About Deaf Education in Ecuador
World Endeavors Deaf Education volunteers devote their time and energy to a school for Deaf students in Guayaquil. Volunteers may help teachers prepare and present lessons, tutor students to supplement class work, and provide one-on-one homework assistance. Depending on their skills and experience, volunteers may also lead extracurricular activities such as painting, drawing, dance, sports, and games. Volunteers with sign language experience find this project an excellent opportunity to put their skills to use and learn some Ecuadorian sign. Volunteers who do not know sign language can also contribute in useful ways, lending a helping hand to the teachers and offering Deaf students a window onto the wider world.
A Typical Day in the Life of a Volunteer in Ecuador
World Endeavors volunteers in Ecuador can expect their days to be a combination of meaningful volunteer work, cultural experiences, and free time for relaxation and reflection. The sample schedule below represents a typical day for a volunteer in Ecuador. Keep in mind that when volunteering abroad, a typical day can be anything but typical!
8:00 am: Breakfast with your host family. Breakfast in Ecuador often consists of fresh tropical fruit, toast or a small pastry, and a cup of locally grown coffee.
8:45 am: Travel by city bus to your volunteer placement.
9:00 pm – 12:00 pm: Work at volunteer placement
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Light lunch at work. Volunteers grab a quick bite to eat—fresh fruit from the market, pan de yuca, etc.
1:00 pm – 3:30 pm: Work at volunteer placement
3:30 pm: Ride the bus to Spanish class.
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Spanish class.
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm: If you’re in Guayaquil, use your free time to explore the city, watch a professional soccer match, visit the Iguana Park, walk along the Malecón (Guayaquil’s riverside boardwalk) to see art exhibits, bands, or other performances. For volunteers based in Quito, use your free time to explore the city, stroll through the Old Town, take in the beautiful panoramas at Parque Itchimbía, or ride the Teleférico aerial tram up to the Cruz Loma viewpoint to take in the beautiful views and sip on coca tea to combat the site’s high altitude of 13,300 feet (4,053 m).
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Dinner with friends at one of the city’s many affordable restaurants. Dinners in Ecuador often include rice, beans, meat (chicken, beef, or seafood), and vegetables.
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm: Relax at home, practice your Spanish with your host family, read a book, prepare for tomorrow’s volunteering, or plan a weekend excursion to go swimming, hiking, or kayaking along the coast, go backpacking in the Andes, take a tour through the mangroves in Manglares Churute Ecological Reserve, go bird-watching at the San Jorge Biological Reserve, take a hike through the cloud forests of Mindo and Bellavista, or explore ancient Incan ruins.
Project and class schedules, meals, and free time activities may vary depending on the details of your placement.
Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older. Successful volunteers are hardworking, flexible, and open to truly immersing themselves in Ecuadorian culture.
This experience will influence a lot of my future decisions. Situations in everyday life I can see with different eyes and I have other priorities. One day I want to go back and visit my family and friends there.
-Stephany, Volunteer in Ecuador
Mariana is from New York. She volunteered at a school in Ecuador with the World Endeavors Teaching volunteer program.