From the colonial streets of Quito to the incredible biodiversity of the Galápagos Islands, this program is the perfect combination of Ecuadorian culture, tradition, and community service. You begin by heading to a remote, off the beaten path location to live with and work alongside rural Ecuadorian people on a service project, making positive impacts through sustainability and infrastructure-related projects. On departure from the idyllic community setting you will explore the streets of Ecuador’s bustling capital, Quito. The second part of your program will be spent exploring the world-famous Galápagos archipelago. Spanning 19 islands and home to marine iguanas, turtles, penguins, and sea lions, this UNESCO World Heritage site is an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience. The trip will wind up back on the mainland at the world famous market town of Otavalo, surrounded by majestic volcanoes and deeply entrenched in indigenous tradition and culture. This program is filled with experiences unequaled anywhere else on the planet that you’ll be sure to remember fondly forever.
- Explore the Galápagos, and spot its famous wildlife
- Participate in service with local communities
- Earn 20 community service hours
2023 Departure Dates
|June 20 – July 4, 2023||Available||Start Here|
|June 27 – July 11, 2023||Available||Start Here|
|July 4 – July 18, 2023 (18-21 year old session)||Limited||Start Here|
Packing the right gear (and the right amounts) is the first step to an incredible travel experience. Follow these tips to pack like a pro:
Travel light. Pack only the essentials. You’ll need less than you think!
Consider no checked bag. We strongly recommend that you consider packing only a carry-on size bag. This prevents your luggage getting lost or separated from you, keeps your bag manageable, and helps you be more mobile on your travel day.
Bring the right clothes. Pack clothes that are culturally appropriate for your destination and acceptable for service projects. This means bringing long shorts (think Bermuda and basketball shorts), t-shirts with sleeves to cover shoulders, and appropriate footwear.
Leave your valuables behind. While traveling, it’s easier for things to get lost, stolen, or damaged. Keep any prized possessions safe at home.
Check with TSA. Make sure your luggage complies with TSA regulations, especially your carry-on. Useful tip: Pack an empty water bottle and fill it up after security.
Extra paperwork? If you need additional forms filled out to get credit for your service hours, no problem! Bring these forms with you so they can be completed in-country.
A school backpack is ideal as it will be used for daily activities and outings.
- A school backpack is ideal as it will be used for day trips.
- Photocopy of passport
- Book and/or journal
- Ear buds
- Change of clothes
- Water bottle
- Additional community service forms
- Consent to Travel Letter (for students under 19, recommended by the US State Dept but not required)
- Travel Documentation
A 40-50 liter duffel bag or backpack is ideal.
- Socks (14)
- Underwear (14)
- Thermal base layer (1 set)
- Pants/capris/leggings (2)
- Athletic shorts (2-3, one pair of service shorts)
- Jeans (1)
- T-shirt (3-5)
- Long-sleeved shirt (5-7) – for sun protection, so lightweight is key
- Soft shell jacket
- Micro puff jacket (evenings can be very cool at these altitudes)
- Strappy sandals (like Tevas or Chacos)
- Hiking boots
- Hat – ideally with sun protection for the neck
- Work gloves
- Quick dry towel
(travel sized in ziplock bags)
- Shampoo (biodegradable, like this)
- Body wash (biodegradable, like this)
- Face wash
- Oxybenzone-free sunscreen (reef-safe)
- Bug spray
- Feminine hygiene products
- Contact solution
- Foam earplugs
- Personal med kit
- Wet Wipes
- Razor/shaving cream
- Your own snorkeling gear
- A small gift for your homestay hosts
- Photographs from your hometown to use as an icebreaker at your homestay
- *Community Service Appropriate Attire includes T-shirts and tank tops with no visible undergarments and shorts with a 3” or more inseam.
- Don’t forget the Big Five: Water Bottle, Sunscreen, Bug spray, Rain jacket, Closed-toe shoes.
- Students must bring additional hand sanitizer and one disposable mask per day of the program, or three hand-washable masks.
- Students will need to use a face shield in many indoor locations, including airports.