The Summer of a Lifetime
After her experience with WorldTeach Ecuador Summer in 2014, Katey found another opportunity to volunteer in Ecuador.
When I decided to apply for WorldTeach, it was on a whim. I didn’t know if I’d actually be able to go, how my family and friends would react, or what the experience would be like. But I committed. I went. I ventured out into the wild blue yonder and here I am, six months later,with the knowledge that my life has been forever changed.
I won’t get into the long story of how I ended up in Ecuador (of all places…who has ever even heard anything about Ecuador?), but I will say that I am infinitely grateful I wound up here. The Ecuador summer program was the perfect fit for me and led me to pursue a life I never imagined I’d lead.
When I stepped off the plane in Quito, I felt a little nervous, but confident at the same time. I had never been out of the country, let alone on such a big trip by myself. I made it through customs, claimed my bags, and headed out into the lobby where I was greeted with a smile by the program director. CJ immediately made me feel at ease and even more excited to begin the WorldTeach experience. As the other volunteers arrived, we began to chat and bond. I realized that not only was I going to get to know a new country, but a new group of friends as well.
After a week of orientation and preparation, all us volunteers headed to our site placements. I was placed in Riobamba, which is a city a few hours south of Quito. One of the fun things about having friends in different parts of Ecuador was getting to visit their cities and traveling together. When traveling, you quickly realize what a beautiful and diverse country Ecuador is. The more I saw, the more I wanted to see. Traveling even just two hours can bring you into a completely different region.
At my site placement, I was responsible for teaching a class at a summer camp for students ages 4-13. Although I’ve had some teaching experience, this was still a unique situation for me. Participating in this program definitely allowed me to gain flexibility and patience, as well as a sense of humility. Luckily, I was able to rely on my local program director, host family, fellow volunteers, and the WorldTeach director, as well as the community I lived in, for help with everything from teaching questions, to places to visit, to the best place to buy certain items.
Fast forward to today. I am currently living and teaching in Ecuador. Volunteering here over the summer sparked a desire in me for more. More adventure, more Spanish, more culture. The WorldTeach program gave me the confidence to pursue the opportunity to live in a foreign country. I just happened to fall in love with Ecuador. No matter your motivation for choosing to volunteer here- if you let it- the experience will change your life.
-Katey, WorldTeach Ecuador Summer 2014
WorldTeach is now accepting applications for 2015 summer programs. If you are interested in learning more about WorldTeach, check out our website at www.worldteach.org. If you have any additional questions, feel free to email us at [email protected] or give us a call at 857.259.6646!