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 herd your family’s llamas.
Throughout the summer, work with local teens to grow their micro-enterprise. This project gives you the opportunity to travel with your community counterparts to entrepreneurship workshops, build your business savvy, and design a sustainable micro-enterprise. Together with teens from your community, work on your business pitch and plan a project budget, then defend your business in a competition to win extra funding for your project.

About the Region


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

Project Features

AMIGOS participants increase their language ability through immersion that goes beyond what can be achieved in a classroom. They improve their fluency, learn local slang, and increase their confidence with real-world practice.
Living with a host family is central to the AMIGOS experience. All host families volunteer to open their homes to young people from another culture. Participants and host families build long-lasting relationships and often stay in touch after the project has closed.
While in country, AMIGOS participants work on a community-led service project. Every service project is unique, but each channels young people's ideas to create postive change.
The opportunity for independence and self direction makes AMIGOS unique. Participants shape their time in country according to their passions. the possibilities are endless - what each participants takes out of their experience is up to them!
Every Amigo is mentored by a member of our project leadership team through regular check-ins and personalized feedback. This allows participants to experience the independence hat sets out programs apart, with the support of a passionate facilitator.
Participants build their leadership and community development skills through hands-on training. Not only is AMIGOS training fun and engaging, it gives participants the necessary tools for success in the field and beyond.
  • National Participants
  • Length
    7 weeks
  • Training Dates
    Houston Gateway Training
    June 22 - June 26
  • In-Country Dates
    June 26 – August 15
  • Ages
    15 - 22
  • Price
    $6,275 (includes international airfare)
Want to go to Ecuador?

Applications for summer 2018 are closed, but you can sign up to find out when our 2019 programs are announced!

AMIGOS absolutely changed my life. Through the challenging experiences I faced as a volunteer and project staff member I proved to myself what I am capable of accomplishing and now when I face an obstacle I have concrete examples to look back on and prove to myself that I am capable of accomplishing whatever I set my mind to.
2013 Summer Program Participant
Program Requirements
  • Meet the health criteria for AMIGOS participation and follow the mental health procedures if necessary
  • Receive required immunizations and medications
  • Be at least 16 years old by December 31st, 2018
  • Have two years of Spanish study or the equivalent

Chimborazo Project Itinerary

*Dates may be subject to change.

June 26 – Participants arrive. Project Leadership Teams pick them up at the airport and the group travels to the briefing site, in Guamote.

June 27 – 30 – Briefing. Project Leadership Teams lead all participants in a country-specific orientation to AMIGOS and the Chimborazo Project.

July 1 – Participants head to community. Week 1 of Extracurricular Activities, fun sessions for local youth that focus on specific topics. Week 1’s topic is “Getting to know my community.”

July 8 – Week 2 of Extracurricular Activities: Health and Hygiene

July 14 – 15 – Youth Encuentro – Capacity building workshops held for local youth.

July 15 – Week 3 of Extracurricular Activities: The Environment and the Human Impact

July 22 – Week 4 of Extracurricular Activities: Self-Esteem

Weekend of July 21 – 22 – Midterm. Supervisors organize a time to relax with all the Chimborazo participants and the Project Leadership Team. Participants will have an option to call home during this time.

July 28 – 29 – Youth Encuentro

July 29 – Week 5 of Extracurricular Activities: Critical Thinking

August 5 – Week 6 of Extracurricular Activities: Future Plans/Life Trajectory. Project-wide despedida (goodbye party) will be held this weekend.

August 12 – 15 – Participants leave their communities and come together for debriefing: a workshop to process their experiences together and prepare for their return home. Debriefing is also a chance to experience some of the attractions in and around Quito.

August 15 – Participants depart.