Location
  • Ecuador
Length
3 weeks

Program Details

Language
Spanish
Age Min.
15
Age Max
19
Timeframe
Summer
Housing
Hostel Hotel
Groups
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30)

Pricing

Starting Price
$5,875 USD
Price Details
Financial assistance is available. Program fee includes all in-country expenses like lodging, food, private transportation, COVID-19 tests, PPE, entrance fees, etc.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare
Sep 07, 2021
Sep 19, 2021

About Program

Learn about the world by living in it! Since 1965, AMIGOS has provided the safest, most authentic service and immersion experiences in Latin America. Living and working in a new community gives you the chance to improve your Spanish, make an impact, gain confidence, and build leadership skills. You'll get to see the world in a truly unique way!

Join our programs in Ecuador to experience the unique cultures in this South American nation. From the Andes to the Amazon and the coast, Ecuador has an incredible geographic and biological diversity. Choose the program that fits your interests!

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Go beyond travel and become part of a new community
  • Make real friendships that last a lifetime
  • Support community initiatives through ethical service
  • Improve your Spanish through authentic cultural immersion
  • Health and Safety - adhere to enhanced health and safety protocols, including COVID-19 testing and a Health and Wellness Coordinator on staff

Program Impact

Support community organizations and meet local farmers and advocates. Explore Ecuador while focusing on the AMIGOS program pillars of ethical service, cultural humility, and leadership.

Popular Programs

Rural Andean Ecuador

How does the popularity of superfoods impact resources, water, and food sovereignty in Andean communities? Travel to the highlands of Ecuador to explore food security and justice in rural indigenous farming communities. Meet local leaders, food producers, and youth making an impact on food systems in the region. Two spots on this program are reserved for students from Ecuador!

At least two years of high school Spanish (or equivalent) is required. You might even learn some Kichwa!

Pacific coast of Ecuador

How can we mitigate the effects of climate change? Volunteer with local organizations restoring ecosystems and promoting sustainable agriculture and food production on Ecuador's Pacific Coast. Explore stunning beaches, rocky shorelines, and coastal forests- you may even get lucky and spot a humpback whale!
You'll get to practice Spanish on this program! At least two years of high school Spanish (or the equivalent) are required.

Program Reviews

9.44 Rating
based on 25 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 84%
  • 7-8 rating 16%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9.1
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.4
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 25 reviews
Default avatar
Maguire
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Enriched in Ecuador :)

I had the most incredible time on my Amigos trip in Ecuador. I got to live on "La Granja," a family owned farm where I milked cows, harvested herbs, planted trees, cooked fresh meals, and swam in waterfalls with my cohort. When we were not working, my group had many interesting conversations about race, gender, stereotyping, colonialism, and identity. Through these conversations I was exposed to diverse perspectives and got to know myself better than I ever have before. I always get homesick while away from family, however in Ecuador I built a new family. I still stay in touch with the friends I made even though we live thousands of miles away. I LOVED Ecuador!

What was your funniest moment?
We had a lip sync battle with the whole group one night. Everyone participated and came up with their own dance routine. Mine was so atrocious but it was a blast to participate and to laugh with everyone while they performed.
Response from Amigos de las Americas

Hi Maguire,
We are happy that you really enjoyed your time in Ecuador!
Thank you for recommending Amigos!
-Amigos de las Americas

Default avatar
Adrienne
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent Experience For My Daughter

Our older daughter participated in Amigos for many years, and we were unsure what the reimagined "pandemic safe" program would offer. Amigos did not disappoint. Our younger daughter was able to immerse herself in the host country culture, meet new friends, challenge herself and speak Spanish. One unexpected highlight was the food. She is a picky eater and found herself loving the fresh fruits and vegetables prepared for her group. Overall, she matured and came back a more confident and informed citizen. I highly recommend Amigos!

What was your funniest moment?
All of the students were offered the opportunity to wake up early to milk the cows. My daughter took advantage of this opportunity; she and a friend learned how to milk the cows and enjoyed documenting the experience with a few very good photographs to share and to help her remember this special morning.
1 person found this review helpful.
Response from Amigos de las Americas

Hi Adrienne,
We are happy that your daughter enjoyed our program!
Thank you for recommending Amigos!
-Amigos de las Americas

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

AMIGOS Ecuador La Sierra 2021!

I had the most amazing time on my AMIGOS trip this past summer. I went on the Ecuador La Sierra trip and my project pod stayed on a farm and in an indigenous community. We worked at the farm, went on lots of hikes, explored the city of Cuenca, and learned how to cook delicious foods. Some of my favorite activities were seeing a cow birth, milking the cows, using biological materials to build a wall on a side of a home, making soup for lunch, and painting a mural. I learned about sustainable agriculture in Ecuador through talking to the people at the farm and working at the farm every day, whether we were harvesting vegetables, raking leaves in the forest, or making compost. I believe I improved my Spanish because we spoke to everyone at the farm in Spanish and had Spanish classes every morning. The group activities we had within our pod were really engaging and we were able to develop strong connections as a group. Through this program, I've developed lasting friendships with the other volunteers in my pod, and I am so grateful for our supervisors who were so supportive and inspiring. This experience with AMIGOS is one that I'll never forget, and I would recommend AMIGOS to anyone!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
One of the most amazing things I did on the trip was going to milk the cows early in the morning! We walked over to a beautiful green hill and the native women taught us how to milk the cows.
Response from Amigos de las Americas

Hi Emma,
We are happy that you were able to learn and improve your Spanish while in Ecuador!
Thank you for recommending Amigos!
-Amigos de las Americas

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

An Experience I Will Never Forget

I had an incredible experience with Amigos last summer in Session B of the La Sierra, Ecuador program because of the friends I made and the new experiences I had. Since we began our trip with a long layover in the Quito airport, our group immediately bonded. We were all extremely excited to arrive in Ecuador and begin the program, so we quickly found commonalities between us. The strength of the friendships we forged was clear at the airport when we were returning home because it was painful to say goodbye to one another. The friends I made weren’t just from the US because two students from Ecuador participated in the program with us. Every day we ate our meals together, worked on the farm together, and went through new experiences together. Building strong friendships and connections with the people I met, made the program so wonderful.

In addition to the people I met, the new experiences I had really widened my global perspective and gave me a greater appreciation for cultures other than my own. I loved working on the farm planting vegetables and helping with the compost. Many highlights of the trip occurred when taking care of the animals on the farm. I remember being given the opportunity to wake up at 5 am and help milk the cows at Kinti Wasi, and seizing that opportunity was a fantastic decision. It was surreal seeing the sunrise over the mountains as the cows were all around us eating the grass of the field. I would encourage everyone to try Amigos!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
We went on a hike to a nearby waterfall and it was nerve-racking to make it to the bottom of the waterfall because you had to hold a rope and grapple down a hill. I overcame my fears because of the support of my peers who were on the hike with me and our amazing project staff.
Response from Amigos de las Americas

Hi Helena,
We are happy that you were able to widen your global perspective in Ecuador!
Thank you for recommending Amigos!
-Amigos de las Americas

Default avatar
Anndrea
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Impactful and Fun!

This summer, I went to Ecuador, La Costa. It was very impactful, seeing all of the different ways of life that many people live. It was interestimg, learning how they were trying to be less impactful to the evironment. I loved meeting many different people, and the diversity that was there. My favorite part of being in Ecaudor was talking and meeting people, and seeing the humpback whales so close to our boat! I loved seeing the beautiful beaches, and seeing the different views! I wished we could have done more community service, but I get why we couldn't, with the pandemic going on. Overall, it was pretty fun!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I wished I could have practiced more Spanish, with the amount I knew at the time, and it was fun practicing Spanish.
Response from Amigos de las Americas

Hi Anndrea,

Thank you for sharing your experience with AMIGOS in Ecuador this summer!

-Amigos de las Americas

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

Ecuador La Sierra

I was a bit skeptical of the three-week pod program at first, but I had an incredible time! I believe it is a great way to get your toes wet in Amigos. You have the support of various other English-speaking teens, but still get to live with a local host family and experience Spanish-emmersion. Cuenca is breathtaking! From above looks like a sea of red rooves. Lush green mountains surround the city. Cuenca also is the perfect temperature in the day time. It has perfect weather for hikes unless it is raining. Be prepared for the mud!

Some trip highlights:
- Seeing a cow give birth
- Visiting the Cuenca botanical gardens
- Hiking in Cajas National Park
- Eating amazing food
- Participating in a Kichwa lesson
- Having group discussions
- Painting a mural

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I was in Spanish class when suddenly everyone was rushing outside. A volunteer screamed that the cow was giving birth! We joined the others and ran out to the cow field. When we got there, the pregnant cow was visibly stressed. Carmen, the cow caretaker, came to the rescue. She had on long gloves and was holding a bucket full of oil. She reached into the pregnant cow and pulled it out. The claf came out dripping and yellow, but in no time its mother licked it clean. In just an hour, the cow was fluffy white and on its legs hobbling around!
Response from Amigos de las Americas

Hi Juliana!

Thank you for sharing your experience. We're glad you had a good summer with AMIGOS in Ecuador!

-Amigos de las Americas

Default avatar
Sophia
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Challenging Yet Amazing Experience

I was on the Ecuador: La Costa 3 week project, and I had quite the experience. I really loved staying at Rio Muchacho, an eco-lodge, and learning about the city of Bahía de Caraquez more each time we visited it. I also loved boating out to beautiful, nature-rich islands, and spending time at the beach. One of my favorite parts was the service day, where we drove to a rural community called Sitio Nuevo that was leading an environmental/community based service initiative. AMIGOS worked with local volunteer groups to plant trees by the river, paint a school house, plant a garden, and help out with some other community things. Talking to the children of the community was a fun and heartwarming experience I'll never forget. I wished we could have done even more service work, and that we could have interacted more with local families, but this year was weird because of the COVID pandemic, which limited our contact with people (ex. we stayed as a group and not in homestays). Unfortunately, some of us volunteers ran into issues with mental health and with the project staff. Personally, I found the program to be too challenging in terms of how much sleep we were getting and how many activities were packed into the day. I felt tired and overwhelmed by the second week, and I started to take it easier after that. There were some conduct issues among some other volunteers that escalated into 5 volunteers being sent home 3 days early, which was stressful for the whole group. However, I think that we had a great group and great project staff, and what went down was pretty unlucky. I felt that the project staff were very supportive of me, and I really appreciated their help and empathy. By the end of the 3 weeks, I was very ready to go home, because I was stressed and burnt out, but I was simultaneously sad to leave the beautiful places we visited and leave the wonderful friends I made in the group. I'd say overall, I'm glad I went despite the challenges.

What would you improve about this program?
I would definitely prefer if the program involved a lot more service and interaction/collaboration with local communities and families. I also think there should be more alone time.
1 person found this review helpful.
Response from Amigos de las Americas

Hi Sophia,

Thank you for sharing your experience in Ecuador this summer! We will definitely take your feedback to heart as we plan our programs for next year. We are hoping to offer a homestay program again in the future once it is safe to do so.

-Amigos de las Americas

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

Places to think

Learning through knowledge of other cultures is invaluable, the recognition that the land we live in is in crisis is inevitable and the small steps we can take to seek a better future are right in front of us.

The culture of the Ecuadorian Coast gives an endless number of new places, far from each other but with a clear theme to think about and is; What are we doing to save our land and ourselves? What can we change in our daily lives? How are we protecting the animals and species that inhabit the planet, such as sea turtles or whales?

This experience was beautiful not because of the landscapes you can find, but because of the questions you can ask yourself and the answers you find in the middle of a farm or in front of the immense sea, seeing the beauty of a giant whale near the boat you are in or exploring the islands where the whales and sea lions are, as well as trying different kinds of food, without the need to use foods based on animal protein.

We can all do something small to change the course of our resources and take care of our planet.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The whales, what beautiful and imposing creatures, what beauty in their jumps, their swimming, the fins we saw and the tails they showed when submerged, the penguin swimming near us, the vast ocean always surprises me wherever I go.

1 person found this review helpful.
Response from Amigos de las Americas

Hi Sebastián,

Thank you for writing about your experience with AMIGOS this summer! We're glad you could share your summer with us.

-Amigos de las Americas

Questions & Answers