ECUADOR

Where the Amazon meets the Andes

Join us as we explore global issues in one of the world’s most bio-diverse nations.

In the foothills of Banos.

Ecuador, as one of the world’s most bio-diverse nations, is in the midst of remarkable change. The nation is looking to become a world leader in sustainable tourism, while empowering indigenous communites. Yet, at the same time, the country relies on oil and other resources for export, and is still attempting to overcome the divisions created by the colonial and post-colonial periods.

Students participating in Engage Ecuador will have the opportunities to meet change makers, discuss complex and challenging issues, volunteer on meaningful projects, observe untouched habitats, all while learning from local’s.

This program is truly intended to challenge existing assumptions about development, resulting in new perspectives on global issues, all while experiencing and exploring one of South America’s most diverse nations.

Like all of our secondary school programs, Engage Ecuador can be completely customized, from program themes to itineraries and activities.

  • PROGRAM THEMES

    Explore diverse issues, from indigenous culture, to social entrepreneurship and poverty reduction. More info…

  • SAMPLE ITINERARY

    Check out our sample 12 day itinerary to see what you could be doing in Ecuador. More info…

  • TRAVEL PHOTOS

    Ecuador is the 8th most bio-diverse nation in the world. Our photos

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 3 to 4 Program Themes
  • Up to 8 Community Partners
  • The Amazon and the Andes
  • Pre-Departure Curriculum
  • In-Country Academics
  • 3-Day Rainforest Excursion
  • Living on the Equator

Check out our Blog from our 2016 Engage East-Africa Program!

Our Philosophy

We challenge students to think differently, to question, to inquire, and to engage. Insight Global Education designs truly unique programs for students who are interested in and passionate about global issues. All of our programs are based on experiential pedagogy, fostering global citizenship through combined international and local learning. While overseas, participating students will have the opportunity to meet and speak with local change makers. They’ll visit project sites, participate in local practices, question existing norms.

Program Details

Themes

Insight’s programs for secondary school students are built with, on average, 3 to 4 key program themes, based on what’s happening in-country and the interests of the participating students/group. Group leaders are encouraged to speak with us to learn more about the theme options for the Engage Ecuador program.

Engage Ecuador’s potential themes include:

  • Contemporary Indigenous Issues
  • Climate Change and Sustainability
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Eco-Tourism
  • Migration, Refugees and Asylum Seekers
  • Resource Development and Dependence
  • Culture and History of Latin America

“This was a once in a lifetime experience that changed me in so many ways. I gained incredible, firsthand experience in a part of the world I had never visited before, and I met so many incredible people who taught me some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned to date. This program was so well laid out; the Insight team prepared our entire group so well for what we would be experiencing. I felt comfortable in a place that had few similarities with what I was used to.”

Sienna Wallee, Spring 2015West Vancouver Secondary

From the foothills of the Andean Mountains, to the sources of the Amazon River, the Engage Ecuador program takes place in truly diverse and beautiful settings.  As we travel across the country, aptly named for it’s central location (Ecuador = Equator), our classroom will transition from one of the most bio-diverse regions on the planet, to the indigenous markets of the Quechua peoples.

Sample Itinerary

Travel Map

Day 1-2 Themes: Indigenous History and Culture

  • Arrive in Quito, transit to our local guesthouse
  • Explore Mitad Del Mundo, and the importance to the local populations of the Equator, and the nearby volcanos
  • Engage with Impaqto Quito, a local hub for social enterprise that empowers youth to turn social problems into fiscally sustainable opportunities

Day 3-5 – Themes: Social Entrepreneurship in the Rainforest

  • Transit to Tena (120kms south-east of Quito) on the outskirts of the Amazon Rainforest
  • Spend 3 nights at our community based partner, Ecuador’s first completely indigenous run eco-lodge, with all profits going towards supporting community development initiatives
  • Explore how local communities are using plant based materials to create handciraft businesses, how sustainalbe cocoa harvesting leads to increased incomes, and how waterways and rainforests are providing sustainable tourism opportunities

Days 7-9 Themes: Eco-Tourism and Sustainability

  • Head to the community of Banos, in the heart of Ecuador’s Waterfall alley (5 hours from Tena)
  • Hike down into the village, starting from the mid-section of one of Ecuador’s most notorious, and now dormant, volcanoes
  • Meet with local environmental activists who are rallying behind massive hydro-electric projects, and begin to learn about the trade offs between environmental degradation and economic growth
  • Explore the Paillon Del Diablo, one of Ecuador’s best known waterfalls, hiking around the base of the waterfall while learning about sustainable travel in one of the world’s most diverse nations

Days 9-11 Themes: Climate Change

  • Transit to Ecuador’s Cloud Forest, one of the most unique biomes on the planet
  • Explore how rising temperatures is influencing local harvesting and productivity, and how it’s hard for those living on the edge to predict the dry and rainy seasons
  • Engage with locals who’ve witnessed their water sources turn to poision at the hands of international mining comglomerates

Day 12 …And that’s a Wrap!

  • Transit back to our starting point, Quito
  • Spend the morning soaking in amazing views at the Teleferico, known as the rooftop of Quito (a gondola takes you up from 2300 to 4800 metres, providing stunning views)
  • Head to Parque Metropolitano, one of the world’s largest metropolitan parks, where we debrief the past 11 days events, and prep for a return to Canada.

All of our programs and itineraries are customized to suits the needs and interests of those participating in our programs. Themes and corresponding activities and locations can of course be adjusted. The below itinerary is a sample 12 day program.

Program Costs

Sample Costs

The cost of the program is inclusive of the following:

  • Return International Airfare from Canada to Ecuador
  • Accommodation and Lodging
  • All meals, including breakfast, lunch dinner, and bottled water
  • Program activities, content and interactions with all partners
  • Curriculum and units to accompany program themes, as determined by the lead chaperone / teacher
  • 3 day rainforest explorations in the Amazon basin
  • Insight’s in-country staff support throughout the program
    • Including daily group reflections and check-in’s with our Canadian / Ecuadorian team
  • Pre-program orientations and post-program debriefing in Canada, including workshops and seminars on topics to be explored during the program

Program Total – $2,950 USD (estimated)

This cost is estimated based on a group of 18 students, for a 12 day program. For a more detailed quote, please get in touch with us.

Program Safety

Our programs take place in some of the most diverse, unique and hospitable countries in the global south. From East- Africa to the South Pacific, at the heart of what we do is deeply connected to where we do it. With that said, we recognize that risks exist while travelling abroad. That is why student safety and security are our top priorities. The below steps outline just some of the many ways that we ensure participants are safe and secure while travelling abroad with us.

  • Strict overseas rules and policies
  • Canadian and local staff facilitating all programs
  • Thorough parent and student prep, with at least two parent info sessions, and 4 pre-departure orientations
  • Extensive orientation, including safety briefing, upon arrival in Ecuador
  • Daily morning group check-in with evening debriefs from the field
  • Reputable accommodations with security, and prior experience hosting travelers
  • Comprehensive travel/medical/emergency insurance for all participants
  • Rigourously planned travel routes with industry experts and partners
  • Strict itineraries that only stray in the event of an emergency
  • Zero tolerance for alcohol consumption
  • Mandatory participant code of conduct, and many more!

To learn more about our precautionary measures and practices abroad, please contact us.

TRAVEL