My experience as a Volunteer in Ecuador
Volunteering to teach English in Ecuador
I had the opportunity to create and collaborate in the Volunteering program in Ecuador during the summers of 2021 and 2022. I would like to share my experiences with the people that might be interested in going to this fabulous country.
Ecuador offers a variety of places, from mountains to seas, including big bustling citifies, quaint smaller towns with all sorts of amenities, as well as remote villages and communities such as Pablo Arenas, close to Montaña de Luz, where the camp was held. Montaña de Luz is a meditation retreat with stunning mountain and valley views and friendly staff that are busy upkeeping the property and preparing locally sourced organic meals. It is a 15 minute walk up a mountain trail from Pablo Arenas.
The first year there were 13 participants and the second year had 18 participants. They were carefully selected for the program by the local church and school. Initially I designed the camp, then my role was buying the material and organizing schedules, games, and finally giving individual help in lessons, etc. The kids were full of energy and eager to learn. They had many questions and were always ready to play. The camp included English lessons, arts and crafts, organized games/sports, and playtime; included lunch and snacks. The camp was offered to the participants free of charge, with Xplorer and Montaña de Luz providing location and food. Also, the kids were lucky to have Andrew as a Native teacher who accepted to volunteer at the camp. Aliana a bilingual American-Ecuadorian girl and I worked as teacher’s assistants.
Ultimately, the camp was a success, and the kids learned a lot and really enjoyed the experience. If the camp continues every summer, including having native English speakers conducting the camp, the kids will be able to speak English relatively well by the end of high school. It is my hope that more organizations join Xplorer in this community service program.
Matthew J, USA
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