FEBRUARY AND SEPTEMBER DEPARTURE ・ HOST FAMILY ・ TEACH ENGLISH ・ PÁGINA EN ESPAÑOL
Ecuador is a small country bursting with geographic and ethnic diversity. The country has four distinct regions: in the coast, the Andes mountains, the jungle, and the Galápagos Islands. Each is unique and boasts its own climate, ethnic groups, and natural beauty. Ecuador is a diverse country comprised of various ethnic groups, so moving from one region to the next it can feel like visiting a different country altogether moving from one region to the next. The culture is dynamic and the people lively but, at the same time, the pace of life is a bit more laid back than what one finds in a big city in the United States.
Quito, located at roughly 9,300 feet above sea level, is the second highest capital in the world and enjoys a largely temperate climate year round, as it is located only 11 miles south of the equator. Of the over 14 million people who live in Ecuador, approximately 2 million live in Quito, and it is here that WorldTeach the majority of volunteers serve for the year. Our second teaching site in Ecuador is located in Riobamba, a smaller mountainous city located 3-4 hours south of Quito.
WorldTeach has been providing international volunteer teaching opportunities in Ecuador since 1991, partnering with different organizations and institutions over the years, all of whom personally requested and helped fund WorldTeach volunteers. There are two placements in the WorldTeach Ecuador University Teaching program, one at a community college in the capital city of Quito, el Centro de Educación Continua (CEC), teaching English to public school English teachers and living and working in the nation’s capital and the other at the Instituto de Lenguas Extranjeras (ILE) in Riobamba, which is part of Universidad San Francisco de Quito. The Ecuador University Teaching program includes an Intercultural Development track and the opportunity to obtain accredited Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification.
The most interesting thing that I learned about myself through this experience was that I could solve my problems on my own, and handle my emotions better than I thought I could. This experience has made me more open minded, flexible and patient.
While teaching abroad in Latin America, WorldTeach volunteers have the chance to improve their Spanish language skills, become part of a new culture and community, and gain invaluable skills in the classroom that will transfer to any professional environment. The ability to communicate in English is highly valued throughout Ecuador because of the country’s developing tourist industry as well as Ecuadorians’ desire for improved access to the global economy. Tourism, both cultural and environmental, has become an increasingly viable means of generating revenue in this South American nation. Knowledge of English also helps Ecuadorians open their businesses to a wider audience.
You are usually responsible for teaching up to 20 hours a week. Apart from classroom hours, you are also responsible for preparation of classes, grading and any other duties assigned by CEC or ILE. Class size varies, as do the types of students and their levels of English. You may teach university students, faculty and staff, and/or open-enrollment classes for members of the community.
In addition to your teaching responsibilities, you are strongly encouraged to actively participate in community life and engage in additional activities or projects of interest. Past projects and activities of volunteers include organizing English/Spanish conversation exchanges, volunteering with community organizations, starting sports teams, and participating in local sports clubs or dance lessons.
Placements are all in the capital city of Quito at CEC or in the smaller city of Riobamba at ILE. During your service, you live with a host family and have access to electricity and running water. Quito and Riobamba are generally well-connected, with some families having their own internet or availability of internet cafes in close proximity. Quito is home to a well-developed, though hectic, transportation network that requires practice and a sense of adventure to get used to. Lunch is the largest meal, involving multiple courses. The first course of soup is typically followed by a main dish consisting of rice, meat or chicken, and beans or lentils. Potatoes are native to the Andes, and also featured prominently in the Ecuadorian diet. A wide variety of fresh tropical fruits and juices are also available throughout the year.
The cost of the Ecuador Year program is $2,150. This includes visa, housing, monthly living stipend, supplemental overseas health and emergency evacuation insurance, orientation and additional training conferences, 24-hour in-country field director support, access to a remote teacher quality coordinator, alumni support and networking.
Many volunteers are able to successfully fund raise all or a significant portion of their volunteer commitment. Please refer to our fundraising page fundraising page for more information about fundraising possibilities.
Volunteers in the Ecuador Year program must:
- Be a native-level English speaker
- Have a bachelor’s degree by the time of the program’s departure
- Be between the ages of 21 and 74
- Be highly flexible, mature, and have a genuine interest in teaching