FAQ

General Information

What is included on my trip?

Your fees cover: Accommodation during the trip, local flights, breakfast and lunch, all tours and a welcome dinner.

What is not included on my trip?

Your fees don’t cover: International Airline tickets (if not selected), transportation fee, dinners, travel insurance, medical expenses.

Do I need a visa to travel to Ecuador?

Most of you will not need a visa to travel to Ecuador. All passports require a minimum of six months validity to travel anywhere. For non- Canadian passport holders, please check with your embassy for information on visa requirement to the United States and Ecuador. Students are responsible for determining visa requirements for their non-Canadian passports.

How much money should I bring?

Naturally, spending will vary from person to person and will depend on individual spending habits. Dinners may vary from $10 to $15 per night. US currency is used in Ecuador. As it can be difficult to receive change from larger bills, please bring bills which are less than $100 in denomination (i.e. $5, $10, $20 Dollar bills).

Are there any other expenses that I need to know about?

There is a transportation fee that depends on your program of selection.

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes, travel insurance is mandatory. It is available in many forms and can be purchased from your extended medical form or even through your credit card company.

What clothing and luggage should we bring?

We recommend you bring 2 bags in addition to your medium-sized suitcase: One back-pack/duffle bag for the tour portion of the trip and another smaller back-pack or waist-pack for hiking and touring about the city. Recommended clothing:

  • Shorts
  • Long pants (jeans and pants for hiking)
  • Hat
  • Swim wear / towel
  • Shoes for hiking (supportive runners are sufficient)
  • Sport sandals (not just flip-flops)
  • Clothes to work in at the volunteer site
  • Professional clothes / shoes for the hospitals (med and bio / med programs only)
  • Sweater / Fleece / Jacket (it can get cold at night)
What does the discover aspect of the trip involve?

You will be taking an eleven-day tour of Ecuador. You will have the opportunity to discover the different regions of Ecuador while partaking in various outdoor activities such as surfing, tubing, hiking waterfalls, rappeling and much more. For additional information, please visit the tour section of the website.

What can we expect for accomodation and how it is arranged?

While in Quito, students will be accommodated in a boutique hostel owned by Ecuaexperience. During the 11-day discover tour, students will stay in places which will enrich and provide meaning to their volunteer experience and thus high class accommodation should not be expected. All accommodations will be double or triple occupancy depending on room availability.

What are the age restrictions on your tour?

There are no upper age limits on our tours. However travelers with pre existing medical conditions are required to complete a medical questionnaire.

Can I join a tour late or leave it early?

It’s extremely difficult if not impossible to join a tour after it has begun. It is possible to leave a tour early but you will be responsible for your own arrangements from the moment you decide to leave the tour. You would also be responsible for all costs associated with joining a tour late or leaving one early. If you feel this may be necessary please consult us before you book your adventure.

What is the difference between the PreMed and the Bio Med progrmas?

Health and Safety

What vaccinations are recommended?

Vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B are mandatory. Dukoral is recommended for first time travelers to South America but not mandatory. It is important to contact your local travel clinic for up to date information on the regions you will be visiting.

Is it safe in Ecuador?
You will always be traveling in groups. It is recommended not to wander around by yourself. It is also recommended to bring a money belt to put your important documents and money. Safes are available at our accommodation in Quito but may not be an option for the tour.
Is it safe to bring electronic equipment such as a camera or a laptop?
Cameras and laptops are usually fine to bring. However, we recommend just a camera as there are internet cafes in every location we visit and internet access is inexpensive.
Will the food make me sick?
The health of our volunteers is a priority and thus we will only recommend and take you to restaurants that serve food which is safe to eat. We still however, recommend that you take precautions especially if you tend to have a weak stomach. Contact your local travel clinic as many offer vaccines or treatments.

Payments

When can I pay a deposit in advance and when do I have to pay in full?
Students paying by cheques, credit cards or bank drafts will have the option to make two payments. The first payment must be made by the deposit deadlines specified above and the second payment must be made by 45 days prior to departure.
Why is prompt payment so important?
It is important because the terms and conditions of the operators that we have to pay on your behalf are often very strict, and late payment can mean that the operator cancels your reservation.
Where can I find your bank details in order to make a transfer?
Our bank details are available upon request- tell one of our representatives your location and we will provide all the details for you.
Do you accept travellers checks?
Unfortunately traveler checks are not accepted.

Volunteer Programs

Who can apply to this program?

Everyone is welcome to apply to this program.

What kind of experience can I expect?

You will be spend two weeks volunteering. One week building homes for the community in a rural area and an extra week in Quito volunteering in an orphanage, teaching English or organizing a summer camp for kids . Your program will also involve a touristic week and an extra week at the Galapagos Islands if selected.

How do we fundraise the money for the project?

You will participate in various fundraising events with fellow students in your group and on your own. Generally, students raise 60% of the funds individually and 40% as a group.

What percentage of the money fundraised goes toward the projects?

100% of funds raised will go directly into the volunteer project.

What is a normal budget for the overall project ?

In the last two years we have built 22 and 20 homes respectively on an estimated average budget of $5000 per house.

How is a normal day at the volunteer site ?

You will spend the day completing various tasks assigned to you such as digging holes for the foundation of the homes, putting up the walls of the homes, or painting and lacquering the walls of the homes. These tasks will vary depending on the month you decide to go in.

Do I need any labor experience to be part of this project ?

Labour experience is not necessary to be able to participate in this project. All tasks will be assigned to you by hired professionals depending on your level of comfort with the completion of the tasks.

Healthcare Programs

Who can apply to this program?

High school students in their last year and post-secondary students with a future career aspiration in sciences or the healthcare system.

What kind of experience can I expect?

During your medical rotations at the hospitals you will be observing procedures in which you are allowed to ask questions to the various medical professionals. You will be participating in labs in which you will partake in various hands-on activities. The objective of the medical rotations is to provide you with a general idea of the different areas in medicine and to also experience what specialized doctors do in their field on a daily basis.

What would a typical day of medical rotations be like?

Students will participate in two medical rotations and a three-hour lab in a day.

What do I need to bring for medical rotations?

You should bring a white lab coat and a notebook. You will receive a medical information booklet upon arrival.

Do I need to speak spanish to participate in this program?

It is not necessary, as you will be provided with doctors and tutors who are able to speak English fluently.