Each itinerary varies depending on the needs of the community at any one time but will also include interesting introductions to Ecuadorian culture, the lifestyle and of course the language! This is by way of intriguing city, village and nature tours, and of course the invaluable language lessons! The Community Projects: Your main base is set in the heart of Ecuador's stunning cloud forest, in one of the charming rural villages here. Due to habitat destruction and lack of employment opportunities, there are high levels of poverty in the community and many people emigrate to the city in search of work, resulting in the breakdown of family units. One of the major features of the 1-month Camp Ecuador programme is the role you play in assisting with local community projects and this will no doubt be one of the most rewarding parts of your trip. The core projects focus on improving community facilities, refurbishing the local school and creating employment opportunities for the local people. Project work may include building a new medical dispensary, refurbishing a nursery school, teaching conversational English, working with the women's group to make and sell goods, supporting organic coffee and cacao (chocolate) farming and playing sports with the local children. The Environmental & Conservation Projects: The camp is situated within a 14,000-acre reserve in one of the most beautiful and ecologically important areas in the world and home to an incredible variety of animals and plants, including spectacled bears that can be seen between July and September each year. However, the future of this area is under threat due to the highest rate of deforestation recorded in South America. Wildlife poaching is also rife. You will get involved in a wide variety of projects that may include planting food trees for bears, addressing human-bear conflict, reforestation, nature trail development, habitat protection, recycling activities and teaching environmental education to children. You will also get to visit a condor conservation centre near Otavalo to learn about this incredible, yet highly endangered bird of prey. Cultural Visits: During your stay you will have the chance to explore the vibrant capital city Quito. It's the second highest capital city in the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's a maze of steep streets complete with cobbled plazas and lavishly decorated cathedrals. You will also get to visit the colourful Andean markets of Otavalo and meet the indigenous people here.
Be fully immersed in the local language and culture as you spend loads of time in the famous Andes and Cloud Forest. There's also plenty of opportunity to get deeply involved in the conservation projects, plus a range of additional adventure activities to sink your teeth into!
- Meals, drinking water and accommodation - Airport transfers from/to Quito (within set times) or Guayaquil as stated - Orientation of local area - Basic Spanish lessons - Community, Wildlife and Environmental project work - Cultural visit - Quito City Tour - Wide range of additional optional activities - Fully staffed camps and local guides - Scheduled project transfers - Project costs and coordination - Emergency management plan and 24 hour support - Spend time in the Andes and Cloud Forest - Community development work in Cloud Forest Camp (around 10 days) - Wildlife and environmental conservation work in Cloud Forest camp (around 10 days) - Spectacled bear conservation - Cultural stay and Condor conservation in Otavalo (4 days) - Visit the famous markets of Otavalo
- Flights including internal flights - Some in country transfers - Travel Insurance - Arrival and departure fees (if applicable) - Visa - Vaccinations - Personal equipment, spending money, tips or gratuities - Personal laundry - Extra activities