Social Impact Series

Ecuador

Trip Dates
Clear
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Ages

15-18

Social Causes

Poverty and Education

Highlights

Adventure in the Amazon Rainforest, Shop the Famous Local Markets, Soak in Thermal Hot Springs

Trip Pace

Fast

Physical Level

Moderate to High

About this Trip

Adventure through ancient Incan ruins, raw Amazon jungle, and towering Andes Mountains

Ecuador Service Opportunities for Teens | Travel For Youth

You’ll explore ancient Incan ruins and wander the streets and marketplaces of a Spanish-influenced colonial city that’s over 400 years old. Mountain bike through the breathtaking Andes Mountains; explore an active volcano; and rappel, cliff jump, and zipline your way through the Amazon rainforest. You’ll relax in natural hot springs, hike to some breathtaking waterfalls, and visit one of the most biodiverse national parks in the world.

Experience why Ecuador is famous for its chocolate as you tour a cacao farm and sample the delicious results. You’ll learn more about sustainability as you visit a local organic farm, take some cooking classes, and gain a better understanding of the fascinating diversity of the local landscape and culture. You will spend time partnered with a local organization to help with sustainable education opportunities for indigenous, marginalized populations of Ecuador.

Social Cause: Education and Poverty

Educating and empowering girls is perhaps the single most effective way to help end generational poverty.

Today, 132 million girls do not have access to an education. In developing countries, young girls are often expected to work taking care of younger siblings and help contribute to the family income. The cost of supplies & uniforms, plus the additional burden of the girls not being home to help the family, become too great to send them to school.

But participation in school is more than just teaching math, science, and reading to make a girl smart. When you educate a girl, you imbue her with self-confidence and open up a world of possibilities. She learns that her voice matters! As you participate with our local organization, you will better understand what you can do to support education for girls around the world.

Youth & Parent Experiences

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions About this trip? We got you!

See More FAQs

Who can go on this trip?

All youth, ages 15-18, who commit to and follow the rules and safety standards of Travel For Youth can attend this trip.

Is Ecuador safe?

Yes! Safety is, by far, our number one priority when we choose a location for our trips. We are keenly aware of the intense trust that is placed in us to provide a safe and life changing experience for your child. As parents of three children, we do not take that trust lightly. Because of this, we will never take your child to a place that we, as the founders, do not deem safe for our own small children, and that we have not PERSONALLY visited and vetted from top to bottom.

Ecuador has a similar safety rating to the United States, according to the Global Peace Index. There are geographical areas of Ecuador that have higher crime rates, so we do not travel to those areas. The most common forms of danger that tourists encounter are pickpocketing and robbery. Our group avoids walking at night, we do not use public transportation in Ecuador, and have many other systems in place to maintain the safety of our group.

You can read more about our robust safety standards and precautions here.

What is the food like?

Ecuadorian food may be different than what you are used to, but it is delicious! Most breakfasts involve sweet or savory pastries or fresh bread, juice, cheeses, and sometimes eggs and fresh fruits. Lunch and dinners tend to have a starch—rice, potatoes, yucca, plantains, etc.—served alongside a savory and flavorful meat or seafood dish.

Eating gluten free in Ecuador is relatively easy because many of the staples of their diet are naturally gluten free. Dairy allergies are also reasonably accommodated here.

What are the housing accommodations going to be?

Again, safety is our number one priority. When we consider new locations, we always go beforehand and scout out the safest, highest quality housing and neighborhoods available. We never stay in hostels and we personally go and vet every accommodation for cleanliness, location, safety, and privacy. In order to provide a more immersive cultural experience, and to better support and give back to the community we are visiting, we prioritize Airbnb’s or privately owned bed and breakfasts for the majority of our stay.

What can I do to prepare for my trip?

First and foremost, get a passport if you don’t already have one!

Next, keep your eye out for the information and resources that we will be sending you about your trip. The more you know and understand, the more this experience will mean to you and the more prepared you will be to make a meaningful difference.

Third, be prepared to walk for a few miles each day and to take part in some moderate-difficult hiking. You will also need to be comfortable riding a bike—don’t worry, the trail will be for beginners and nothing too intense, but you will need to be confident pedaling a bicycle.

Lastly, practice getting uncomfortable: try new foods, start conversations with people you don’t know, put away your phone for a few hours every day, etc. Traveling is exhilarating and life-changing, but it can also be full of moments that are new, hard, or uncomfortable. New people, new cultures, new languages, and new food can be a lot to take in at times. Everything you do to get ready now will make it that much easier. Just know that we’ll be there to walk you through all of it and help make the experience amazing!

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