Testimonios en Ecuador
Fue verdaderamente una experiencia invalorable que nunca olvidaré. Por cierto contactare a ustedes si pienso viajar a Ecuador en el futuro. ¡Nuevamente gracias por todo que ustedes han hecho,
Me gustaría a darles las gracias por su amabilidad y me ha dado la oportunidad para trabajar al centro con los niños a través de su programa. Fue verdaderamente una experiencia invalorable que nunca olvidaré. Por cierto contactare a ustedes si pienso viajar a Ecuador en el futuro. ¡Nuevamente gracias por todo que ustedes han hecho, no solo por los voluntarios que sirven con su programa, sino también para la gente que vivir en su país muy bonito! ¡El mundo está bendecido para tener personas como ustedes, y programas como Eco-Volunteer UP!
U.S.A. (Thomaston, ME)
Maria and Fredy este es un mail para dar vos las gracias para permitir me de trabajar en el orphonato de conocoto... estoy aqui en francia despues 2dias y quiero regresar en ecuador... fue una experiencia que nunca podre olvidar. Nunca habre podido pensar que niños de 5 a 12 años podian enseñarme tantas cosas... esta experiencia ha cambiado mi manera de ver la vida. Ahora pienso solo en una cosa es: como puedo ayudar los de aqui en francia.
Primero Deborah y yo queremos traducir el site internet en frances, pero quiero hacer cosas para el orphonato... y no se que puedo hacer... asi si penseis que hay cosas que puedo hacer de aqui di me lo por favor....
una ves mas muchas gracias.
I have recently returned from one of the most valuable experiences of my life time. Though I was only in Ecuador for two weeks, it was enough time to fall in love with the people, the culture, and the landscape. I will most definitely be back!
My first ever volunteer experience began with a web search of possible companies. I found an overwhelming number of places that offered volunteer opportunities, and contacted quite a number of them to find out how it all worked.
Maria was friendly and accommodating right from the very first email. She personally answered my questions and concerns, and was very up front about what I should expect upon arriving in Ecuador.
The moment I saw a smiling Fredy walking towards me at the airport, all of my fears melted away. The family was kind, supportive, and made my volunteer experience trouble-free. I did wonder how the fees for this organization could be half that of others I’d looked into, and really appreciated how transparent Maria was about what my money was being used for.
Working at the orphanage was certainly an eye opening experience. I felt challenged to provide learning opportunities that were hands on, and really involved students. As I was only there for a short time, I wondered what kind of impact I could really have on the students… So I made books. Resources that could be used by future volunteers, and be an on-going tool for teaching English.
My Spanish language classes were definitely a help in the classroom, and during weekend excursions. It was a steep learning curve, given my very slight prior knowledge, but helped tremendously. I’ll have to go back for longer next time to work on becoming fluent!!
My name is Catherine Walker and I am a three-time volunteer with Eco
Volunteer UP Ecuador. When I came to Ecuador for the first time three
years ago, I traveled with my husband. Through the program, we had the
opportunity to take Spanish lessons in the morning and work in an
orphanage in the afternoon. Our "thing" is to teach art. We found that
with limited Spanish-speaking skills that having something to focus on,
such as an art project, allowed us to quickly connect with the children.
Upon leaving Ecudor that first time, and armed with a long list of "must
sees" in the world, I was fairly certain that I would not return.
However, when I got back to California and looked over my photos of the
children, I realized just how much I missed being there. Within a
month, I purchased a return ticket for the following year.
Through email, Maria and I discussed a other volunteer
possibilities in Quito. And, while I do not have any medical
experience, I elected to volunteer at the Boca Children's
There is something very empowering about traveling by yourself. For me,
it was a sort of "test." Could I manage the flight connections? Could
I get there and back with all of my stuff? Could I get from place to
place alone? Having a familiar place to live with Maria, Freddie and
Maria's parents was certainly beneficial. With that settled, I could
concentrate on work and side-travel.
Given that this was my second time traveling to Ecuador, I was better
prepared in planning my activities in more detail. My airline allowed
for a second suitcase and I packed it full of art supplies. Using art
plans I found on the Web, I shopped at the local "dollar" store for
crayons, colored pencils, paints, and paper. I also collected toys
from fast food restuarants. These types of small toys are very popular
with the children.
At Boca Ortiz, I worked in the 4th floor game room. Each day, I would
select a work table and set out my supplies. Next up was convincing the
children to come over and work with me. After a day or two, the
children got accostomed to my presence and joined me willingly. In
fact, many parents would come to the table with their children to work
on that day's project. I know for some of the parents, it was a relief
to have something to do to keep their minds off their sick children. I
also know that many of the children I meet there were so very sick that
they were likely to die, and that having something that your child made
meant a great deal to those parents in particular.
This work also meant a great deal to me. Upon leaving Ecuador, the
second time, I wasn't so convinced that I would not return again. In
fact, it wasn't long before I purchased the ticket for my third trip.
Again, I worked at Boca Ortiz. Everyday, I would put on my white lab
coat and join the children and parents in making hand puppets, face
masks, or necklaces. Everyday I left work I appreciated more and more
my health and well-being. Through these volunteer trips, I learned that
you really can live on very little, and that while I may "want" certain
things, not much is necessary to survive. The goal of living a
simplistic lifestyle remains strong within me.
While I have been fortunate enough to travel to other places in the
world during the last three years, it is Ecuador that remains foremost
in my heart and mind. I am currently planning my return trip for the
summer of 2009 and am looking for others to join me at that time. If
you are considering volunteering but would prefer a group setting,
contact me and let's see if we can line up our schedules for next year!
Catherine Walker, USA
The Amazon program we helped the family build housing for their chickens. We also cleared vegetation with machetes. We enjoyed the work and our supervisors were very helpful in giving us breaks and teaching us techniques.
We were also taken on an overnight outing into the Selva. We hiked to rivers add waterfalls, all of which were magnificent. We also ate a traditional meal of fish we caught ourselves and plants we gathered along the way.
As volunteers we stayed in the bunkhouse. It had small but clean rooms and included a shared bathroom and shower.
Our hosts were patient with our minimal Spanish speaking, very friendly and made us feel at home. They were very lad back and had good senses of humor. We enjoyed when they shred their culture with us.
Laura Lancaster & Garret Savory
Last summer I volunteered at both the orphanage and the school for children with disabilities. My experience was nothing short of amazing. While it was saddening to see the children at the school struggling with their problems, I felt I was able to make the children's lives a bit happier by playing guitar for them and generally spending time with them. At the orphanage, I felt I was able to brighten the children's lives by helping them with work chores and playing with them. The host family I stayed with were very inviting and I cannot thank them enough for treating me with so much care and hospitality. When I had questions, Maria was always available to answer them for me. The other volunteers were all incredibly nice people and made me feel part of a special family. On the weekends, the other volunteers and I were given the opportunity to explore the great country that is Ecuador. I will never be able to forget my experiences in Ecuador and I will always appreciate the consideration and care that I received.
Gurnaam Kasbia (Canada)
This past summer I had the opportunity to volunteer for six weeks at the orphanage in Quito which turned out to be a very eye opening experience. Veronica and Carlos, my host family, opened their home and hearts to myself and the other volunteers in the house making us feel welcome as though we were members of their family. Having this warm and open host family facilitated my transition in the country and greatly improved my Spanish speaking abilities. The great part about the volunteer experience is that you not only have the opportunity to volunteer but plenty of free time to go visit the many sites around Quito.
My experience at the orphanage was one that I will never forget. Within moments of walking through the gates I was greeted by a small girl who immediately opened her heart to me and gave me a hug. Through my next six weeks I would see the impact that being a volunteer would have on not only the orphanage but on the children and the community as well. As a volunteer this past summer I had the chance to help coordinate the first ever summer camp. We conducted classes to help children learn new skills such as English, Baking and Image & Health classes, held educational field trips and most of all provided an environment where children could feel safe and to simply be kids for a few hours each day.
These children gave you their trust and their hearts and by doing so they left a permanent imprint in my heart which will be there forever. Leaving the orphanage on my last day I realized how close I had become to some of the children during my experience and found it more than difficult to leave. Through a volunteer experience like this one you learn truly how far your patience can go, how strong you are and how much you can truly learn about another culture whether it be positive or negative.
Cassandra EBERHARDT (Canada)
L’ été dernier j’ai eu l’occasion d ‘effectuer un volontariat de 6 semaines au sein de l’orphelinat Aliñambi à Quito, ce qui m’a ouvert les yeux. Veronica et Carlos, ma famille d’accueil, nous ont ouvert leur cœur et leurs bras, et nous onf fait sentir chez nous comme n’importe quel membre de leur famille. D’avoir cet accueil chaleureux a facilité mon integration dans le pays et amelioré mon espagnol. L’une des choses formidale du volontariat est d’avoir du temps pour visiter quito et ses allentours.
Mon esperience à L’orphelinat à été inoubliable. La premiere fois que j’en ai passé la porte j’ai été accueillit par une petite fille qui m’a instantanement prise dans ses bras. J’ai pu me rendre compte durant ces 6 semaines qu’être volontaire avait egallement un impact sur la comunauté. Cet été j’ai pu participer au premier camps d’été de l’orphelinat. Nous avons mener des cours d’anglais, de cuisine, de santé, sport ainsi que des excurtion educatives. Mais par-dessus tout, nous avons pu créer un environement dans lequels ils pouvaient être des enfants pendant quelques heures.
Ces enfants m’ont donné leur confiance et leur cœur, en agissant ainsi ils ont gravé mon cœur à jamais d’un souvenir indelibile. En quittant l’orphelinat le dernier jour j’ai réalisé combien j’étais proche d’eux, il a du coup été vraiment tres dur de les quitter. Durant une experience comme celle-ci on est amené à mesurer sa patience, sa force, et combien on peut apprendre des autres cultures, que ce soit positif ou negatif.
Cassandra EBERHARDT (Canada)
Mon volontariat fut une chouette expérience qui m'a permis de mieux comprendre la philosophie des Equatoriens ainsi que de leur culture. Un volontariat reste un volontariat, n'étant pas superwoman et je n'ai pas vraiment pu apporter de grands changements mais je suis persuadée que mon court séjour a au moins apporter un sourire aux enfants de l'orphelinat.
J'ai été accueillie comme une véritable reine, je n'oublierai jamais ma petite famille équatorienne.
Pour ceux qui aimeraient aider l'organisation de Maria et Freddy, je n'ai qu'un bon conseil, si vous n'êtes pas motivé pas besoin de venir car Maria et Freddy méritent les meilleurs volontaires!
Ecuador y mi familia me faltan mucho !!! Besos,
The volunteer program was a great experience which makes me realize how precious was the Ecuadorian culture. I'm not superwoman and I know that what I brought to the kids from the orphanage was just a smile but it makes me feel so good.
I've been hosted in a marvellous familly and I will never forget them.
For thoses who are tempting of help the Maria's and Freddy 's organisation, I got only one thing to say, if you're not motivated you don't bother coming because Maria and Freddy deserve the best volunteers ever !
Ecuador y mi familia me faltan mucho !! Besos,
Brussels , BELGIUM
I have had an amazing 3 weeks here. It has been great to come to a beautiful place for contemplation, meditation + yoga + I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. Iralda + Alvaro looked after us wonderfully + the food was great. Becoming familiar with a small Ecuadorian community (Las Tolas) has also been a great experience. The scenery was breath taking, walks great + the sunshine made this the perfect place to escape from city life.
Katy Amundsen, New Zealand
Daycare in Quito, Ecuador Experience
“Although I have had extensive experience working with children in daycare settings, I can safely say I have learned and grew more within my two week period at this daycare for children from low-income families. This was truly a humbling and eye-opening experience. The children were so grateful and happy that we were there to play with them and the staff were most inviting and gracious for our help, despite the fact we didn’t speak any Spanish! To top this experience off, we stayed with a warm and welcoming host family, allowing us to truly experience Quito as locals. With the vibrant culture and history of Quito and the hospitality of the people, it was truly a once in a lifetime experience.”
Vickie Chow, Canada
Gracias por todo, he disfrutaba mucho, Las Tolas, Urcu Puyujunda, los animals y la familia de Alvaro y Geovanna. Fue una buena experiencia.
Dana Conley, USA
The reception of people at the airport and in the house of your parents could not be better, we arrived immediately feel at home, so that was perfecto. The cabañas in the bosque nublado could not be better:good beds, shower, good toilet (very importante). Alvaro and Iralda were very very nice people.
Iralda is a great cook so the food was good. The volunteering in Tas Tolas is very good. It was the best time of my life, for sure.
Wouter Cortens, Belgium
I have been in Quito for six weeks now, which I can hardly believe because time has gone so fast! Here is a summary of my time here so far..
I arrived late are Tuesday afternoon, very tired from over 24 hours of travel and more than a little scared to be alone in a completely new country. But I needn't have wormed because I was met by Fredy, with a big smile and was soon being fed some good food)much better than on the plane= and given a room where I could sleep off my travels.
I then took Spanish lessons with Maria for two weeks. I basically with stared with very little knowledge and by the end of the two weeks I had improved so much. I could start to talk with people, especially Fredy and Maria which is the best way to improve. Maria is a very patient teacher, and I really enjoyed my lessons. Because the classes are so small (in this case, just me) you can go at your own pace, ask lots of questions and talk about things you are interested in.
I feel very lucky that Maria and Fredy are my host family. They are so welcoming and accommodation and have made my time here so far very enjoyable, they were fantastic helping me settle into the two place where I volunteer.
In the mornings, I go to a school for disabled children. The kids are deaf and blind. I divide my time between helping with a class (and learning some sign language) and preparing material for the partially sighted children. The school is very different to my school in England (the teachers here are quite strict) but I am now completely settled there and enjoy my time (apart from getting up at 7 o'clock)
In the afternoons I go to an orphanage home for unwarned mothers. This house is very very poor and it was quite difficult at first. Fredy & Maria arranged for me to talk with the director about what I could do to help there. So now I help the teenagers make chocolate lollies to sell for the home which is rewarding because it is hopefully useful to them. I think I have had some of my hardest experiences there but also some of the best, like seeing the children enjoyment when given pizza as a big treat some things I have seen there will stay with me forever.
So that is about it. I love Quito, which is a very interesting and contrasting city. I am very encouraged by my improvement in Spanish and hope it will continue for the rest of my time here. I recently visited the Oriente (rainforest) and am also now excited about traveling around Ecuador in four weeks time.
Lisa Evans, England
I just wanted to thank you for such a wonderful experience during my two weeks in Ecuador. It was an experience that I will never forget. I loved it so much because everything that I did was so different from the next thing. Being able to stay with a host family, especially a host family as nice and welcoming as yours was what made all of the difference in my two week stay. I think that if I had stayed at a hostel or had some other arrangements I would not have felt such a connection with the culture and how Ecuadorian people really are. Being welcomed in to your home and being included as part of the family was one of the best aspects of my trip. You really made me feel welcomed and I appreciate that. I was nervous when I arrived at the airport but as soon as I met Maria's parents I knew that I was going to have a good trip.
It was great that the orphanage was so close to your home. It made going for both the morning and afternoon easy and not troublesome. I really don't have any complaints about my trip. The food was great, and always a variety which is good. I miss your home made juice in the morning. The side trips were all exciting and different from one another. Papallacta and the Cloud Forest were my favorites. The country is so beautiful so being able to see different parts of the land by just riding in a car was enjoyable for me. I also enjoyed meeting both of your families. Seeing a family in Quito and one outside of Quito was a great comparison.
Thank you for all of your generosity and being patient with my half Spanish half English. Staying for two weeks has sparked my interest again in the Spanish language and I am considering completing my Spanish minor with classes during the summer. I wish that I had been able to communicate in Spanish better at times, but never felt isolated because of the language differences.
I loved Ecuador and am sure that I will return to your wonderful country some time within the next few years.
Michaela Alissandrello, USA
The host family made me feel very at home and gave me some experiences. I will never forget. They didn't have to do any of that but they did, and that what makes you amazing people. I'll never forget them and their families. About the trip....other than the accommodations were ideal and I felt very safe the entire time. Everything worked out perfectly and I very much miss the kids at the orphanage. Just the other day I was showing the pictures of the kids to Kyle and I started crying because I realized how much they meant to me. I am never going to forget any of them.
Anastasia Kidniz, USA
Working at the orphanage - this was a great experience and I really enjoyed it. It was a shock at first to see the place, but the children were great and I felt that my help made a real difference. I intend to keep in touch and hopefully visit again in the future.
Living arrangements - it was great to live with a family, things were very good, especially the times we spent at Freddy's parents which was something you wouldn't normally get to experience on a trip abroad.
Trips - these were great and I really enjoyed where we went, seeing some of Ecuador with people who knew the places we went to. It was a great experience to share it with other people and I had a really good time.
Cathy Hill, England
I've recently returned from one of the most wonderful adventures I coud have ever had. I participated in a 3 weeks volunteer program with home stay. The volunteer work took place at a small orphanage in Quito, filled with 28 of the most gentle & &loving children,& infants. Days were filled with laughter, games,& trips to the park. An in the evenings I spent time with my "host family" speaking Spanish (..or at least trying to..), eating local home made cuisine, &playing a mean game of cards. All the while learning more about the customs, culture, & politics, of this tiny South America gem. Weekends were spent exploring the sights & sounds of Ecuador. One weekend I went to the markets in Otavalo & visited the beautiful city of Ibarra. My second weekend was spent in Quito visiting a myriad of museums & cultural & historical sites. My final weekend was spend in the Cloud Forest, at one of the most beautiful spots in the world. Never have I felt so far removed from the world. I was treated to wonderful local cuisine, hikes with my own private guide, & baths under cascading waterfalls. No phones, no interruptions.. And all this, only a beautiful 2 hours drive from Quito.
I can't wait to come back & explore Ecuador even more. There is just so much for one to see & do ... so you must take full advantage of all your time.
Katherine Davis, USA
I have had an amazing 3 weeks here. It has been great to come to a beautiful place for contemplation, meditation + yoga + I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. Iralda + Alvaro looked after us wonderfully + the food was great.
Becoming familiar with a small Ecuadorian community (Las Tolas) has also been a great experience. The scenery was breath taking, walks great + the sunshine made this the perfect place to escape from city life.
Katy Amundsen, New Zealand
I would like to extend my heartfelt thank you to the people of Ecuador that have helped to make my volunteer opportunity in Ecuador an unsurpassed experience and that have contributed to the creation of my memories.
At Urcu Puyujunda lodge, a beautiful accommodations place in the serenity of the Cloud Forest. The cabins at Urcu Puyujunda are beautiful in its rustic form and very clean. Maria is an excellent cook and always had hot meals awaiting us on time.
Thank you to everyone involved in making my trip and my volunteer opportunity a rewarding and unforgettable experience!
Diana Fiala, Canada
Thank you very much for arranging the volunteer program for us, and I'd like to begin by saying that we had an amazing and rewarding experience
We really enjoyed spending time with the people from Las Tolas, working in the shop, traveling and playing soccer. We found that the Ecuadorian culture and country are both beautiful and we hope to return in the near future.
Emily Grady and Rusell, USA
This trip was a great experience from me. I loved working with the children at the centre and the orphanage-they were remarkable. Weekends were enjoyable too exploring the sights of Ecuador and experiencing the culture while working to improve my Spanish. Muchas gracias, Maria, Fredy and family for welcoming me into your home and teaching me so much.
Julia Heyens, Canada
I had an awesome time in Ecuador. The hospitality and the generosity of the family made it even more special and welcoming. The daycare experience was great. The teacher I was with really made the experience better since she was welcoming and patient with the fact that I didn't speak very much Spanish.
I absolutely enjoyed the expeditions. I enjoyed seeing the market in Otavalo. Cotopaxi was great! The days at the beach was fun. It was good and relaxing. The place we stayed at was wonderful. The 3 day adventure to Banos and the Amazon was amazing! I loved the hotel that we stayed at in Banos. The tour guide we had was very nice and helpful. The rafting trip was exciting and beautiful. It was good that they provided wetsuits and boots for us. The accommodation in the Amazon was nice. I loved all the places we saw and things we did. The family really made me feel welcomed and taken cared of. Thank you so much! I was really sad to leave at the end of my 2 weeks.
Michelle Ma, USA
The family that I lived with, obviously, could not have been better. They made us feel so welcome and wonderful. They made us feel like part of the family and made our stay there so very special. The work at the disabled school was fantastic and very rewarding. The trips to Cotopaxi, Otavalo, the beach and to Amazon were also excellent. We stayed at such nice places and had wonderful food and experiences. Thank you for coordinating a great experience for me and I cannot wait to one day return to Ecuador!
Erin Steppe , USA
My volunteer experience was the most valuable, unforgettable experience of my entire life. I fell in love with the people, the culture, the music, and the country. I am already looking at dates next year to return.
I was pretty nervous on the plane to Quito, but when I saw Fredy at the airport with a sign with my name, my nerves calmed. Maria, Fredy, and their family are just wonderful people that I already miss very much.
My first 3 weeks consisted of volunteering in the daycare in Quito with the little babies. They were just adorable, and I'll never forget dancing with them! I made friends with all the ladies that worked there, and we just laughed all day as we tried to learn each other's language.
I also took 2 weeks of Spanish lessons, which helped me a ton! It was pretty intense with 4 hours of classroom a day for ten days, but I saw huge differences in my ability to communicate with the people during and after my course.
While living in the city, I took three professional salsa lessons, and also informal lessons from Maria's family! I traveled on a day trip to Otavalo where I bought gifts for my family and friends, and I also traveled to Mitad del Mundo and stood on the equator.
My last two weeks were spent in Las Tolas in the cloud forest two hours northwest of Quito. This was the most unforgettable and moving experience of my life. I lived with a family right in the village. I spent my days helping the people of the village on community projects, such as weeding the community garden, building a patio in front of the church, and making signs for their buildings. I also helped the artisans in their workshop with making jewelry from seeds and things from the forest. I hiked to two beautiful waterfalls, the next village, and to the lodge where other volunteers lived. The people of the village are the hardest working, most caring, and humble people I have ever met. They value their community and their culture. By this point, I could communicate fairly well with them, which makes the experience even that more valuable. It was extremely hard to leave because the people of this small village had become my family.
From this experience I learned that a smile goes a long way, and that people, no matter where they live or how, all laugh with each other, cry with each other, and care for each other in very much the same way, and that we all take what we are given in life and try to make the most of it. The only way to really appreciate the experience is to have an open mind, an open heart, and a sense of humor. Just take it all in. This has been an experience I will hold very close to my heart for the rest of my life. I encourage everyone who has the courage and the passion to learn and help others, to take this opportunity as a mind, soul, and life growing experience.
Chicago, IL USA
Agradecimiento tanto para una maravillosa experiencia en Ecuador, en respuesta a mis preguntas antes de mi llegada, ofreciendo orientaciones de Quito, viajar conmigo a muchos lugares (mi favorito es la selva)….su apoyo y dedicación al programa de voluntarios es muy apreciada.
Rebecca Blackburn, CANADA
Thank you so much for this opportunity. I have had such a wonderful time here in Quito, an many chances to travel around Ecuador. I loved working at the day care with all of the children. My Spanish has improved immensely.
I absolutely love Quito and plan to come back. Once again, thank you for this opportunity.
Alicia Corbett, USA
I just wanted to thank you (host family) for your hospitality and generosity during my stay with you and your family. You made all the volunteers feel so welcome by inviting us into your home and including us in your family’s activities. I had such an amazing time in Ecuador and know that it would not have been the same had I not stayed with you. I was able to gain an in-depth experience about the culture and the Ecuadorian way of life and now I carry with me a love for the county. Thank you again for making my trip so memorable I had a great time!
I feel that the Eco-Volunteer UP is a wonderful experience. The Spanish lessons of the trip were helpful in providing a greater understanding and appreciation of the Spanish language. The host family has been very accommodating with an concerted effort made to be welcoming host’s and hostesses. They have allowed me to be around and participate in their lives. I have also been take on some interesting family excursions to places around Ecuador.
I enjoyed living in cloud forest for 7 weeks. I became accepted as part of the community, allowing me to connect with the culture and traditions as joining the women’s soccer team was one example. Staying with my host family in cloud forest has been the most special experience I have had in Ecuador. They treated me like their own, feeding me delicious food and offering me to experience their daily lives.
Working with the mentally challenged children has given me a new perspective and value on life. While it provides its challenges, the resulting rewards far outweigh the effort. Each child glows with character. If you’re new to volunteering, you might be in a little deep, but come a few weeks and the school becomes a home and the children, your family. My host family was welcoming as any people. On weekends, you can explore Ecuador’s gems like the market in Otavalo where the air is sweet with the scents of incense and fresh fruit. Ecuador’s beauty lies not in the mountains, markets or rainforest.; its heart is in the people.
For starters, my experience in Ecuador was much better than I had first anticipated. Before arrival in Ecuador I was very anxious about what to expect because I have never been to any countries in South America and I didn't know any Spanish. Thankfully, Maria and her family were very helpful and took good care of us. My two friends and I stayed at Maria's mother's home for the entire trip. Everyday we had breakfast with Maria's mom and sometimes we had dinner at the house. But the food was always delicious! Maria's mom and her family were extremely kind to us. During the trip, all three of us got sick at different times and for different reasons. Fortunately, Maria's Dad is a doctor and he took good care of us. And even though we speak very little Spanish and the host family didn't speak that much English, they made a great effort to communicate and help. We are truly grateful for their hospitality.
On the weekdays we worked at the daycare in the morning from 8:30am to 1pm. However, the times are flexible for the volunteers. We worked at a daycare for low income families. The volunteers, workers and the kids were very friendly. The children are very sweet and adorable and I miss them very much. I really enjoyed working at the daycare and the volunteers are very much appreciated in return. After working at the daycare we had Spanish lessons for two hours. We only had lessons for two weeks but they were incredibly helpful and we learned a lot of Spanish. The rest of time including weekends were free time for us to explore the city. Quito is really a very beautiful city with a blend of moutain scenery, ancient architecture and rich culture. The people there are generally very friendly and patient to tourists. Our visit to Ecuador was very short and I wish that we could have stayed longer. I had a great time, thanks for everything!
Mi experiencia personal en Rescate animal, fue simplemente maravillosa de principio a fin. De hecho ha sido una de las primeras veces que he ido a un lugar y todo transcurrió tal y como lo había imaginado, fue genial.
El trabajo era muy agradable, no había que levantarse demasiado temprano y era una labor muy divertida y enriquecedora para alguien que le gusta los animales. Aprendí mucho sobre monos y aves, algunos te marcan para bien y otros para mal, pero la experiencia es siempre positiva.
En el centro yo recuerdo que había muy buen feeling, todos nos llevábamos muy bien, nunca tuve ningún problema con ninguno. Es más aún sigo en contacto con casi todos ellos y me encantaría poder verlos otra vez.
Las actividades para hacer eran variadas pero todas orientadas en la naturaleza, los paseos nocturnos guiados eran muy emocionantes y las excursiones a ver cascadas y cuevas también, aunque el agua resulto estar fría.
Recuerdo que había mucho tiempo para disfrutar del entorno, ir a bañarse a la cerca o simplemente relajarse tomando algo en la hamaca. Los fines de semana se iban volando, la verdad es que hay mucha fiesta en Puyo, o desde luego era facil encontrar el modo de divertirse.
La organización era buena, había turnos de limpieza y de cocina, todo era colectivo y me encantaba.
Por ultimo he de decir que toda la familia que lleva el centro es formidable, por lo menos hasta donde yo pude conocer, y fueron muy amables, hospitalarios y me enseñaron mucho no solo de la cultura sino de ellos mismo.
Guardo un recuero muy bonito de mi estancia allí y me gustaría poder repetirlo un día no muy lejano.
PAULA BUZARRA, ESPAÑA
My experience was amazing I had such a wonderful time and honestly wish I could have am stayed longer. I hope someday to go back and volunteer again! I miss everyone there so much and am so blessed to have been able to go!
ANDREA BALLARD , USA
We had a great time at the Galapagos Islands, Giovanni is very motivated and a good guy! The work was hard, but very satisfying and on the weekends & after the project, we had enough time to explore the islands! Great time, we would definitely recommend it!
NORA AND PETER BRAUER, GERMANY
My family’s experience at young mothers, with the girls was a completely new experience for us. We were moved by the young girls’ plight and inspired by their resilience and optimism. We were encouraged to see that everyone, the director and each of the girls, worked so hard at their daily chores and were always happy to give us such warm and friendly smiles.
David hopes that the furniture he repaired and the floor he laid are surviving the rough and tumble daily living of a house full of excitable young girls, Chantal hopes that they might still remember her chocolate cookies and I would be encouraged to learn if any of the girls continued any interest in sewing.
David has told me that he was frustrated that he was not able to help more. There seems so much work still to do and he told me he might like to return, with his tools, to complete some of the outstanding tasks. But he most wants to retake the photographs which he unfortunately lost from his camera.
We hope that, in our own small way, we were able to give a little love and encouragement to those young souls who had been so damaged and so left with so little.
LETA OANIA & FAMILY, USA
I am missing the Centre still!
I had the most amazing time at the rescue centre. It was such a fantastic experience, I would go back tomorrow if the flight's were less expensive!
I loved the family and it was so amazing to get to handle some of the animals and to help care for all of them.
I would recommend the organization to anyone who is looking for a really satisfying experience and is not afraid of hard work!
RACHAEL TASKER, UK
The community project in the Amazon went wonderfully. I really enjoyed living with Francisco and his family. They were very welcoming and helpful. Teodoro was also very helpful to all of us with the project. Darwin was our coordinator and he always explained the work well and made sure we were safe. Thank you for checking in with us about the project.
Galapagos project was beautiful. I met some really great people and Geovanny was a great guide. He knows so much about the history of the islands and the native plants. I am so happy that I was able to work with him. I think everyone had fun and really enjoyed the trip.
JANELLE DAVIDSON, USA
For me, everything went very well and it was a WONDERFUL experience! The organization you made was perfect. The family was great and it was so fun to have other volunteers in the family. I met some very nice people. And I loved working at the daycare, the kids were so cute and educators as well.
ODILE GIRARD, SWITZERLAND
The community project was amazing in the Amazon-Francisco and his family were very welcoming and made us feel like family of their own - in Galapagos was different but it was nice to be with the volunteers- both places have been amazing!
ANDREA BURGESS, USA
About the experience with Eco Volunteer UP, I can say that all was good. The organization was simple and we knew that at all moments we could ask you if we needed more information. The family was really nice with us, it was great to be able to live with Ecuadorian people. The mother explained us a lot about the culture etc... She also listened when we had questions gave us advices. Everybody in the family was here if you had requests! The food was good, our room too. It was good to have a private space for the volunteers, so we could exchange our experiences... About the day care, I feel really happy to have chosen this kind of the project. It wasn´t relay, it was a pleasure to work there. Maybe, the women that worked with us, weren’t really talkative with us at first, but later they begun to be interested in us, and so we were easily able to ask questions to discover more about the job, the children, the culture etc...
CHARLIE DEMIRRE, SWITZERLAND
I volunteered for Eco Volunteer UP for 6 weeks, in Quito at the orphanage located there.
Maria was very helpful and I was able to get in to contact with her at all times. My host family was
very accommodating and tried to assist me with my travels and problems I had throughout my stay. My experience at the orphanage was truly unforgettable. I was able to spend quality time with kids, and get to know them, as well as learn a lot of Spanish. They will always be in my heart. I will always
remember and miss Ecuador. Thank you so much Eco Volunteer UP! for this truly amazing experience!
LISA CHO, CANADA
The experience was fantastic! And the people were great. In particular the coordinator, that we felt was invaluable as she took a great interest in making sure volunteers understood exactly what was going on while having fun. Especially since we are not fluent in Spanish she really helped to bridge the gap of expectations. We can't stop talking about everything we did. it was the best trip ever!!
GHIA ESPINO, USA
The community on the Coast was very interesting to work, especially with the little kids in the kinder garden. I felt very welcoming.
MARIELLE WINKLER, SWITZERLAND
I had such a great time at Hacienda and was so sad to leave, I wanted to stay for longer, the time went so fast! I have stayed on in the Galapagos for a few extra days so I can see Santa Cruz and Isabella too.
Thank you so much for letting my mother send them to you guys, it is such a big help. I really want to thank you for looking after me so well during my time in Quito, you made it very special. I will tell everyone in England to come out to Ecuador!! With Eco Volunteer UP.
PENNY MARRIOT, ENGLAND
Me encanto mi estancia en Quito y aprendi mucho mientras trabajaba en el hospital. Doctor Escobar es muy buena gente y un doctor muy talentoso. El me enseno mucho de la medicina y del tratamiento de los pacientes. Muchisimas gracias a ustedes por arreglar esta obra de voluntariado y mi estancia con Veronica y Carlos. Todo fue buenisimo...una experiencia inolvidable. Espero que todo les vaya bien, y que su programa de Eco Volunteer UP tenga mucho exito!
KELSEY LUOMA, USA
Voluntarios de USA en Ecuador
Gracias por todo, he disfrutaba mucho, Las Tolas, Urcu Puyujunda, los animals y la familia de Alvaro y Geovanna. Fue una buena experiencia.
Dana Conley, USA
Switzerland Volunteers en Ecuador
About the experience with Eco Volunteer UP, I can say that all was good. The organization was simple and we knew that at all moments we could ask you if we needed more information. The family was really nice with us, it was great to be able to live with Ecuadorian people. The mother explained us a lot about the culture etc...
Voluntarios de Belgica en Ecuador
The reception of people at the airport and in the house of your parents could not be better, we arrived immediately feel at home, so that was perfecto.......
Voluntarios de Canada en Ecuador
This past summer I had the opportunity to volunteer for six weeks at the orphanage in Quito which turned out to be a very eye opening experience. Veronica and Carlos, my host family, opened their home and hearts to myself and the other volunteers in the house making us feel welcome as though we were members of their family.
Voluntarios de Francia en Ecuador
Mon volontariat fut une chouette expérience qui m'a permis de mieux comprendre la philosophie des Equatoriens ainsi que de leur culture.
Voluntarios de Inglaterra en Ecuador
I have been in Quito for six weeks now, which I can hardly believe because time has gone so fast! Here is a summary of my time here so far..
Voluntarios de Nueva Zelanda en Ecuador
Becoming familiar with a small Ecuadorian community (Las Tolas) has also been a great experience. ......
Voluntarios Españoles en Ecuador
QUIERO AGRADECEROS LA ESTANCIA Y EL CARIÑO QUE RECIBI EN ESE MARAVILLOSO PAIS QUE NO OLVIDARE NUNCA........