High in the Andes mountains, immerse yourself in the life of rural Ecuador. During your time in the community, you might learn to harvest potatoes alongside your host dad or help your host sister milk the family's cows. Throughout the summer, volunteer alongside Ecuadorian students to develop and support entrepreneurship and community development initiatives.

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Length Training
Dates
In-Country
Dates
Ages Application
Deadline
Price
Ecuador: Chimborazo 6 Weeks

Online training on COVID-19, health and safety, mental health, travel, and AMIGOS history before departure. Leadership and orientation training take place in-country.

June 13–July 24, 2023

15–19 Financial Assistance and Local Chapter Deadline: January 17, 2023

Final Deadline: April 18, 2023

$4,875 – Local Chapter (Find out more about joining AMIGOS through a local chapter here)

$6,375 – National Chapter

Fees include all in-country expenses.

Financial assistance is available! Click here for more information.

  • Ecuador: Chimborazo
  • Length
    6 Weeks
  • Training Dates

    Online training on COVID-19, health and safety, mental health, travel, and AMIGOS history before departure. Leadership and orientation training take place in-country.

  • In-Country Dates

    June 13–July 24, 2023

  • Ages
    15–19
  • Application Deadline
    Financial Assistance and Local Chapter Deadline: January 17, 2023

    Final Deadline: April 18, 2023
  • Price

    $4,875 – Local Chapter (Find out more about joining AMIGOS through a local chapter here)

    $6,375 – National Chapter

    Fees include all in-country expenses.

    Financial assistance is available! Click here for more information.

About the Project

PROJECT TYPE

Homestay – you’ll live with a host family and be placed in a community with one or two other AMIGOS volunteers.  

Live and volunteer in rural, indigenous communities. Have the privilege of learning about and experiencing the cultural traditions and belief systems of your host families and community members.

*Please note that while host families will be encouraged to receive at least two doses of the COVID vaccine prior to volunteer arrival for their own safety, full vaccination will not be a requirement for host families on this project.

CLIMATE

Cool and dry. The terrain is mountainous. Daytime temperatures range from 45°F to 65°F and often drop below freezing at night.

TERRAIN

High altitude in the Andes mountains

SLANG

achachai = Kichwa for “how cold!”

SERVICE HOURS

Earn 72 service hours on this project.

FOOD

Potatoes, cuy (guinea pig)

It is particularly important for volunteers on the Chimborazo Project to be flexible with meals.

*Vegetarian and vegan diets cannot be accommodated due to respect for local cuisine and food availability.  

CROPS

Potatoes, Andean tubers, quinoa, Andean corn, barley, and onions.

CITIZENS

Ecuatorianos, Riobambeños

EXAMPLE VOLUNTEER PROJECTS

Building a cuy farm
Supporting trout farming initiatives
Production and sale of artisan goods like bracelets, hats, sweaters, or jewelry
Community banking or microlending projects
Hair salon

EXAMPLE DAY

Morning: Wake up early to milk the cows, prepare breakfast, and help with other chores. Get together with AMIGOS partner(s) to plan leadership and entrepreneurship activities for students in your community or work on your community service project. Go to lunch.

Afternoon: Lead activities for kids and then work in the fields to plant and harvest crops alongside your host family. Go on a hike and take in the spectacular views of the Andean highlands or start a game of soccer in the community center.

Evening: Eat dinner, chat with your host family, practice some Kichwa (an Andean indigenous language spoken both in the Sierra and Amazon regions of Ecuador), and play games with your host siblings. Go to bed and get ready for another day!

Chimborazo, Ecuador
a host mom holding the hand of her host daughter in a field in Ecuador
Find out more about our programs

Join an online info session!

RSVP HERE

What You'll Do

Youth ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Throughout the summer, you’ll work with Ecuadorian students on entrepreneurial projects. You will travel to regional workshops, build your business savvy, and work on sustainable, youth-led microenterprises. Past projects include: the production and sale of artisan goods; community banking or microlending; cuy (guinea pig) farms; beekeeping; and hair salons. This summer, students may have the opportunity to support the expansion of rural tourism initiatives, community microlending, and trout farms.  

 

Partner AgencY

AMIGOS has worked with our partner in this region for over 10 years. They are well-respected and have long-standing relationships with communities all over the country. AMIGOS volunteers will plug into our partner organization’s initiatives in local communities in and around Chimborazo province.  

 

Example Activities

  • Enjoy quality time with your host family
  • Play games with your host siblings
  • Hike part of Volcán Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador and the closest place on Earth to the Moon!
  • Earn 72 service hours volunteering on youth microenterprise projects
  • Join in on a game of Ecuavolley, an Ecuadorian version of volleyball

A Day in the Life

*This is an example itinerary based on previous projects. Dates, topics, and activities may be subject to change.

Days 1–5

Volunteers arrive. Project staff meet them at the airport in Quito and the group travels together to the briefing site in a community in Riobamba.

Briefing. Project staff lead all volunteers in a country-specific orientation to AMIGOS and the Chimborazo Project. Meet all the other students on your project and spend a few days getting to know each other, learning about Ecuador, and doing fun activities! After briefing, project staff bring volunteers to their host communities to meet their host families.

Day 5–39

Meet your host family and settle into your new home for the next month! Get a tour of your community and get to know youth leaders and other important community members you may be working with.

During your time with your host family, you’ll implement a service project and lead day camp activities for kids like English practice and playing sports. Spend time with local community members, learn to cook traditional dishes, milk cows, raise trout, and learn some Kichwa words!

Final Days in Community

Have a farewell dinner with your host family and members of the community. The next day, leave your host community and meet up with the rest of the AMIGOS volunteers to travel to Quito.

Debriefing

Take excursions to Mitad del Mundo and hop over the Equator between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres! Join in activities with other volunteers to reflect on your time in Ecuador. Explore Quito’s historic center and visit an artisan market to get souvenirs.

Fly home!

Program Pillars

Ethical Service

Learn how to create ethical service initiatives by working with–not for–a community, engaging local organizations and partners, and evaluating the impact of your work. AMIGOS works with trusted local partners that are passionate and committed to working with our volunteers on community service projects.

Cultural Humility

Cultural humility is a process of both self-reflection about your own culture as well as learning about other cultures. You will examine your own beliefs and cultural identity and gain an understanding of how structural racism has impacted societies and the roles that communities can take to lead systemic change.

Leadership

Learn, grow, and discover your leadership potential! Explore your sense of purpose and start to establish your personal goals and values through introspection and inquiry.

A student and a host mom stand outside the house
Apply Now

Click here

Why Choose AMIGOS?

Have an Adventure

Travel off the beaten path and to must-see spots in Ecuador! Live like a local, not a tourist, with a host family in your host community. You’ll get to see these places from the distinct perspective of someone who has spent time in that country and learned about the culture firsthand. Plus, you’ll bond with volunteers and community members and have fun!

Travel with Trust

AMIGOS is the industry leader in health and safety management. Our staff is prepared to help you with any situation that may arise. Each volunteer receives a personalized emergency plan, as well as support from local staff teams and a professional 24-hour On-Call Safety Team of travel specialists, doctors, and mental health specialists. A Health and Wellness Coordinator is on staff with the group throughout the duration of their stay. AMIGOS also has an established network of vetted medical clinics and hospitals throughout the region.

Practice Spanish

AMIGOS programs provide a unique opportunity to experience a new culture. Volunteers report increased fluency in Spanish after completing our program. Activities go far beyond the classroom — you’ll lead activities in Spanish, learn local slang, and increase your confidence with real-world practice. You will not believe how fast your Spanish improves when you use it in conversation every day!

AMIGOS helped me find my voice and my purpose in life. AMIGOS isn’t just a summer volunteering program, it is a path that leads you to appreciate other peoples and cultures, a journey that develops you as a leader, an adventure that makes you realize that you are more capable than you think.

—Eli, Volunteer in Chimborazo, Ecuador

Program Requirements
  • Have taken 2+ years of Spanish or the equivalent
  • Meet the health criteria for AMIGOS participation and follow the mental health procedures if necessary.
  • Receive required immunizations and medications
  • Be age 15–19 on the project start date
Apply Now

Field Notes

Updates from Hannah’s Route

Archive, Chimborazo, Ecuador


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Midterm in Chimborazo

Archive, Chimborazo, Ecuador


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Report from Natalie’s Route

Archive, Chimborazo, Ecuador


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As an alternative to meeting locals, volunteers had been organizing several youth events. This day, a movie was watched and discussed among the people. Thanks Huma for the space! @huma.colab ...

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Vamos Ecuador!! 🇪🇨 ...

Encuentro juvenil 🇪🇨🇺🇸 ...

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Happy photo of a gap year volunteer, her coworkers and supervisors! ...

Con este video le deseamos felices 202 años a la ciudad de Cuenca, sede del programa Gap Year | With this video we wish happy 202 years to the city of Cuenca, the site for the Gap Year program. ...

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