2019 Lakeridge Junior High Ecuador Program

2019 Lakeridge Junior High Ecuador Program

Program Highlights

2019 Lakeridge Junior High Ecuador Program

Dates: June 15 to June 24th, 2019   |   Tuition: $4290 Learn More

On this program...

  • Visit the Presidential Palace in Quito
  • Shop at the large market at La Plaza de los Ponchos
  • Stay with host families and work on community service projects in Nanegal
  • Experience ziplining and soak in the hot springs

Group Organizer/s: 

Lakeridge Junior High Contract Info

WTT Contact: 

Gabriel Duncan, gabriel@walkingtree.org, 303-396-5653

Deadlines: TBD

Enroll Now Make a Payment

Dear Families – Welcome to the homepage for the 2019 Lakeridge Junior High Ecuador Program. If this is your first time on this page, please read through the categories under Pre-Enrollment to learn more about this unique travel opportunity, or peruse the other categories as you like.

Once you have enrolled, please check out the Post-Enrollment information. Around one month before departure, we will post the remaining information under Program Prep to review on a call with the entire group. We hope you will join us on the adventure of a lifetime in Ecuador!

Click on the sections above to learn more

Program Itinerary

DayLocationDescriptionLodging
1Portland – QuitoEvening arrival to Quito and transfer to hotel.Sol De Quito Hotel
2Quito – PululahuaStart the day with a tour of historic downtown Quito, one of the most well preserved historic districts in all of South America. We'll visit the Presidential Palace, and ascend the spires of the Basilica del Voto Nacional. In the afternoon, we'll straddle the equator before dining on the edge of Pululahua Volcano, one of the only inhabited volcanic craters in the world.El Crater Hotel
3Pululahua – OtavaloWe'll drive between breathtaking mountains and valleys to Otavalo, where we will spend the day visiting artisan workshops and learning firsthand about Ecuadorian/Andean culture (music, dress, and cuisine). We'll see a presentation from local expert musicians, then have lunch in their home before visiting a local weaver's workshop. We'll finish the day with some shopping at the Plaza de los Ponchos, one of Latin America's most famous artisan markets. We'll dine overlooking the square, and have the chance to sample some delicious Ecuadorian street food.Las Palmeras Inn
4Otavalo - NanegalWe'll descend from the mountains, stopping through small towns along the way, and arrive at our host community of Nanegal. Here we'll meet our homestay families, orient ourselves in the town, and learn about our community service project. In the afternoon, we'll take a hike to a lookout to see the entire valley in which Nanegal is situated. Throughout the program, we'll have the opportunity to interact with local community members in Spanish, participate in cross-cultural exchanges, and learn more about the rich culture of Ecuador.Nanegal Homestays
5NanegalDuring our stay in Nanegal, we'll wake up early to work on our community service project and spend time with host families in the afternoons and evenings. Evening activities will vary, ranging from hikes to waterfalls, swimming in the river, dancing, playing music, farm visits, and generally getting to know the beautiful and unique culture and history of Nanegal.Nanegal Homestays
6NanegalToday, we will work on community service project and spend time with host families. Evening activities will vary (see above).Nanegal Homestays
7NanegalToday, we will work on community service project and spend time with host families. Evening activities will vary (see above).Nanegal Homestays
8Nanegal – PapallactaWe'll finish up work on the service project and have a final thank you meal with community leaders and host families before departing Nanegal. As we ascend into the mountains again, we'll stop and go on a zip-line tour of cloud forest canopy in Nanegalito. We'll travel to Papallacta Hot Springs high in the Andes, and spend our last night soaking in the springs under the stars. We'll have a structured reflection to discuss our experience, and some other group activities.Termas de Papallacta
9Papallacta – Quito – USAWe'll have an optional short hike in the morning to see the ecosystems that characterize the Antisana Reserve, then travel from Papallacta to Quito. We'll ride a cable car up Pichincha Volcano to see a final panoramic of Quito, then have a final goodbye dinner before our international flight later tonight.Airplane
10USAArrive home after an overnight flight!Your Own Bed

Philosophy Of Travel

Our mission is to inspire the next generation to become global leaders by taking an active interest in the world around them. With a dedication to learning, along with an enduring passion for exploring the world, Walking Tree Travel designs transformative and meaningful travel programs that uncover the authentic culture of each destination and inspire students to take action in their local and global community.

Walking Tree Travel stands for a more open, curious, and compassionate approach to travel. We partner with select schools around the world to provide memorable small-group experiences, and invest in cultivating and maintaining longterm relationships with our partner communities. If you are interested in our organization and philosophy of travel, click here to learn more about us.

Accommodations

In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for our students, teachers, and staff, Program Leaders and Country Directors follow strict guidelines when deciding on lodging, making reservations, and assigning program participants to rooms.

Student participants will always be grouped in rooms and/or sleeping areas by gender, and will never share rooms with people who are not associated with Walking Tree. Group Organizers and Program Leaders will be roomed separately from each other and from other students. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three star or equivalent hotels that are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled.
Below are a few examples of our partner hotels. Although these are our preferred providers, they are subject to change based on availability. Your final itinerary will provide complete information on your accommodations in the cities you will be visiting.

 

Aloag: http://haciendalaalegria.com

Quito: www.soldequuito.com

Papallacta: www.termaspapallacta.com

Otavalo: www.laspalmerasinn.com

Pululahua: http://www.elcrater.com/hotel-overview.html

Santa Lucia: www.santaluciaecuador.com

Tuition & Fundraising

Program Tuition Includes

more tuition information

Program Tuition Excludes: Baggages fees, airline minor fees, personal shopping, passport or visa fees, and activities not listed in the itinerary.*

*NOTE: If you are traveling on a program that is completed before September 1, 2018 your basic travel insurance is included. If you are traveling on a program that departs after September 1, 2018 you must purchase travel insurance if you want to have any supplemental coverage beyond what your family’s package may provide. This change is due to new federal regulations.

Estimated Airfare*

International Airfare: In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. We will provide full transparency in cost so that families pay what the flight costs and nothing more. You will be invoiced for the flight once we are able to secure the group’s airline contract.

Standards of Behavior

WTT provides fun, safe, and meaningful programs for our travelers. In order to achieve this goal, it is important that we create an environment of trust, security and respect. All individuals participating in our programs are required to take responsibility for their actions and adhere to a high standard of behavioral conduct. Any of the following are grounds for early dismissal or in-country consequences at our discretion.

ABSOLUTE DISMISSAL

  1. Possessing, consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  2. Associating with participants while they are in possession of or are consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  3. Behaving in a way that consistently damages the group dynamic or jeopardizes personal or group safety. This includes consistently displaying a negative attitude, intimidating or excluding other participants, sneaking out, disobeying group leaders, and any other behavior that is not conducive to an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.

GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL OR IN-COUNTRY CONSEQUENCE

  1. Getting a piercing or tattoo
  2. Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials
  3. Threatening with or using weapons such as firearms, knives, explosives, etc.
  4. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle
  5. Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew
  6. Breaking group rules

These standards of behavior are essential for the successful completion of a travel program. Please take the time to review these rules as a family and make sure everyone understands and agrees to them before choosing to travel with WTT.

Continue to the next section

Passport & Visa Check

Passport & Visa Check

US CITIZENS
Passport must be valid for six months after the final day of your travel program, including one open visa page.
No Visa Requirements for US Citizens traveling to Ecuador.

NON US CITIZENS OR THOSE TRAVELING FROM A COUNTRY OTHER THAN THE USA
Non US citizens should check with their country’s embassy abroad to verify vaccination and visa requirements.
US citizens traveling from a country other than the United States should check the State Department website (www.travel.state.gov) for more information regarding additional visa or vaccine requirements.

Please contact us for further information regarding vaccination and visa requirements.

Health and Safety

We strongly recommend visiting the CDC Ecuador website to get the most updated information on health and vaccination considerations in your destination country. In addition, we encourage you to consult with your personal family physician so you can be as informed as possible when making important decisions about vaccinations and other necessary health-related preparations before travel.

Our in-country staff prepare meticulously for all programs. Walking Tree will register our programs and travelers with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in case of emergency. In country staff also verify the safety records of our partner organizations, vendors, and transportation providers, thoroughly vet homestay families via in depth interviews and home visits, and keep up on important current events in the region.

Program Leaders are seasoned travelers who are CPR and First Aid certified, undergo thorough training in crisis management, and participate in a multi-day leadership training retreat. We do our best to prepare for any eventuality and have detailed emergency protocols for our leaders, in-country staff and U.S.-based staff.

We receive medical disclosures from all participants to ensure we are able to meet every students’ needs during the program. Please inform us immediately of any additional health issues that you did not list during your initial registration process. Program Leaders will also hold an online information session before your departure, as well as an arrival orientation in-country, in order to give participants important instructions on food safety, hygiene and preventing injury and illness. Leaders and in-country staff always respond immediately to any mental, physical or emotional health issues and follow comprehensive emergency protocols.

Travel Insurance

 

While we work hard to ensure the safest experience possible for our travelers while on program, experience has taught us that travel is never without risk. For this reason, we suggest you consider purchasing travel insurance which would cover you in the event your student needs to withdraw before travel due to a covered reason, loses baggage in route or encounters an emergency while traveling, among other unforeseen circumstances. Please see a summary of a plan below and follow the link for a more detailed explanation or to purchase the plan for your traveler.

Premier*
Trip Cancellation Up to 100% of Trip Cost
Reimburses your prepaid, non-refundable expenses if you must cancel your trip due to a covered reason.
Maximum coverage: $100,000.

Trip Interruption Up to 150% of Trip Cost
Reimburses for the unused, non-refundable portion of your trip and for the increased transportation costs it takes for you to return home or to continue your trip due to a covered reason. Maximum coverage: $150,000.

Missed Connection $1,600
Reimburses for covered expenses resulting from a covered delay that causes you to miss your scheduled flight or cruise.

Travel Delay $1,600
Receive up to $200 per day per person to cover additional accommodation/travel expenses and lost prepaid expenses due to a departure delay of six or more hours.

Medical Protection: 
Emergency Medical and Dental $50,000
-This primary coverage provides reimbursement for expenses incurred during your trip due to covered medical and dental emergencies. No deductible.
-$750 maximum for emergency dental care.

Baggage Protection
Baggage Loss/Damage $2,000
Covers loss, damage or theft of baggage and personal effects.

Baggage Delay $600
Covers the reasonable additional purchase of essential items during your trip if your baggage is delayed or misdirected by a common carrier for 24 hours or more. Receipts for emergency purchases are required.

Assistance Services
Emergency Medical Transportation $1,000,000
Provides medically necessary transportation to the nearest appropriate facility following a covered injury or illness. Also covers the cost of your transportation back home following a covered injury or illness.

24-Hour Hotline Help Included
Help is just a phone call away with Allianz Global Assistance. Our staff of multilingual problem solvers is available to help you with a medical, legal or travel-related emergency.

*Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Insurance benefits underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated “A­” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101­C series or 101­P series, depending on your state of residence. Plan(s) may not be available in all jurisdictions. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are marks of AGA Service Company or its affiliates. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of this plan and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson InsuranceCompany. Non­Insurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company. Consumer may be responsible for charges incurred from outside vendors for assistance or concierge services. Contact AGA Service Company at 800­284­8300 or 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233 or customerservice@allianzassistance.com.

Global Leadership Curriculum

WTT has developed a curriculum that helps each of our travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple, engaging tools are meant to spark discussion, frame the experience, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively both on our programs and in the future.

For more information about student learning objectives and the format of the curriculum, click on the ‘learn more’ button below.

Learn More About the GLC

To view and complete the Pre-Program Activities, visit our online portal at the button below.

Pre-Program Activity Portal

Language Resources

DUOLINGO

Want to learn a new language and be better prepared for your travel program? Duolingo is the easiest, most entertaining way to start learning and using a new language right away! The more you practice, the more you’ll be able to communicate with locals in your host country and help your fellow travelers navigate a foreign environment.

Tap the Duolingo owl to get started, or download the app to your mobile phone.

duolingo owl logo

Continue to the next section

Travel Day Details

Group Flight Information

Program participants will meet the group organizer at the below airline check-in counter three hours before the departure flight. If you have trouble locating the group, please notify your group organizer or contact WTT.

DEPARTURE FROM USA
Airline:
Flight:
Date:
Departs:
Arrives:

RETURN TO USA
Airline:

Flight:
Date:
Departs:
Arrives:

A NOTE ON FLIGHTS
Air travel is unpredictable. Although we can ensure that our groups arrive to the airport with ample time and follow all airline instructions, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to weather, mechanical problems, labor strikes, etc. Please note that in such an event WTT is not financially responsible for unexpected costs incurred by travelers. Our programs officially begin and end in our host countries. That being said, our travelers’ well-being and safety is our number one priority, so please know that should flight delays/cancellations occur we will do everything we can to get travelers home in a timely manner and will do our best to keep family members updated on developments.

WTT is not responsible for fees associated with checked baggage. Please also make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the final day in country.

UN-ACCOMPANIED MINORS
Please confirm with your air travel provider as some airlines may require that travelers under a certain age have completed an unaccompanied minor parental consent form. Please consult the airline website to confirm if this is required on your flight.

Program Staff

WTT will send a minimum of one experienced Program Leader on every program. In addition to this Program Leader, we also have a support staff in our host countries that are available to the group for additional help when necessary. Below you’ll find a list of the Walking Tree staff involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program. Meet your support team!

  • Raquel Monteros
    Raquel Monteros Ecuador Country Director, Program Leader

    CATHOLIC UNIVERISTY OF ECUADOR- B.A. APPLIED LINGUISTICS TO TEACHING 

    I was born in Loja (also known as the cultural capital of Ecuador). At a very young age I discovered my love for languages and different cultures. I decided to travel to Russia right after I finished high school, an experience that changed my life in many different ways. When I came back from Russia I decided to study Linguistics in Quito (Ecuador’s capital). Most of my subjects were taught in English, meanwhile I also had to learn German and Kichwa (an indigenous language from Ecuador). After university, I worked as an English and Spanish teacher for five years. I had the chance to work for two Ecuadorian companies that were recognized in other countries for the quality of their products. I had the chance to work for a non-governmental organization in the Amazon region of Ecuador, an experience that made me aware of the difficult circumstances people from this part of the world had to face. These people were my biggest motivation while working there, especially women from indigenous communities. I strongly believe women empowerment is something we need to keep on working all around the world. My love for service made me found my own yoga school in Loja where I have the chance to teach others values like compassion, veracity, strength, self-esteem and self-respect. I strongly believe that we can make a change if we start becoming aware of the light within ourselves. So as you can see I have many passions, languages, yoga, traveling and I think I didn’t mention……… cooking! I will be ready to welcome you in this small paradise called Ecuador!

    Group Roster

    Please have all travelers check to ensure that their name is spelled correctly. If you have any questions or edits please contact Lacey Merkel at lacey@walkingtree.org.

    Community & Project Details

    Nanegal has a unique history of human settlement in that for centuries it was home to one of the few Amerindian tribes that was not conquered by the Inca. Nanegal’s families are descendants of the Yumbo people, and many of the legends and folklore of this ancient indigenous group still survive today. The town of Nanegal itself is tucked into the verdant cloud-forest of the eastern slope of the Andes. The relatively short bus-ride to the town will highlight the astonishingly rapid change in climate, from the high-mountain valley in which sits the sprawling metropolis of Quito, to the humid jungle which harbors one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth. This will be readily apparent by the sheer number of tropical bird and plant species that can be seen around the houses and farms of the local people. There is a lookout over the town which gives a nice panorama of the small town of Nanegal and the surrounding village of Perla. The people in this quaint mountain town have traditionally dedicated themselves to agriculture, though many now work in small local businesses or commute to Quito on a weekly basis. The “Nenegalenses”, as locals call themselves, are kind people who jump at the opportunity to offer what hospitality they can provide to the weary traveler. Most speak very little English, as tourism has only recently come to Nanegal, and currently consist of small numbers of Ecuadorian tourists that come on national holidays to take in the countryside. The rustic homes are typical of the region, with humble furnishings that represent the opposite extreme of a typical suburban home in the United States.

    Communication & Blog

    Travelers will be able to keep in touch with family and friends at home by using Wifi (when available at hotels and restaurants) via Whatsapp, Skype, and Wechat for free.

    During the program we keep families and friends updated on the group’s adventures as frequently as possible with text and photo blogs. If parents would like updates regarding the group beyond these blog posts and email updates, please direct all general inquiries to info@WalkingTree.org. We are always checking this email inbox and will respond promptly to inquiries. You can also reach us by dialing 303-242-8541 from the U.S. In case of an emergency, please dial 303-997-0310.

    Your blog link is – coming soon –

    Photos which appear in the blog will become available after the program ends. We will send out a link to the photo gallery, where you will have access to view and download as many of the photos as you like!

    Packing List

    What follows is a sample packing list, which will be updated for each program. We recommend you bring a larger piece of luggage like a roller, duffel bag, or backpack, as well as a smaller backpack that you can bring on hikes, weekend excursions and shorter activities.

    Most importantly, be sure to remember your PASSPORT and STUDENT ID.

    Please note that seasons in South America are opposite ours in the United States so we will be traveling during South America’s late fall. With that said, late fall and early winter are the driest parts of the year and often the most pleasant times to visit. Most of our program will be spent at high altitudes where daytime temperatures can reach the 70’s and it can freeze at night. Layering is the best way to prepare for variable conditions.

    Ecuador Packing List

    CLOTHES:

    6 pairs of underwear 6 pairs of socks (a mixture of good hiking socks and casual socks – some wool socks for cold nights as well)
    4 t-shirts (some quick dry)
    4 long sleeve shirts
    2 sweater/sweatshirts
    1 warmer jacket for cool nights
    1 warm hat
    1 rain jacket
    2-3 pairs of travel/athletic shorts that are breathable and light
    2-3 pairs of comfortable/hiking/everyday pants (NOT all jeans)
    1 nice shirt/top to be worn to more formal dinners (girls might want a skirt or something a little nicer and guys a polo or button up shirt with jeans for such occasions)
    1 pair of durable athletic/hiking shoes, appropriate for hiking
    1 pair of sandals (optional)
    1 pair of work gloves
    1 hat with good sun protection
    1 swimsuit

    TOILETRIES: BRING THE BASIC TOILETRIES YOU NEED PLUS:

    Sunscreen (you will use a lot)
    Mosquito repellent
    Band Aids and Neosporin, anti-diarrhea meds, basic first aid
    Hand Sanitizer
    Medication in properly marked original container (better to pack this in your carry on luggage)

    MISCELLANEOUS:

    Sunglasses
    Journal and pen
    Book/s
    Camera (digital, disposable, waterproof)
    Converter (Peru runs 220v, 60Hz AC electricity. Only necessary if electronic device doesn’t have built in converter)
    Alarm Clock and watch
    Debit card/US Dollars (we recommend about $100-$200, depending on amount of desired souvenirs, extra items etc.)
    Durable water bottle with a personal water filtration system (optional- Walking Tree will always provide drinking water)
    1 quick-dry towel
    Soap for washing your own clothes while in the host community
    Flashlight/headlamp
    Batteries
    Deck of cards or other portable games
    Host family gift
    Student ID
    Spanish/English Dictionary

    HOMESTAY GIFTS

    Travelers often contact us regarding what an appropriate gift might be for their student’s host family. Host families are often curious about where our students come from and their families in the U.S. As such, we recommend a simple gift that describes, represents or depicts your home. Well-received gifts in the past have included calendars or picture/coffee table books from your city or state, a framed picture of your family, paraphernalia from a local sports team, toys, soccer balls, school supplies, or something produced or grown in your hometown, like chocolate, local candy, t-shirts, etc. The most important thing to keep in mind is not to worry about this…  Anything, no matter its value, will be well received!

    Tuition Details

    Program tuition includes: All accommodations, 3 meals per day, drinking water, ground transportation, group activity and entry fees, full-time leadership team,  taxes, tips and estimated airfare*.

    Program tuition excludes: Baggages fees, airline minor fees, personal shopping, passport or visa fees, and activities not listed in the itinerary.

    *Estimated Airfare: In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. We will provide full transparency in cost so that families pay what the flight costs and nothing more. You will be invoiced for the flight once we are able to secure the group’s airline contract.

    Insurance:  If you are traveling on a program that is completed before September 1, 2018 your basic travel insurance is included. If you are traveling on a program that departs after September 1, 2018 you must purchase travel insurance if you want to have any supplemental coverage beyond what your family’s package may provide. This change is due to new federal regulations.

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