Join Us August 8th – 16th!

PROGRAM DETAILS

Are you a current or prospective educator looking to gain international perspectives? Our Ecuador professional development program, running this August, is the perfect opportunity to step out, engage, have fun, and learn.

Over the course of 9 days, our Ecuador Professional Development program will introduce you to some of the most pressing global, social, and environmental challenges facing our world. A number of activities, based on sustainability, eco-tourism, and experience based learning, are included in the program, ensuring your time in Ecuador is both educationally rewarding and fun.

Program Themes

Eco-Tourism, Sustainability and the SDG’s

  • Explore Ecuador’s natural environment and learn about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Gain new perspectives on how this developing country is using it’s environment in a sustainable way to build their economy and create opportunity.
  • Experience a variety of eco-tourist projects, combining sustainability with fun and excitement.

Biodiversity and the Environment

  • Hike into the Amazonian rainforest, explore the stunning scenery, and learn about Ecuador’s unique biodiversity that makes it such an important country in the fight against climate change.
  • Head out into the coffee farms and see first hand what it takes to turn a ripe Arabica bean into an exportable product.
  • Learn about project’s dedicated to protecting Ecuador’s natural wildlife.
  • Connect with local’s who’ve endured years of environmental degradation at the hands of Canadian mining and resource companies

Indigenous History and Culture in Ecuador

  • Learn about traditional communities living off the land while exploring different regions of the country.
  • Meet with school administrators, teachers and students while learning about rural education systems in developing countries.

Classroom and Professional Integration

  • Here we’ll explore how we can take what we’ve observed and learned in Ecuador and apply it to our lives in Canada.
  • From integrating these lessons into the classroom or into the office, we’ll dive into the details to make sure the lessons learned continue after the trip.

Selected Activities

Our Adventure and Professional Development programs are not just learning experiences, they’re also filled with fun and exciting activities!

Hike into the Amazon Rainforest and Explore Waterfall Alley

Experience the outdoors while taking in some breathtaking sights as we explore some of Ecuador’s natural beauty.

Experience Indigenous Innovation and Hospitality

Spend three nights with our partners at Sinchi Warmi, Ecuador’s first 100% indigenous owned eco-lodge in the Amazon.

Taste One of Ecuador’s Best Known Exports

One of the most sought after activities, chocolate! Here we’ll explore a local cocoa plantation, learning about harvesting, roasting, drinking, everything you’ve ever wanted to know about cocoa.

Float Down a River

Spend a half-day floating down the Napo River, one of the Amazon’s primary tributaries, learning about community based eco-tourism.

Explore South America’s Best Known Craft Market

Otavalo, home to one of South America’s largest craft markets, is known for it’s ingenuity and beauty.

DATES AND COSTS

Program Date:

The Ecuador Professional Development Program runs August 8th – 16th, 2017.

In total, the program is 8.5 days.

Program Costs:

Program Fee – $1,999 CAD
* (Based on a minimum group of 6 participants. The more participating, the lower the costs per person).

Includes:

  • All activities listed above, including workshops and seminars held in country
  • All meals
  • Accommodations
  • Guides (Canadian and Ecuadorian partners)
  • All pre-departure support
  • For educators: Access to Insight’s academic units to be used in the classroom

Does not Include:

  • International Airfare (we have an in-house agent to get you the lowest price/best itinerary)
  • Travel / medical / cancellation insurance
  • Personal expenditures

Professional Development on a Cost-Recovery Basis

Our professional development programs are run on a cost-recovery model, meaning we don’t add in any additional fee’s or charges. Why do we do this? We’re committed to offering our professional development programs at the lowest cost possible, doing as much as we can to limit the financial burdens of international travel.

CONTACT AND SIGN UP

Interested in our Ecuador 2018 Professional Development program?

Have you got questions or want to get in touch with us to reserve your spot?

E-mail: craig@insightglobaleducation.com

Phone: 778-987-7902

DETAILED ITINERARY

All activities listed below are included in the program fee, unless otherwise noted as ‘optional’.

Day 1: Bienvenido 

We’ll meet and greet you upon your arrival into Mariscal-Sucre International Airport in Quito. We’ll then bring you to our residence in Quito where we’ll be based for the first 2 full days of the program.

Day 2: Exploring a Cultural Icon

We wake up early in the morning and head to Mitad Del Mundo, an indigenous themed museum and info centre based situated right on the equator. Here our local guide, Milton, will introduce you to indigenous culture and history in the context of pre-colonial, colonial, and contemporary Ecuador. We then head to check out stunning views of the Pullalahua Volcano ridge, approximately 10 minutes from the museum.

For lunch we head to a locally owned and operated shop known for their indigenous themed cuisine. We then head on a private tour of Quito’s cultural centre, the old city. During the city tour we’ll discuss how the colonial influences of Spain, the role of the catholic church in the development of the city, and the complex relationship between indigenous groups and the government.

In the evening, we head to Mariscal-Foch, one of Quito’s cultural hubs, for our welcome diner at a local pub. Afterwards, we welcome a guest speaker back at the hotel who will introduce us to Ecuador’s booming Eco-Tourism sector.

Day 3: Into the Mountains

Day 3 starts with a short commute from Quito to one of the country’s must stunning scenes, the Pappallacta Hot Springs. After a short hike high in the mountains, we jump into the naturally occurring thermal baths. Our local guide, Milton, discusses with us how Pappallacta is attracting a new type of sustainable, eco-themed tourist opportunities.

We then continue on wards from the top of the Andes, descending by bus approximately 4000 meters into the heart of the Amazonian rain forest. We arrive in our host community, the province of Napo’s only completely indigenous run eco-lodge, located in Misuhalli. Here were welcomed with the sights and sounds of the tropics, and the hospitality of a community truly banding together to create opportunity.

Dinner is served, and, in traditional fashion, comes wrapped in palm leaves. Our group is formally welcomed by one of the local council elders. As desert arrives, the director of the lodge discusses with us the importance of community owned enterprises, as well as how the Sinchi Warmi lodge is creating a model for socially and environmentally responsible business.

Day 4: The Rain forest and the River

We start the day with a 2 hour hike through the Amazonian rain forest, observing some truly stunning scenery, while walking along side one of the Amazon river’s largest tributaries. Our local guide, speaking in Quechua and translated into English, highlights unique flora and fauna, and how all of the elements of the rain forest work together.

Back at the lodge we prepare for a fun afternoon of eco-adventuring. After a healthy lunch, we head back to the Napo river, and jump into a raft. A relatively calm float down the river provides for a relaxing and soothing experience, while our guides inform us of the recent protections provided to the river by the government.

Our last activity of a busy day is truly a sweet one. Our hosts at Sinchi Warmi escort us to their nearby Cocoa plantation. From the fruit to the bar, we spend the next hour learning about everything chocolate. If you’re a fan of dark chocolate, and believe in it’s healing properties, you’ll truly enjoy this part of the tour!

Day 5: Animals in the Wild 

Day 5 starts with an early rise and ride down the Napo on a motorized boat. We arrive approximately 30 minutes later to one of the regions animal rescue and rehabilitation centres. Here we spend the next two hours learning about some of the endangered species in the Amazon, how private foundations, like the one we’re visiting, are working to save animals, and how eco-tourism can contribute to a more secure future for the region.

A return to Sinchi Warmi leads us to our last activity in the Amazon, learning how local women use plant based fibers to create and sell handicrafts. From the garden to the office, we’ll go through a comprehensive tutorial on how to turn locally grown plants into a handicraft business.

After a late lunch we board the bus and depart the Amazon, heading back into the mountains and off to Waterfall alley. A couple of hours later, and we arrive in the Banff-esque town of Banos.

Day 6: Waterfall Alley

We start the day in the much cooler climate of the Andes, approximately 2200 meters above sea level. The temperature change ensures everyone’s wearing a few more layers than they were in the Amazon, but a hike to a nearby volcano ensures the blood gets going!

Upon arrival to Tungurahua, our local guide talks about recent eruptions and how the town of Banos’s diligent preparedness mitigates against disaster. The stunning views nearby the top of the volcano are simply hard to comprehend. A local hotspot, known as the Swing on the Edge of the Earth, tests the nerve of anyone willing to get a great picture of them swinging literally over a daunting cliff edge.

We continue our hike mid-day, heading down the mountainside and into the town. We head to a local watering whole to talk climate change, and how the town’s access to hydro-electricity has become increasingly controversial.

Later in n the afternoon we head to the Devil’s Cauldron, a local waterfall known for it’s stunning views.

Day 7: Off to Otavalo

Day 7 starts with an early morning rise and departure from Banos to the market town of Otavalo. Here we head to the infamous market, checking out locally produced handicrafts and souvenirs (some shopping time will of course be permitted). We then head from Otavalo into the cloud forest to explore one of Ecuador’s most unique attributes.

The cloud forest, probably Earth’s closest thing to a true Ewok village (for all of you star wars fans) , think large trees, clouds, and a brilliant forest. The evening activities are rooted in climate change and the increasing threats to local communities ways of life by international corporations, including some of Canada’s largest mining companies. We’ll learn about how international trade and the resource market is poisoning water ways, and how Canada’s reputation abroad isn’t exactly what we think it is.

Day 8: Adios Amigos

Our final morning has us waking up in a truly magical climate. The cloud forest is the perfect way to start your last day with us in Ecuador. We reflect on the experiences had over the past week, and prepare to head back to Quito.

Upon arrival in the capital, we head up to the top of the city, the Teleferico. This swiss built chairlift brings us from the base of the city to the top of one of Quito’s neighbouring mountains. The views are stunning, the winds are a bit breezy, and it’s the perfect way to complete your trip to one of the world’s most diverse countries.

We head back to Mariscal-Foch for our last meal together, and part ways, bringing you either to your airport or your hotel.