Reflective Practice Retreat in Ecuador

Reflective Practice Retreat in Ecuador | May 14-18, 2024

Update to registration date!

After hearing from interested people who couldn’t yet commit to our reflective practice retreat in Ecuador, we’ve extended our registration date to April 15.

Do you believe in the power of global and community engagement, but are either feeling rusty or just don’t know where to start? Maybe you’ve been asking yourself the following:

  • How could I ever manage a group of students in an immersive, hands-on program?
  • I understand that immersive experiences can be beneficial to visitors and hosts, but how can I ensure I’m doing it ethically?
  • I know reflective practice is an important component of global experiences and community engagement, but I don’t know how to do it. I wish I had some go-to activities for support!

If this resonates with you, maybe what you’re missing is an opportunity to engage these questions in an immersive experience. Join us for a 5-day global service learning program in Ecuador and gain skills to manage students, conduct reflective practice activities, and build ethical community partnerships.

I found the Amizade Reflective Practice Retreat in Ecuador to be one of the most valuable professional development experiences I have yet to participate in; I gained more from these 5 days in Ecuador than any conference I have attended to date! The opportunity to engage as both a participant and a practitioner was highly beneficial and really solidified for me the transformative capacity of experiential learning opportunities.
– 2023 Reflective Practice Retreat in Ecuador participant, Connecticut College


This 5-day experience will act as an experiential window into what a global service-learning course looks like on the ground. It will be designed to ensure that each participant has opportunities to learn from community members who host students, participate in a global service-learning experience, reflect appropriately, direct open conversations, and report back. 


1. To prepare participants to better collaborate with the various players in global education programming.  

2. To assist participants in better understanding the various approaches to global engagement and helping to capture each participant’s own pathway forward.  

3. To offer participants real-world, hands-on, experiences in managing education dynamics and reflective practice in programs abroad.


We extended our registration date, please note the updated deadlines:

  • April 15, 2024: The last day to register. A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to complete registration.
  • Register for the retreat between now and April 15th and receive a full program invoice soon after registering. Final payment due within two weeks of receiving the invoice.
  • May 14-18, 2024: Program dates (arrival on May 13th)

Program Components

Shadow – While in Ecuador, participants will have the opportunity to take part in community meetings, class-time, reflection, and/or service similar to what students would experience.

Learn – Through structured conversation, participants will learn about pre-program preparation, health and safety, group dynamics, monitoring and evaluation, and community-driven partnerships.

Participate – By holding this experience in Ecuador, participants will be exposed to the complicated and unique challenges of leading similar programs with students. By being active participants in a global service-learning program, participants will be confronted with the raw realities of partnering in underserved communities on the front lines of global education.

Reflect – Reflection is where we often turn the challenges of the day into learning moments.

Report – On the final day, each participant will have the opportunity to report back to the group what they have learned, ideas to explore, and what they would like to work on when they return home.


During the program, participants will stay at a local hotel in Los Bancos with simple and clean accommodations. Participants of the same gender will share double occupancy rooms with two separate beds and private bathrooms. Hot water and wifi are available.

If you’re traveling with a colleague and would like to room together, or if you would like a single occupancy room (for an additional fee), please let us know.

Security Information

We would be remiss not to mention the security situation in light of the recent news. If you are thinking of joining this retreat, but need some reassurance, consider this: as an organization and because of our strong ties with our community partner, Nido de Vida, we are confident that Ecuador remains a great (and safe) place to run the retreat.

  • Nido de Vida is located in San Miguel de Los Bancos, a rural part of Ecuador, and is currently ranked as lowest risk per the Ecuadorian government ranking system which means that there is no longer a curfew in place for the county.
  • Nido de Vida team members are from San Miguel de Los Bancos. There’s a lot of local social capital and safety in being part of the community. Nido de Vida programming is with neighbors, friends, and family.
  • Our contacts within and beyond the community, and we are able to keep a real time finger on the pulse of what’s occurring locally and nationally.
  • San Miguel de Los Bancos is 3 hours from the Quito Airport. Exiting and arriving at the airport does not require passing through the center of Quito.


Day 0 | May 13, 2024
– Participants arrive to Ecuador and make their way to the hotel

Day 1 | May 14, 2024
-Participants are welcomed by Amizade and Nido de Vida staff at the hotel for an official program start. The group will then begin the journey to San Miguel de los Bancos while enjoying activities that explore Ecuador’s history and culture along the way.
-Reflective practice activities and discussion will explore the meaning of global service and elements of group dynamics.

Day 2 | May 15, 2024
-Participants will learn about Ecuadorian history before spending the day with Amizade’s community partner, Nido de Vida. The group will work on a service project alongside members of the Nido de Vida team.
-Reflective practice activities and discussion will continue to explore group dynamics through the lens of culture and identity. 

Day 3 | May 16, 2024
-Halfway through the program, participants continue to be encouraged to step outside of their comfort zones by meeting members of a new community, 23 de Junio, while spending the majority of the day exploring nature and learning about the challenges and opportunities the community faces.
-Reflective practice activities will continue to explore how to improve group dynamics and cohesion as well as to start considering how immersion experiences relate to specific learning goals.

Day 4 | May 17, 2024
-Today participants will spend most of the day learning how to make cane sugar and cheese with Nido de Vida neighbors. Afterwards participants will be led on a hike before swimming in one of the local rivers.
-Reflective practice activities begin to start focusing on re-entry preparation as participants look towards their return home.

Day 5 | May 18, 2024
-Participants begin their journey home. The group will depart early in the morning for Quito, where they will continue to deepen their understanding of Ecuadorian history and culture. The program officially ends with drop offs at the airport or at a local hotel.
-Reflective practice activities will explore questions like ‘what did we learn?’ and ‘where do we go from here?’

Amizade will host a virtual pre-departure orientation and share a detailed itinerary with participants a few weeks before the program begins. 


If your trip must be canceled prior to departure, please contact our office as soon as possible. Deposits are nonrefundable. The remainder of your refund will be determined by the date and conditions of your cancellation as follows. 

  • Individuals who send a written cancellation notification to the Amizade Office before March 15, 2024 will receive a full refund, minus the nonrefundable deposit.
  • Individuals who send a written cancellation notification to the Amizade Office between March 16 and April 11, 2024 date will receive a 50% refund of the mid-payment (exclusive of the nonrefundable deposit).
  • Individuals who send written cancellation notification to the Amizade Office on or after April 12, 2023 will not be guaranteed any refund. Amizade will work with the community partners on if/how much of a refund may be possible.

If Amizade cancels a program before the program start date for any reason, we will issue a full refund for the program fee and the deposit.

Note: Amizade requires a minimum of 3 participants to run this open group program. If the minimum number of participants is not met, Amizade will notify all participants by March 3rd. We advise against purchasing non-refundable airfare before March 4th unless otherwise notified. 


Register now to secure your spot for this hands-on, immersive retreat in Ecuador!

Registration deadline extended!! Sign up by April 15, 2024.

Early bird special: Register by February 1, 2024 for $200 off your total program fee! 


Interested but have some questions before you register? Please reach out to Ecuador site liaison Bibi Al-Ebrahim: (



Get in touch with our site liaison if you have questions about this program.



Get to know the history of our partnership in Ecuador.