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ECUADOR

CARE FOR CHILDREN AT A PUBLIC CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL IN QUITO, ECUADOR

Children from all over Ecuador are taken into in this public hospital with a range of short and long term medical conditions. You'll help to keep them cheerful and optimistic during their stay with games and other recreational activities, as well as providing educational support to those who've been in hospital a long time. You'll pay particular attention to any children who have been in the hospital a long time. Often these children miss a large part of their school education and so need help with basic tutoring and where possible, some English lessons.

You'll need a little Spanish to do this project, but we've got that covered! If you have no knowledge of Spanish at all, you can combine your project with two weeks of Spanish.

SUMMARY: THE BASICS

Price: £875 (approx. US$1,090) for 2 weeks
£1,025 (approx. US$1,275) for 3 weeks
£1,165 (approx. US$1,450) for 4 weeks
£170 (US$215) for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & prices in other currencies
Duration: From 2 weeks to 12 weeks, subject to visa requirements
Start Dates: All year round – you choose your start and finish dates. You should ideally arrive at the weekend, between 8.00 a.m. and 7.00 p.m.
Requirements: Minimum age 17, no qualifications necessary (just a good dose of enthusiasm!). You'll need a little Spanish to do this project, but if you have no knowledge of Spanish at all, you can combine your project with a 1-week intensive Spanish Course in Quito prior to starting your project.
What's included: Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Accommodation
Meeting you at the nearest Airport
Transfer to your accommodation
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Free T-shirt
Certificate of Completion
What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), Food (unless living with a host family, when food is provided Monday to Friday), Return transfer to the airport.
Who can do this Project? All projects are open to all nationalities and all ages over 17.
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in caring for children, teaching or working with children overseas while doing voluntary work, projects abroad or study abroad.
Also available as a summer placement or short break in Ecuador or Central America, or caring for children in a hospital setting.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT

  • An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping disadvantaged children and knowing that you made a difference to them.
  • An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
  • An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
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ANY QUESTIONS?

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WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION

In this large, public hospital in Quito, medical treatment is given to children from all over Ecuador, many from the poorest families. There are many sick children with a range of conditions - most are aged between 0 and 15. Their families often come with them, but due to space limitations, there's usually only room for one parent to stay.

In the hospital, there is a centre for Children called "Ludoteca", which gives them space to heal from their injuries, and keeps them entertained during their recuperation period - which for many can be a lengthy process. Around 50 children each day visit this area of the hospital for recreational activities and games. For those children who cannot move or walk by themselves, activities are taken to them - usually this is done alongside another person from the hospital staff.

As well as going to "Ludoteca" to help with recreational activities and games, you'll pay particular attention to any children who have been in the hospital a long time. Often these children miss a large part of their school education and so need help with basic tutoring and where possible, some English lessons. If you wish to, there will also be plenty of opportunities to interact in Spanish, with either the children or their parents.

If there are any other educational activities you wish to work on with the children, please do not be afraid to ask your project coordinator. The hospital is grateful of any help you can give them, so if you have a special talent, the Hospitalwould love you to share it with the children.

This placement is very intensive as you will be working with some severely disabled and disadvantaged children and this can be distressing. It is frustrating to see the lack of social services and aids for disabled children in comparison to a developed country. But this means that your work is even more important. Even a minimal amount of effort on your part brings a great deal of happiness into the lives of the children you'll be working with.

WORKING HOURS:
Work is available between 10:00am - 4:30pm, Monday to Friday, either for the full day or for a 3 - 4 hour period. There is plenty of flexibility, depending on your preferences: the staff will be delighted to have an extra pair of hands. Just discuss on arrival with your project coordinator the times that you wish to work.

ACCOMMODATION

You'll either stay in a house with other volunteers or you can choose to live with a host family, depending on your preferences/availability. Staying with a host family does mean a small supplementary fee.

The Volunteer House is located in a tourist area, 'La Mariscal', near to where all Spanish lessons are held and where there is plenty of nightlife, restaurants and internet cafes. The house has 7 rooms and accommodates 17. There is a large, fully equipped kitchen, a TV room with a DVD player, wireless internet, 2 safety boxes and a garden with hammocks and a BBQ area. All bathrooms have hot water and there is a cleaning lady 5 days a week.

Wi-Fi / Internet: There is Wi-Fi / Internet available in the accommodation.

FOOD:
Food is not included in this project (unless you choose to live with a host family, when food is provided on Mondays to Fridays.

Accommodation with host families means that you get to eat, sleep, work, socialise and generally live like an Ecuadorian! Many of our volunteers remain friends with their host families long after they leave Ecuador and in some cases they return to the country later especially to visit their family.

Whichever accommodation you choose, you're sure to enjoy a great stay in Quito!

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

YOUR SAFETY, SUPPORT AND BACKUP:
Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.

Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT?

Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

VOLUNTEERING WITH CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS
As well as protecting all our volunteers, Travellers Worldwide is committed to all our projects and dedicated to practices which protect children and vulnerable adults from harm. Read Travellers' Child Care and Vulnerable Adults Policy.

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN ECUADOR info@travellersworldwide.com DOWNLOAD THIS INFORMATION in .pdf How to Fundraise for your Program

ANY QUESTIONS?

Please with any questions and include your phone number, if possible, to help us give you the best possible response.

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OPTIONAL ADD-ON ACTIVITIES:

Make the most of your time there! To help you do that, we've put together some exciting activities, courses and tours that you can add to your itinerary. These are designed to be fun, but also to enable you to learn, and expand your personal and professional development enjoyment ... but mostly for your enjoyment! :-)

Spanish Lessons Optional Add-On in Ecuador

1-WEEK SPANISH COURSE PRIOR TO STARTING YOUR MAIN PROJECT:
¿Cómo se dice en Español??? There is no better way to learn a language than to live it, eat it, breathe it and speak it in a Spanish-speaking community!! You can learn Spanish as an Optional Add-On to your main Project.
Prices:

  • OPTION 1: One-Week Intensive Spanish GROUP Course:
    20 Hours per Week: £385, includes accommodation for the week
  • OPTION 2: One-Week Intensive Spanish PRIVATE Course:
    20 Hours per Week: £435, includes accommodation for the week
  • OPTION 3: One-Week Super-Intensive Spanish Course: (If you have no Spanish at all and are doing a project in the Galapagos or one of the Conservation projects near Puyo, you'll be required to take this course.):
    20 Hours per Week Group Lessons PLUS 10 Hours per Week Private Lessons, 30 Hours in total:
    £495, includes accommodation for the week

All the teachers at the school have taught Spanish for 8 or more years and between them they have developed a great many resources to make the lessons lively and fun. The classes are highly focused on the development of communication skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing.) The school also periodically organise interesting and enjoyable activities in order to introduce the Ecuadorian and Latin culture to their students - most recently they've been cooking Ecuadorian dishes in classes! It's a great, fun way to learn!

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Learn Spanish in Ecuador, having fun!

SPANISH LESSONS CONCURRENT WITH YOUR MAIN PROJECT:
Price:
10 Hours Private Lessons per Week: £75 per week
20 Hours Group Lessons per Week: £150 per week.

GROUP LESSONS: There are usually a maximum of 6 students per group.
PRIVATE LESSONS: One-to-one tuition. If you prefer to tailor your lessons, you could choose how many hours of lessons you'd like a week - from 2 to 40!

LOCATION:
Quito is a wonderful city, with a population of 2.4 million inhabitants. It is full of exciting history to explore. There is always something to do in Quito, whether you'd like to experience some culture or join in with the cosmopolitan, modern way of life. Cultural highlights include the old town, the cable car and the Equator, museums and monuments. There is also a range of shopping malls, a zoo, an ice skating rink, and plenty of restaurants and bars serving wonderful cocktails and tasty food.

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Learn Spanish in Ecuador Learn Spanish in Ecuador Learn Spanish in Ecuador Learn Spanish in Ecuador

Terms and Conditions apply for Add-Ons, please see here.

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LOCATION | SIGHTSEEING:

LOCATION - PUYO:
Puyo is the provincial capital of Pastaza housing some 25,000 residents. It also provides a crossroads for visitors arranging various tours to the jungle and forest reserves. If you're an early riser, the views of the incoming rolling mists are spectacular dissipating into cloud form as the day rolls on. This attractive jungle town is also the crossover point for further onward routes into the northern and southern oriente as well as travelers journeying back to Baños and Ambato.

In recent years, Puyo has become noted by tourists for its incredible natural beauty. Surrounded by mountains, forest, rivers and natural valleys, the abundance of surrounding wildlife and scenery is absolutely breathtaking. The city also has a good infrastructure, providing visitors with good accommodation and a variety of activities. The annual festivals that are celebrated by the locals are also a special treat.

QUITO:
Ecuador's capital, Quito, lies in the north of the country, some 15 miles from the equator and with the Andean Mountains and valleys as a backdrop. It's 10,000ft altitude keeps it cool, with spring like temperatures year round. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in the 1970's for its preserved historic Latin quarter. The city also contains a thriving 'new town' popular with younger generations for its restaurants, shopping and nightlife. There are lots of restaurants and "Patio de Comidas" where you can pick up an excellent value lunch or dinner.

There is always something to do in Quito, whether you'd like to experience some culture or join in with the cosmopolitan, modern way of life. Cultural highlights include the old town, the cable car and the equator, along with a multitude of museums and monuments. Modern highlights include a range of shopping malls, a zoo, an ice skating rink, and plenty of restaurants and bars serving wonderful cocktails and tasty food - you'll find anything from traditional Ecuadorian cuisine to Thai and Italian!

GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS:
The Galápagos islands lie some 600 miles from the coastline of Ecuador. Formed by volcanic eruptions into the sea, they contain species found nowhere else on the planet and are one of the most significant sites in the world; most notably because this is where Charles Darwin's theories of evolution were inspired and shaped. This rocky and at first glance inhospitable terrain is home to giant tortoise, swimming iguanas and fearless blue footed boobies.

The marine reserve here is equally impressive, boasting encounters for divers and snorkellers with penguins, marine turtles, manta rays and sea lions, amongst others. Around 90% of the islands are protected areas, with visitor numbers restricted and some sites off limits altogether to ensure conservation.

THE AMAZON:
The Amazon is the worlds largest remaining tropical rainforest, occupying about one third of Ecuador. To get some idea of its scale, first you need to know that Ecuador's share of the Amazon represents just 2% of the whole rainforest; most of it belonging to Brazil (60%) followed by Peru (13%). Important nevertheless as the Amazon in Ecuador remains relatively untouched, has good infrastructure to make for easy visitation and is home to numerous indigenous settlements which welcome outsiders.

THE ANDES:
One of the greatest mountain ranges in the world, they split Ecuador in two running from the north of the country down. Indigenous communities have cultivated the land in the Andean Highlands for thousands of years, selling their produce in bustling market towns. Catch a glimpse of the abundantly colourful markets, showcasing traditions of ancient civilizations and Inca descendants.

Mountaineers will love the peaks of the 'Avenue of Volcanoes' an area in the central highlands with a number of active volcanoes. Whilst each climb is different and most are incredibly challenging, the rewards along the way are numerous. Dense forest, waterfalls and spectacular views across the valleys below await the intrepid few. Other hot pursuits in this region include walking, rafting, biking or camping.

PACIFIC COASTLINE:
This 2000km coast is fringed with pristine sand beaches, sweeping bays, mangrove forests, crashing waves and tranquil fishing villages. The ports and fishing villages are an important part of Ecuador's economy, delivering fresh sea food and imported goods. At certain times of the year you can see Humpback whales arriving from Antarctic waters to mate; splashing their fins and exhaling gushes of water. Marine birds are also in abundance along the pacific coastline, with sightings of the albatross, one of natures largest birds, being common.

TRAVEL:

Read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country.

REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK:

CATRIONA JONES
British
Care for Children at a Children's Hospital in Quito

1. I feel I am gaining experience of a developing country and a completely different culture. It is so different to live and work in a country as opposed to just having a holiday. I am also gaining experience of speaking in a different language and communicating with people who speak no English. This is the first time I have really travelled by myself and meeting so many new people because of this.

2. The best thing about my placement so far is all the new people from different backgrounds thar I am meeting, hearing lots of different stories, learning more about different cultures, foods, languages.

3. I would recommend this placement to anyone looking for a change, different experiences and a country with such a variety of activities, scenery, places to visit.

4. This placement suits an open minded and flexible person with the willing to learn or practise a different language. For the placements with children, patience and enthusiasm is needed in abundance.

5. I can't think of any improvements at the moment.

... A typical day in the children's hospital involved starting at 9, helping set out and serve breakfast for the mothers of the inpatients, then opening the playroom for the children. Giving out games as needed, making a note of all the children attending, sometimes going round the wards to invite the children to the playroom, playing with the kids until their lunchtime. I went back to my host family for lunch at 12.30, returning to the hospital at 2 till 3 and playing more with the children and then I had spanish classes from 3.30 to 5.30 at the school.

Thanks for all your help and patience in organising this experience.

AIMS AND ACHIEVEMENTS:

The Challenges
As it is a public hospital, most of the children who receive treatment come from poor families and although it is state-funded, there is not enough money to provide free treatment for all. Therefore, parents have to find a way of covering their child’s medical costs.

Children who are well enough are allowed to go to the play area after the morning rounds to play games and carry out other recreational activities. They enjoy being able to go somewhere else and not be in their beds on the wards all day.

Our Goals
Our principal goal is to play with, motivate and get to know these children, to make them smile and forget about their worries. As some of these children are long-term patients at the hospital, they miss a large part of their school education. Volunteers can contribute significantly to ensuring these children do't fall too far behind. Volunteers generally take the initiative to give English, Maths, Music lessons, or indeed any educational activity, to the children and/or parents. Both find this help invaluable in helping the children to adjust back into normal life when returning to school.

Our Achievements:
Being in hospital for so long means the children miss valuable education. Our volunteers have been able to educate the children in English and in other subjects. They have given the children a chance to catch up on what they missed during their illness.

We’ve also been able to build extra rooms to help the parents and guardians of the children to stay with the children and thus help to give comfort to sick children who need it.