2019 Decatur Ecuador Service Adventure
|Travel Dates:||September 20, 2019 - September 28, 2019|
Airfare not included in program tuition
|Deadline(s):||Interested families should enroll by Friday, June 1st|
Our admissions team makes the payment process simple, offering multiple payment options and easy monthly payment plans.
Program Tuition: $2,250
Pay in Full
All prices in United States Dollars.
Ecuador Service Adventure
Dense Amazonian rainforest, snow-capped Andean peaks, and volcanic islands that gave birth to our understanding of evolution – Ecuador is a place of many wonders. From Quito’s historic colonial district to the bustling markets of Otavalo to quite communities tucked into rolling mountains, our Ecuador Service Adventure will introduce you to parts of the country well off the beaten path and fill you with the excitement which have drawn adventurous travelers to the country for years.
Service Adventures combine local homestays, adventure travel, and meaningful service projects. Students will be truly immersed in our host communities allowing them the time to reflect on their complex and important role as global citizens.
Check out some of the possible featured experiences of your coming adventure! Each customized itinerary is unique, but these are just a few of the activities which may be available during your program.
Work on a community service project in Nanegal
Stay in an inhabited volcanic crater
Experience ziplining and hot springs in the Andes
Explore historic downtown Quito
We work hard to create engaging, educational, and truly immersive itineraries for our travelers. However, we also know that travel can be unpredictable, so we always design our experiences to be flexible enough to allow for adjustments based on group interests, unexpected opportunities, and any weather or safety concerns that may arise during your program. Should changes to the itinerary occur, we will notify travelers and families as quickly as possible.
|September 20||USA – Quito||Evening arrival to Quito and transfer to hotel.||Sol De Quito Hotel|
|September 21||Quito – Pululahua||Start 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|
|September 22||Pululahua – Otavalo||We'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|
|September 23||Otavalo - Nanegal||We'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|
|September 24||Nanegal||During 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|
|September 25||Nanegal||Today we'll look to finish the remainder of our community service project and spend time with host families in the afternoons and evenings. We can also look forward to a going away party after our brief but meaningful stay in this special village.||Nanegal Homestays|
|September 26||Nanegal – Papallacta||We'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. We will spend spend our last night in the wildlife reserve La Jimenita. We'll have a structured reflection to discuss our experience, and some other group activities.||Hacienda Jimenita|
|September 27||Papallacta – Quito||We'll have an optional short hike in the morning to watch the different humming birds that live in the reserve. Walk the trails and enjoy the scenery. 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 heading to the airport for our flight later tonight.||Airplane|
|September 28||USA||We arrive back in Atlanta around 6AM this morning.||Your own bed, eventually!|
In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for our travelers, teachers, staff, Program Leaders and Country Directors, we follow strict guidelines when deciding on lodging, making reservations, and assigning program participants to rooms.
Hotel Sol de Quito
This hotel in Quito’s commercial and financial districts offers comfortable accommodations and modern amenities in a charming colonial style. The hotel is family owned and operated and boasts a large collection of historical artifacts that give it a unique character. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
El Crater Hotel
Situated on the precipice of the Volcano Pululahua, the hotel’s supreme location is unlike any other accommodation on the planet. Each room contains large windows from which students can admire the beauty of this setting and watch the ever-changing climate of the area from the comfort of their rooms. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Las Palmeras Inn Otavalo
This 150 year old highlands ranch is designed in traditional Andean styles. A collection of garden cottages each with their own fireplace, Las Palmeras Inn provides unmatched tranquility in a gorgeous mountain setting. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Staying with a host family allows our travelers to truly immerse themselves in the culture of their destination, and to build lasting friendships with local people in the host community.
Hacienda Jimenita is a 109 year old Hacienda that is family owned and operated. It has been in the Cruz Lopez family for four generations and contains its own private botanical wildlife reserve. Guests can explore the vast forests of fruit trees and vegetable gardens, as well as enjoy the company of more than 90 rare species of birds in the area. The Cruz Lopez family provides an incredible experience that allows guests to escape the bustle of the city and settle into a peaceful, natural setting, all while staying connected through wireless internet. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Safety and Support
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
This was a great opportunity for [my daughter]. Thank you for being so professional and for teaching her things we never could. It was awesome to work beside Smithsonian scientists and learn. Travel is such an education that cannot be taught in a classroom.
Parent of Emily, traveler on 2017 program to Panama
Your Adventure Includes
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.
Program Tuition Excludes: Premiere Travel insurance, baggage fees, airline minor fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on itinerary.
Need to Raise Money? We have you covered.
Our travelers are provided with funding opportunities that are easy to implement and fun to take part in. Our flagship fundraiser involves selling fair trade, organic, shade-grown, carbon-neutral coffee from a women’s collective in Peru. There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so get started now by clicking the link below!
Why should high school students travel abroad? What happens if a participant gets sick? How quickly do we need to enroll? We’re sure you have plenty of questions and we’ve got you covered! Visit our Resource Center to discover the answers to your most pressing questions and contact us anytime with additional questions.