2020 Summer Program suspended due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Read an open letter from our President & CEO here.

High in the Andes mountains, immerse yourself in the life of rural Ecuador. During your time in community, you might learn to harvest potatoes alongside your host dad or help your host sister milk the family's cows. Throughout the summer, work with local students to grow their microenterprise, earning 215 service hours. You'll have the opportunity to travel with your community counterparts and AMIGOS partners to entrepreneurship workshops, build your business savvy, and develop a sustainable microenterprise. Work together on your business pitch and plan a project budget, then defend your community's business in a competition to win extra funding!

Example Itinerary

*This is an example itinerary based on last year’s project. Dates, topics, and activities may be subject to change.

Week 1

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

Week 1

Briefing. Project staff lead all volunteers in a country-specific orientation to AMIGOS and the Chimborazo Project. Meet all 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.

Week 2

Week 1 in community. Lead day camps for local youth with topics like “Getting to Know Your Community” and start thinking about your microenterprise project. You may be working with local youth to start a new project or you may be continuing to develop an existing microenterprise.

Week 3

Week 2 in community. Lead day camps on topics like health and hygiene and start setting goals for your microenterprise project.

Week 4

Week 3 in community. Continue leading day camps on topics like the human impact on the environment and prepare for your Shark Tank-style competition to secure extra funding for your project.

Week 5

Week 4 in community. Continue day camps on topics like self esteem and get ready for midterm, a time to come together with other volunteers and staff on your project, catch up, relax, and share experiences with each other before heading back to your respective communities.

Week 6

Week 5 in community. Day camps on topics like critical thinking and planning for the future.

Final Week

Leave community and come together for debriefing. This is a chance to process, reflect, and prepare to return home. You’ll also get to see sights around Riobamba and hike the Chimborazo Volcano!

Final Day

Fly home!

Length Training
Ages Application
Local Chapter 6 weeks

Find a chapter near you for a local training calendar!

2020 Program suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Read an open letter from our President & CEO.

15–22 -

$4,250 + group fundraising

National Chapter 6 weeks

2020 Program suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Read an open letter from our President & CEO.

15–22 -


About the Region


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


achachai = how cold!


Potatoes, cuy (guinea pig)


High altitude in the Andes mountains


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


Ecuatorianos, Riobambeños

Example Volunteer Projects
  • Building a cuy farm
  • 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 partners to plan day camps for kids 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), and play games with your host siblings. Go to bed and get ready for another day!

Chimborazo, Ecuador

Why Choose AMIGOS?

Learn Spanish

AMIGOS programs provide a unique opportunity to experience a new culture as a local, not a tourist. Volunteers report increased fluency in Spanish after going through 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 everyday!

Make an Impact

AMIGOS works with trusted local partner organizations to identify communities that are passionate and committed to working with our volunteers on community service projects. It has been our experience that a service project is sustainable only when the community owns it and participates in the effort. You will collaborate on a service project with volunteers your own age as well as community members, earning up to 270 service hours.

Gain a New (Host) Family

You’ll get to do way more than just travel — you’ll live with a host family, sharing in their day-to-day life. Become part of your host community, making friends with and working alongside community members. Share holidays, celebrations, and everyday life in a way you can only experience through authentic cultural immersion. AMIGOS volunteers and their host families build long-lasting relationships and often stay in touch after their project ends. All of our host families are vetted and trained before volunteers arrive.

Have an Adventure

Travel to must-see spots in your host country! You’ll travel as a group to experience unique destinations your host country has to offer, like volcanoes, ancient ruins, national parks, and historical sites. You’ll get to see these places from the distinct perspective of someone who has lived in that country and learned about the culture firsthand. Plus, you’ll bond with their fellow volunteers 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. AMIGOS also has an established network of vetted medical clinics and hospitals throughout the region.

Training for AMIGOS and Beyond

Prepare for AMIGOS through guided training in topics like: multicultural understanding, health and safety, community development; travel safety, Spanish, leadership, and team building.

Upon arrival in the field, you’ll start country-specific training with your group of fellow volunteers. During your time abroad, you’ll meet regularly with an AMIGOS staff member who serves as your mentor. Finally, at the end of your service, come together again as a group to participate in debriefing — putting what you learned in context, preparing to go home, and going on fun excursions around the country.

Want to volunteer abroad?

Start your application now!


Partner Agency

Project Director: Alba Loureiro

Alba is from Paraguay and is currently a student at Smith College in Massachusetts. She will graduate in May with a double major in Quantitative Economics and Political Science. Her research and previous academic and professional experience focus on gender, economic empowerment, and climate change.

She is also an AMIGOS alum! Alba served as a Youth Ambassador Paraguay in 2014 and a Project Supervisor in Azuero, Panama in 2017. As a YA, she led a community organization called Se Protagonista, which focused on developing leadership and civic engagement through after school programs in rural Paraguay. As a Project Supervisor, she had a wonderful time in Panama visiting host families and supporting her volunteers in their personal and project development.

Alba loves nature, food, and animals. You can find her hiking or going on walks, baking bread or making pasta, and petting any dogs and cats that cross her path. She speaks Guarani, which is the native language in Paraguay, as well as Portuguese & Spanish. She enjoys terere & mate, so please feel free to join her for a round.

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 Samson, Chimborazo Project Volunteer, 2018

Program Requirements
  • Meet the health criteria for AMIGOS participation and follow the mental health procedures if necessary.
  • Receive required immunizations and medications
  • Be age 15–22 on the project start date
  • Have taken 2 years of Spanish or the equivalent

Read about the Chimborazo Project

Updates from Hannah’s Route

Chimborazo, Ecuador

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Midterm in Chimborazo

Chimborazo, Ecuador

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Report from Natalie’s Route

Chimborazo, Ecuador

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Wish you were still in Latin America with AMIGOS? Now’s your chance to sign up for a second summer!

But don’t wait too long… Our projects are already filling up!
The priority deadline is November 4th so make sure you’ve saved your spot by applying today at apply.amigosinternational.org
Summer is waiting. We’ll see you there 😎

At our second youth encuentro, our volunteers got to experience a true family-style Ecuadorian meal with community members! // Durante El segundo encuentro juvenil, nuestros voluntarios tuvieron la oportunidad de participar en una pambamesa con los miembros de las comunidades! ...

Views of Volcano Chimborazo from Drew and Iliana’s community in Guaranda! // Vistas de volcán Chimborazo de la comunidad de Drew y Iliana en Guaranda!

We couldn’t do what we do without our awesome host families! Susana is a host mom in one of our first year communities. Each day her volunteers help her with the crops and animals, learning more about Andean culture. // No podríamos hacer este programa sin nuestros familias anfitrionas increíbles. Susana es una madre anfitriona en una comunidad nueva. Cada día sus voluntarios ayuden con los cultivos y animales, aprendiendo más de la cultura andina.

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