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Spring Break Volunteer Program

Trip Details

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Trip Dates

Mar. 2nd, 2019 to Mar. 9th, 2019
(7 days)

2

Included Meals

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

6

Attractions

Volunteer / Local Interaction / Community / Learning / Culture / Local Food / Architecture / Landmark / Outdoor Adventure / Museums / Rainforest / Shopping / Night Life

Trip Pricing

Our volunteer program is a great opportunity for participants to spend some meaningful time giving back to the community. Our program is designed to work closely with a local child care center for vulnerable children. Duties and responsibilities include playing with children, designing activities (i.e., art projects, games, scrapbooks), teaching English, having fun, and helping the staff with daily activities. This is a great volunteer opportunity for participants seeking to work with children. One or more semesters of Spanish, or other experiences with Spanish is preferred but not necessary! As part of this volunteer program. we have designed a carefully planned itinerary that will also allow you to explore Ecuador. Everything is planned for you, so you can come down to Ecuador, volunteer, enjoy, and get to know this beautiful country.


Highlights

Tour Highlights:

►Give Back. Volunteer and Serve

►Spend a day on the best preserved colonial center in the world

►Ride on a sky-lift to reach 15,000 ft above the sea level at the base of a volcano

►Hike in the rainforest

►Visit a local handcraft market

►Travel across the Andes and hike a volcano

►Discover new flavors and local food

Services

What services are included in this tour?

♦ Volunteer Activity

♦ Small Group Experience (Max. 12 Participants)

♦ Fully Furnished Apartment Accommodations with Free Internet

♦ Live with a local Ecuadorian family

♦ Private Guided Daily Tours

♦ All Meals

♦ One transfer from and to airport in Quito

♦ Private Transportation

♦ Entrance Fee for Local Attractions Included in Itinerary

♦ Pre-departure information and Staff Assistance

♦ Bottled Water for Full Trip

♦ Farewell Reception


What services are NOT included in the tour fee?

ø International Airfare

ø Additional Transportation Services not Included in Itinerary

ø Souvenirs and Miscellaneous

ø Tipping and Gratuities

ø Additional Beverages and Alcoholic Drinks

ø Travel and Medical Emergency Insurance

Cost

Cost Details

ESTIMATED BUDGET

Single Traveler

(Double Room / Shared Bathroom)

Travel with Friend

(Double Room / Shared Bathroom)

Volunteer Program


(EARLY BIRD: Dec. 15)


$1,300

(EARLY BIRD: 1,100)


$1,100

(EARLY BIRD: 900)

Roundtrip Airfare

(Calculated from MIAMI)


$700


$700

Extra Spending Cash

$150

$150

Medical Travel Insurance Coverage

$50

$50

TOTAL COST

$ 2,000

$ 1,800

*Accommodations: Total Fee based on double room accommodations and early bird registration

a) Each double room has a private bathroom

b) Double rooms are perfect if you are traveling with a friend

c) Past participants report spending between $100 - 150 (i.e., souvenirs, additional food and beverages, tips, miscellaneous).


What are additional costs that I should consider?

Roundtrip Airfare: $700 (Calculated from Miami to Quito)

Extra Cash: $100 - 200 (i.e., souvenirs, additional food and beverages, tips, miscellaneous).

Medical and Travel Insurance: $45-75


When can I pay for the program?

Installment

Date

Installment Amount 

Single Traveler (Double Room / Shared Bathroom)

Travel with Friend

(Double Room / Shared Bathroom)



Deadline Jan. 15

(Due w/ application)


$300


$300


January 1


$500


$400


February 1


$500


$400

TOTAL COST

$ 1,300

 $1,100


* Early Bird Registration (December 15) deposit must be submitted by earlybird deadline. Discount of $200 will be applied to February 1 payment.

FAQ

  • Q.What is the Volunteer Program?

    -

    Our volunteer program is a great opportunity for participants to spend some meaningful time giving back to the community. Our program is designed to work closely with a local child care center for vulnerable children and their families. Duties and responsibilities include playing with children, designing activities (i.e., art projects, games, scrapbooks), teaching English, having fun, and helping the staff with daily activities. This is a great volunteer opportunity for participants seeking to work with children. One or more semesters of Spanish, or other experiences with Spanish is preferred but not necessary! As part of this volunteer program. we have designed a carefully planned itinerary that will also allow you to explore Ecuador. Everything is planned for you, so you can come down to Ecuador, volunteer, enjoy, and get to know this beautiful country.

  • Q.Who can take part in this tour?

    -

    Our Volunteer Program is designed for young adults and college students. We had participants from all over the U.S. and the world. Each tour group is limited to a maximum of 12 participants. We encourage you to invite friends from other schools across the country to enjoy this experience in Ecuador.


  • Q.Where is the tour taking place?

    -

    On the imaginary line that divides the globe into North and South, Ecuador stands as one of only 17 countries on earth considered as mega-diverse. Ecuador is “home to about 3,300 species of orchids, more than 1,500 species of birds, 350 species of reptiles, 450 species of amphibians, and more than 20,000 vascular plants” This diversity is also reflected on its people, with an ethnically mixed population representing Spanish and indigenous roots. Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America and lies 9,000 feet above sea level.  Quito, our host city, is the capital of Ecuador. Quito was the first city named by UNESCO a “world heritage” city in 1978, and received the honor of "cultural capital" of Latin American in 2011.


    With a population of 2.4 million, Quito offers one of the best preserved colonial centers in the world, combining a rich history with a contemporary metropolitan image. National Geographic has named Quito one of the top 10 places to visit in the world. Our program offers several excursions including a visit to Quito’s famous colonial center, a day to relax in Papallacta Hot Springs, the opportunity to visit the center of the world, and a visit to one of the largest waterfalls in the country. (A complete itinerary will be shared with each participant)  


  • Q.How and when should I reserve a spot for the tour?

    -

    The volunteer program is based on a minimum number of participants enrolled (minimum: 4 participants - maximum 12). We recommend that you reserve your spot for the tour as soon as you are ready to commit since there is limited space available. We have a rolling admissions process and will be admitting participants as they apply.

    Our application deadline is January 15 (EARLY BIRD: December 1). All applications must be submitted with the $300 registration deposit. Refer to installments dates for all payments. We aim to confirm the trip immediately after reviewing applications and securing the minimum number of participants for the tour. Please review all trip details and logistics and request an application directly from My Ecuador Trip. If you are not accepted to the program you will receive a full application refund.

    Applications After Deadline: If space is available, participants can apply. Please contact us for inquiries.

  • Q.How and When should I book my airfare?

    -

    Airfare is not included on the price of this tour. Because our participants come from many different places, you will book your ticket on your own from the location is most convenient to you! Most participants will flight directly to Quito from MIAMI after their first connection (Quito is only a 3.5 hour flight from Miami). Participants will receive detailed flight information and arrival/departure time for guidance when booking this ticket. All participants must arrived and depart at indicated times.


    When should I book my airfare?

    Our goal is to confirm the program by December 1, 2014. You will receive a written confirmation and directions about booking your ticket at this point after you have been accepted to the program. DO NOT book your ticket without our confirmation in writing.

  • Q.What to expect from Ecuador as our destination?

    -

    Our tours are carefully designed to offer participants the opportunity to explore Ecuador and familiarize with the local culture. The tour has many aspects that are educational, recreational, cultural, and also offer activities to simply relax and have fun All daily excursions are carefully designed and make up an itinerary that is fun, enriching, and safe. A staff member from My Ecuador Trip will serve as a group leader and will guide the group through their journey. Transportation is provided for every tour. Some of the unique destinations for our tours include:

                          

    ♣ Hike Rain Forest                ♣ Sacred Lakes                ♣ Waterfalls

    ♣ Volcano Observation          ♣ Visit the Jungle              ♣ Hot Springs

    ♣ Watch Exotic Animals         ♣ Pululahua Crater            ♣ Soccer Games

    ♣ Colonial Cathedrals            ♣ Night Life                      ♣ Local Museums               

    ♣ Artisanal Craft Market        ♣ Sky-Lift  at 13,000 ft       ♣ Ethnic Food                   

    ♣ Shopping in Quito             ♣ Middle of the World         ♣ Humming Birds


                          


  • Q.What can we expect from our accommodations?

    -

    Fully furnished apartment style accommodations are provided for all participants. These modern  apartments have been carefully decorated and offer amenities such as a living room, dining room, and kitchen space to help you relax and enjoy your visit. We believe it is essential to provide not only comfort and safety, but also a special insight to the local culture. That is why we keep our tour size to a maximum of 12 participants and offer a smaller intimate property for our guests to truly make this visit a unique experience for each visitor.  Our staff will make sure you have a pleasant experience offering support 24/7.  Single and Double accommodations offered. The property is administered by a local family that resides on site.


  • Q.How about our transportation?

    -

    Safety and reliability are our priority when traveling across Ecuador. Each trip enjoys a professional driver and a vehicle (e.g., van or small motor coach) that will only serve the group for the duration of their stay. This vehicle stays with us at all times, which provides maximum flexibility in our schedule, and allows us to make changes and adapt to local conditions if necessary. This is the kind of support and service we are committed to. In some occasions, the tour incorporates the use of public transportation or other methods of transportation. In this case, participants will receive this information during orientation and it will be described in the itinerary.

  • Q.How about our meals?

    -

    Coming to Ecuador is the perfect opportunity to experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available in this country. All meals included are clearly labeled in the trip description. With our expertise, we have selected a number of places that will offer you an authentic food experience, sampling local flavors, enjoying places where you will come face to face with locals, sharing traditions, and above all, eating like a local. To build rapport amongst participants, groups eat together.

  • Q.What is the degree of difficulty for the activities organized?

    -

    Excursions and Tours. Our tours involve moderate hikes in the city, rain-forests, plains, and national parks. Our tour involves getting out of vehicles, walking on uneven terrain, and in some cases hiking in places with high elevation and some humidity. Our tours are suited for anyone who can walk up to 2-5 km (1.5 - 3 miles) per day. Some days there will be no walking and other days walking time may exceed 1-2 hours (broken up into shorter blocks). In the past, we have welcomed participants with different medical conditions. Please send us an email if you would like to find out more information about the level of activity and accommodation for each tour.


  • Q.Do you need medical / travel insurance to participate in this tour?

    -

    All participants must secure medical travel insurance coverage PRIOR the trip. This insurance should cover you for the entire duration of the trip. While many participants may already be covered by a medical insurance policy, your policy for this tour must include travel, medical, emergency repatriation, overseas coverage, and travel/trip cancellation (For additional details and a description of risks, please refer to our liability contract).

     

    All participants must present proof of insurance in writing to My Ecuador Trip prior departure (i.e., copy of online receipt/policy with your name). My Ecuador Trip does not endorse the following travel insurance providers but includes their contact information for your reference

    iNext card:  http://www.inext.com/plans/supplemental/basic.aspx

    CMI Insurance Worldwide: https://www.cmi-insurance.com/default.aspx

    STA Travel Insurance: http://www.statravel.com/international-travel-insurance.htm

    Insurance Purchased Through Orbitz when you book your ticket

  • Q.Health Considerations

    -

    Health Considerations

    Each participant should consult a doctor for up-to-date medical travel information before departure. We highly recommend that you carry with you all personal medications needed (e.g., headache tablets, antibiotics, etc). When booking this tour, please carefully read about the physical demands of the itinerary. Please note that Quito is a city in the Andes mountains with high altitude (medically defined as anything over 8,000 feet). We have not have any issues in the past, but because everyone reacts to altitude differently, and only you know your health and fitness level, please consult with your physician prior the trip.

     

    Do you need vaccinations prior traveling to Ecuador?

    All our programs take place in locations where no vaccinations are needed. These areas have no risk of malaria or yellow fever.

  • Q.Do you need a visa to visit Ecuador?

    -

    At the present time, U.S. citizens do not need a visa to travel to Ecuador for a period shorter than 90 days. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must check with your own government agency and/or the consulates of all countries visited for entry and visa requirements for your nationality.

     

  • Q.Should you bring cash to Ecuador?

    -

    Yes. Each trip details an estimated amount of cash participants will need to bring to cover additional expenses (i.e., souvenirs, alcoholic drinks, tips, miscellaneous). However, because every participant is different spending money requirements will vary. Please consider your own spending habits. In addition, it is always a good idea to have extra cash/emergency fund in case you find the souvenir of your dreams or need to make an unexpected purchase.

    Ecuador’s official currency since 2001 is the U.S. dollar. If you bring cash, please bring smaller bills (locals do not accept $50 or $100 dollar bills). We highly discourage bringing traveler checks.

    Credit Cards: ATMs are available. However, you need to check with your bank before leaving to ensure that your card works internationally. Also, we recommend that withdrawing cash from an ATM will be for emergency purposes only, considering that our itinerary might take us to places where ATMs are not available.

  • Q.What should I pack?

    -

    Every participant will receive detailed packing information prior departure. We will be happy to answer any additional question.

  • Q.What is your cancellation policy?

    -

    Participant Cancellation:

    Cancellation Policy: Refunds will be given for cancellations received in writing 60 days before the trip date less a $300 processing fee. If you decide to cancel your participation in the study tour 60 to 30 days before for any reason, we will refund 50% of your total payments (not including $300 processing fee). Cancellations under 30 days before the trip dates will not be entitled to any refunds. No partial refunds are given for unused meals, hotel rooms, airport transfers, or other program activities, for any reason whatsoever. All requests for cancellation and refunds must be in writing to myecuadortrip2010@gmail.com.

    Only cancellations under 30 days are eligible for credit for a future tour (travel or study tour) minus the $300 application fee and any other expenses inquired by My Ecuador Trip. If credit is used, this tour must be booked within one year after the original tour date. No refunds will be given if the tour is not booked within that time frame. My Ecuador Trip will have no further liability with the participant.


    Tour Cancellation:

    The Study Tour may be cancelled or postponed due to unforeseen circumstances by My Ecuador Trip. In this case My Ecuador Trip will refund all study tour fees and has no further liability to the participant. My Ecuador Trip will not be responsible for additional costs, charges, or expenses, including cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines, travel insurance, and/or travel agencies. Please note that under no circumstances My Ecuador Trip is responsible for any flight cancellation or flight change charges incurred. My Ecuador Trip is not responsible for weather or travel-related problems and will not reimburse registration fees for these issues. We would like to mention that we have never cancelled a trip.


    Travel Warning Cancellation

    In case of an act of war, terrorism, or the threat of an act of terrorism. Participants will receive a full refund (less the $300 processing fee that will be applied for a future trip) should all of the following conditions be met: (a) a terrorist act, or threats of terrorist acts occur(s), which is directed against U.S. interests on U.S. soil or in U.S. airspace or directed against U.S. interests in any other country or in international airspace; and (b) as a result of these events, a formal Travel Warning is issued by the U.S. Department of State, stating that Americans should not travel to Ecuador ad any other country or countries that are included in the participant’s tour itinerary; and (c) the formal Travel Warning by the U.S. Department of State is issued within 30 days of the participant’s departure.


  • Q.Itinerary Disclaimer

    -

    Each participant will receive a detailed itinerary closer to the trip's dates. Each participant will also receive a detailed list of how to prepare, packing, and other pertaining information. While it is our intention to adhere to itinerary described for each tour, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into each itinerary and My Ecuador Trip deserves the right to make alterations when necessary and at the discretion of My Ecuador Trip staff. Travel can be unpredictable, and the itinerary is a general guide to the tour and region.  In addition any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered and travel times will be changed according to local circumstances.

Itinerary

  • Q.Day 1: Arrive to Quito

    -

    Planned Arrival Time: Evening.

    Planned Arrival Time: Evening. Welcome to Quito. Your exciting adventure in Ecuador begins with a fantastically orchestrated itinerary. Quito is home to beautiful colonial cathedrals, elegant old mansions, captivating museums, and probably the best weather on the entire planet (average temperature 65 -70 degrees year-round). Quito is located in the beautiful Andes Mountains and is recognized for having the best-preserved colonial center in the world. Private transportation and a staff member will welcome you at the local airport and bring you to your accommodations. Rest, relax, and prepare for a great journey. Group welcome meeting and orientation the following morning.

  • Q.Day 2: Program Orientation / Guayasamin Chapel / Panecillo Virgen

    -

    Program Orientation

    Welcome to Ecuador! We are excited to have you here! This morning you will meet other participants and our staff. The program orientation will provide an overview of our host city, highlight logistic information, describe day-to-day plans, and answer any questions you may have. A great breakfast of fresh and delicious Ecuadorian food will be served to start your journey.

    Chapel of Mankind - Guayasamin

    A visit to the Chapel of Mankind is a must when you travel to Quito. Famous artist Oswaldo Guayasamin (1919 -1999) dedicated his life to painting, sculpting, and collecting art. The museum displays his private collection of more than 7,000 artifacts including 4,500 pre-Colombian ceramic, bone and metal pieces found throug hout Ecuador. His work on human and social inequalities achieved international recognition and you will have the opportunity to come face-to-face with one of the most prolific artists on the continent.

    El Panecillo

    A visit to El Panecillo or 'the Little Bread Loaf,' brings you face to face with a major iconic landmark of Quito. From this site, you will not only find marvelous panoramic views of the entire city and surrounding volcanoes, but also learn about the importance of faith and religion in this country. On the top of “El Panecillo” visitors will find a 45 meter aluminum statue that was inspired by the famous Virgin of Quito (Quito's Madonna),also known as "the dancer," sculpted by Bernardo de Legarda in 1731.

  • Q.Day 3: Volunteer Day and National Basilica

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    Volunteer Day

    Volunteer Activities between 7:45 - 12:30 PM

    National Basilica

    Inspired by father Julio Matovelle and designed by French architect Emilio Tarlier, the Basilica was constructed in remembrance of the consecration of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Standing at 460ft long, the basilica is the most important work of neo-Gothic Ecuadorian architecture in the country and one of the most representative of the Americas. Situated in the center of Quito, the Basilica is the largest neo-Gothic basilica in the America, incorporating various local themes representing native animals such as  armadillos, iguanas, and Galapagos tortoises. Inside, visitors can enjoy the stained glass windows and designs representing Biblical scenes with Latin inscriptions. This is a mystical place where faith, history, and colors come together to captivate locals and visitors.

  • Q.Day 4: Volunteer Day / Pichincha Volcano Sky Lift

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    Volunteer Day

    Volunteer Activities between 7:45 - 12:30 PM

    Pichincha Volcano / Sky Lift

    Quito is the highest capital city in the world at an elevation of 9,350 feet (2,800 meters above sea level). While in Quito, it is fitting that you reach for the sky and visit Quito's famous Sky Lift. You start this adventure at 9,350 ft at the city level and arrive at the top of the ride located on the hills of the active Pichincha volcano at 15,000 ft. From the top, you will have a spectacular view of Quito and incomparable Andean landscapes that provides a one-of-a-kind setting for photography aficionados. Be ready to walk among clouds and feel on the top of the world. This day offers a great opportunity for horse-back riding in the Andes mountains


  • Q.Day 5: Volunteer Day / Colonial Quito

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    Volunteer Day

    Volunteer Activities between 7:45 - 12:30 PM

    Colonial Center

    Quito was declared by the United Nations as a Cultural Patrimony of Mankind. This city offers visitors all they can imagine in an incomparable valley setting surrounded by the Andes! You will certainly enjoy exploring the vibrant heritage of this city. Many consider Quito to have the best-preserved colonial center in the world, which is depicted by striking colonial architecture, narrow cobblestone streets, government buildings, monuments, and an impressive history. Some highlights include a visit to La Basilica, the Presidential Palace, the church of  "La Compania" all historic landmarks that make Quito today one of the most beautiful cities in Latin America.


  • Q.Day 6: Volunteer Day / Artisinal Craft Market / La Ronda

    -

    Volunteer Day

    Volunteer Activities between 7:45 - 12:30 PM

    Artisanal Handcraft Market

    If you like shopping, obtaining great souvenirs in Ecuador is not a problem. In Quito’s Artisanal Handcraft Market, you will find half of a city block filled with crafts stalls.  As you walk into this market, you will find hundred of vendors offering a huge array of crafts, most of which are traditional Ecuadorian handicrafts. A visit to this place could make you the proud owner of alpaca wool, scarves, jewelry, a llama rug, or a number of other souvenirs. This is the kind of place where you can get willingly lost, but will certainly find the perfect souvenir!

    Quito at Night: La Ronda

    Many visitors that have the opportunity to spend time in Quito find that this is a city with a vibrant character when the sun goes to bed. To enjoy a taste of Quito's nightlife, its food and music, what better place to visit than La Ronda, a beautiful cobblestone street in the Historic Center of the city? La Ronda is said to be one of the oldest streets in Quito and has been beautifully restored accommodating  several restaurants and venues for entertainment that capture the essence of local traditions and flavor. Here, on any given night, you will finds locals and visitors walking in a delightful “Noche Quitena” (A night encompassing the flavor of Quito), enjoying music, food, dancing, and an atmosphere that brings visitors to a not quite forgotten era of this colonial city. On this particular occasion, we will make our way to Colonial Quito, where colorful lights adorn buildings, cathedrals, and plazas.  To start the evening we head to La Ronda, a beautiful street in the Historic Center of the city. It is said to be one of the oldest streets in Quito (if not the first) and has been nicely restored with welcoming restaurants and venues for entertainment that captures the essence of local traditions and flavor.

  • Q.Day 7: Mindo Cloud Forest

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    Mindo Cloud Forest

    Mindo cloud forest is one of the greatest ecosystems in Ecuador. Mindo is located only 2 hours from Quito, and known worldwide for its incredible biodiversity. You will come across low subtropical forest, cloud mountain forest, and the high paramo. Mindo is home to almost 50,000 acres of Ecuadorian cloud forest, a world-class bird watcher’s paradise with over 400 species recorded including the toucan-barbet and the golden-headed quetzal. In addition, Mindo is the ideal place for activities such as hiking, canopying, waterfall exploration, and bathing in pristine rivers. In your visit, we guarantee you will come face-to-face with beautiful hummingbirds! In addition, Ecuador is home to the greatest number of orchids in the world (more than 3,700 species). Mindo is your destination to enjoy their beautiful and elegant shape.

  • Q.Day 8: Middle of the World / Pululahua Crater and Departure

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    Pululahua Crater

    We will begin our journey heading to the northeast. We will take advantage of the morning sun and visit Pululahua crater. The Pululahua (dormant volcano) has a 3 km-wide crater and last erupted approximately 2,400 years ago. This is a breathtaking place where colorful plants, mountains, and farms come together to create a truly magic setting.

    Middle of the World

    Visiting the "Mitad del Mundo" (Middle of the Wordl) is one of the most iconic tours you can take part in Ecuador. Only 35 minutes from Quito, you will come across the Equatorial line, latitude 0º, a place where scientific expeditions led by Charles Marie de la Condamine established the exact point for the middle of the world and confirmed predictions regarding the earth’s measurement and shape.  This location is where Ecuador derives its name from. In the middle of the world, you can place one foot on each hemisphere.  Here you will find “Ciudad Mitad del Mundo,” a replica of a colonial town. This city offers tourists a wide range of attractions such as the ethnographic museum, an art gallery, handicraft stores, and the impressive Middle of the World monument. Our visit includes a trip to the local museum where you will test your scientific knowledge of gravity and natural forces.

    Departure

    Evening Airport Transfer: When booking the tour, participants will be advised to book their airfare for their return this evening with specific times. The new Mariscal Sucre International Airport of Quito is located approximately 23km (direct distance) to the east of Quito. The new airport opened its doors in February of 2013.

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