What happens after a natural disaster? On Ecuador's Pacific coast, you'll explore how globalization, national policies, and local efforts affect communities long after the disaster itself. Meet locals running community-led recovery efforts and natural resource conservation initiatives! At least two years of high school Spanish (or equivalent) is required for this project.

Length Training
Dates
In-Country
Dates
Ages Application
Deadline
Price
Session A [FULL] 3 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 22–July 12 [FULL]

15–22 The deadline for Session A has passed.

$5,375

If you deferred your participation from a 2020 program, your fee may be lower. Please contact Krista Boscoe at [email protected] for pricing and application details.

Session B [FULL] 3 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.

July 20–Aug 9 [FULL]

15–22 The deadline for Session B has passed.

$5,375

If you deferred your participation from a 2020 program, your fee may be lower. Please contact Krista Boscoe at [email protected] for pricing and application details.

  • Session A [FULL]
  • Length
    3 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 22–July 12 [FULL]

  • Ages
    15–22
  • Application Deadline
    The deadline for Session A has passed.
  • Price

    $5,375

    If you deferred your participation from a 2020 program, your fee may be lower. Please contact Krista Boscoe at [email protected] for pricing and application details.

  • Session B [FULL]
  • Length
    3 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

    July 20–Aug 9 [FULL]

  • Ages
    15–22
  • Application Deadline
    The deadline for Session B has passed.
  • Price

    $5,375

    If you deferred your participation from a 2020 program, your fee may be lower. Please contact Krista Boscoe at [email protected] for pricing and application details.

About the Project

Project Type

Pod-based. Maximum enrollment is 20. Two spots are reserved for youth from Ecuador!

Spanish

You’ll get to practice Spanish on this project! At least two years of high school Spanish (or the equivalent) is required.

Climate

Coastal. Daytime temperatures can be hot!

Food

Corviches = Deep fried plantain stuffed with peanut sauce and fish
Encebollado = Traditional Ecuadorian soup made from onions and tuna

Pacific Ocean

This region is home to thousands of small-scale fishermen, giving it a vibrant yet laid back attitude. This area is renowned for its magnificent coastline and rich waters. Surfers from around the world have been flocking to enjoy its beaches for decades!

Natural Resources

Ensuring community wellbeing in this area can depend heavily on natural resource—specifically, marine resource—conservation. Learn about community-wide efforts to conserve marine resources and how these initiatives can mitigate the detrimental effects of natural disasters.

Bahía de Caráquez, Ecuador
Find out more about this program

Join an online info session!

RSVP HERE

Focus on Climate Change and Natural Disasters

Rebuilding After Disasters

Manabí and Santa Elena provinces are areas where challenges from natural disasters and climate change are most pressing. In this region, you’ll learn about the relationship between marine conservation and community wellbeing. Meet community members and learn how challenges from climate change and natural disasters have impacted their lives.

 

Partner Agency

An NGO that focuses on child protection, education, economic security, emergencies, health, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Earn 40 service hours while volunteering with this organization!

 

Example Activities

  • Visit an area that has been impacted by natural disasters. Hear from community members about how the town has moved forward.
  • Volunteer with reforestation efforts that help mitigate natural disasters
  • Visit local businesses dedicated to cacao production and export (and taste some delicious chocolate!)
  • Explore beaches, national parks, and museums along Ecuador’s Pacific coastline

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 Day in the Life

Days 1–6 (Quarantine Period)

  • Wake up and have breakfast in small groups
  • Morning: Rotating schedule of activities, including Spanish classes, orientation, explore topics like sustainable construction and local youth-led environmental protection initiatives
  • Lunch outside
  • Afternoon: Rotating schedule of activities—Spanish classes, briefing, etc. in small groups
  • Free time to explore the grounds
  • Dinner in small groups
  • After Dinner: free time, fun group activities

 

Day 7–End of Project

  • Wake up and eat breakfast as a group
  • Morning: volunteer on a community service project, take part in fun intercultural and leadership activities
  • Lunch outside
  • Afternoon: relax on the beach and spot sea lions, visit national parks, and hear from people involved in the fishing industry. Meet local community members and take part in fun activities led by the group!
  • Dinner
  • After Dinner: fun group bonding, free time to relax
Find out more about AMIGOS programs

Info Session

Why Choose AMIGOS?

Have an Adventure

Travel to must-see spots in your host country! You’ll travel as a group to experience unique destinations like volcanoes, ancient ruins, national parks, and historical sites. 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 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. 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.

Training for AMIGOS and Beyond

Prepare for AMIGOS through guided training in topics like: cultural humility, health and safety, emotional intelligence, travel safety, Spanish, leadership, and team building.

Upon arrival in the field, you’ll start country-specific training with your pod. During your time abroad, you’ll meet regularly with an AMIGOS staff member who serves as your mentor.

AMIGOS has been an integral part of my personal growth. I believe my AMIGOS commitment helped me get into Yale.
—Rosa, AMIGOS Volunteer

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
  • Two years of high school Spanish (or equivalent)
Apply Now

Field Notes

Meet Lauren, the Project Director on the Nueva Segovia y Leon, Nicaragua project this summer!

"My name is Lauren and I am the Project Director for the summer 2021 program in Nicaragua. I am originally from Boston, but I earned my B.A. in Spanish at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. I really enjoy working with young adults, as well as exposing myself to new cultures. As such, I am looking forward to a meaningful and exciting summer in Nicaragua with all of our volunteers.

¡Hola! Me llamo Lauren, y soy la Directora del Proyecto en Nicaragua este verano. Soy de Boston, y hice mi bachillerato en Español en el College of Charleston. Además de viajar, me gusta mucho apoyar a adultos jóvenes a desarrollar sus capacidades y compartir mi pasión por viajar. Espero poder pasar un verano significativo con todos los voluntarios."
...

Today, our staff are observing Juneteenth as a paid holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States and was long overdue for federal recognition as a national holiday. AMIGOS believes honoring this holiday is one small step towards creating a more just and equitable society for everyone. We encourage everyone to spend this time in reflection, education, and action in service of racial justice. Below, we have included a link to resources to celebrate, understand the history, and recognize the importance of commemorating this holiday.

Sam Collins, co-chair of the Juneteenth Legacy Project says: "Juneteenth celebrates the evolution of our country to a more perfect union. We were not perfect in 1528, 1619, 1776, 1865 — or even today in 2021. But hopefully by studying this history and expanding the narrative to tell a more complete story of what happened, we will get a truer sense of our American history."

Additional resources are outlined at the link in our bio.

Image: Juneteenth Flag designed by activist Ben Haith in 1997
...

Looking for a gap program? Applications are open for our Gap Program in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colorado!

Emma, an AMIGOS Gap Program volunteer, says, "The things you will learn and experience, the relationships you will build, and the joy and love you will feel are irreplaceable and will remain with you through the rest of your life."

Explore our programs at the link in our bio!
...

Updates from the field! Volunteers arrived in Nicaragua and Costa Rica last week, on the @amigosnuevasegovia and @amigoslossantos_cr projects.

In Los Santos, volunteers have enjoyed morning hikes and card games during the day.

Stay tuned for more updates!
...

Saludos desde Costa Rica!

Our staff teams on our Montanas y Mar and Costa Atlantica projects are so excited to greet volunteers, who will arrive tomorrow for @amigosmontanasymar and June 29 for @amigosmonteverde!

Check out this short video introduction to the projects — can you guess the animal that our volunteers will support wildlife protection efforts for? (Hint: they nest on the beaches!)
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Curious about how to find the right gap program for you?

First, make sure the programs you're researching are accredited by the Gap Year Association (ours are accredited too!) After that, consider these five factors when choosing a gap program:

1. Consider the Program Outcomes
2. Consider Your Interests
3. Consider the Time Frame
4. Consider the Destination
5. Consider the Program Theme

Read more about each of these reasons, and explore AMIGOS Gap Programs, at the link in our bio!
...

Today is your LAST chance to complete our alumni engagement survey!

Every day, our alumni fulfill our vision of a world where all people are lifelong leaders sharing responsibility for our global community. Your feedback will help us develop an alumni engagement program that complements our work and brings alumni like you together in the ways that you desire.

Link in bio!

¡Hoy es su última oportunidad de completar nuestra encuesta de participación de ex alumnos!
Cada día, nuestros alumnos cumplen nuestra visión de un mundo en el que todas las personas sean líderes de por vida que comparten la responsabilidad de nuestra comunidad global. Sus respuestas nos ayudarán a desarrollar un programa de participación de ex alumnos, que complementa nuestro trabajo y reúne a ex alumnos como usted de la manera que desee.

¡El enlace a la encuesta está en nuestra bio!
...

In June, we recognize the origins and history of Pride Month. AMIGOS believes in the power and wisdom of queer voices, and we invite you to follow @them, @pride, @mpjinstitute, @glaad, and @queerty and check out the articles in our bio to learn more. ...

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