the middle of the trip there was only one shower for the entire group (18). There was rarely hot water and, for two days, there was no water at all. Some of the kids fell sick with GI problems. There was no one nearby with any medical training, and the first aid information provided by the group leaders was frequently inaccurate. The company did provide trips to hospital when required and the medical services there were good.

The building project was a good experience, as were the walking tours of Quito and the local community. However the tour included long hours of "programming" which consisted of role playing and lectures, often late into the evening. The content was weak and provided no information about the history and culture of the country. Mostly it came off as preaching, and sometimes it was embarrassing for the kids. Much better were visits with real people - a knitting cooperative and a band of local musicians. More local content and less longwinded and empty lectures would be a big improvement.

One unexpected thing was that the group was forbidden to take photos most of the time, and was very controlled in its ability to speak to anyone except selected individuals. For example, the kids were yelled at for looking in a small gift shop at the equator. One adult was chastized publicly for photographing a public square in Quito. It's clear that this organization is trying very hard to control it's media image, and this results in a rigid and sometimes pushy approach with the people on the tour.

My advice for a school or youth group interested in this tour would be to negotiate in advance for accommodations with decent washroom and shower facilities, and then to check in once the group arrives in Ecuador to make sure that the accommodations are suitable. I'd also recommend that a nurse or medic accompany the group, because we frequently needed medical support and didn't have it untless a trip was made to hospital, over an hour away. Finally, I'd ensure that there are several (i.e one for every 3-4 kids) responsible adults accompanying the group, and that they include a couple of group leaders with authority to make decisions when issues arise.

Response from Me to We

Dear Canadian Parent,

Thank you very much for your review. While disappointed to hear your experience was not all that you hoped, we appreciate all feedback and will certainly look into your concerns. We invite you to email us directly with your specific trip name and any additional details so that we can get a better understanding of your experience on the ground. Please email Nora Griffiths, our Director of School Engagement, at [email protected].

We’d also like to take this time to briefly address a couple of your concerns. Our Ecuador trips are very popular both for groups and individual youth and include a daily combination of volunteering or building activities, unique cultural experiences, and leadership modules designed to help participants understand the issues they see on the ground. At Me to We, we aim to not only expose our travellers to the cultural and socio-economic differences of the country they’re visiting but to provide them a supportive network within which they can discuss what they’ve seen and learned. This is the intention behind our daily debriefs and the reason why they are a prominent part of the Me to We programming.

In addition, safety is always our top priority on Me to We trips. We have been safely running programs in Ecuador for over 10 years – it is one of our longest standing programs. We welcome any feedback that will further ensure the comfort and security of our participants and thank you for your recommendations.

Thank you again for your feedback and for joining us on a Me to We Experience – we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Default avatar
Erin
Female
19 years old
Hamilton, Canada

An Incredible Experience

9/10

This was an incredible trip that truly changed my life. We were able to help the local communities by contributing to building projects, while also learing about the environment and ourselves. We got to visit many different communities throughout the country and learn about each of these areas. We were fully immersed in the culture while on this trip, and even had Spanish lessons! The food on this trip was fantastic, and accommodations were very comfortable. The team environment on this trip allows for participants to feel comfortable and truly get to know their fellow volunteers. The staff at Me to We is spectacular! They helped us along on every step of our journey. I always felt safe and taken care of. This was an exceptional trip!

How can this program be improved?

The only issue I had throughout this entire trip was that I had some difficulty contacting my pre-departure coordinator. This continued for a short period of time, and then after that I had no problems. This was a fantastic trip!

About The Provider

ME to WE is an innovative social enterprise that works hand in hand with international charity, Free The Children. On a ME to WE trip, you'll have the opportunity to volunteer alongside community members on real development projects as part of Free The Children's award

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