A journey to the middle of the world. | July 13-20, 2024
Without a doubt, Ecuador is one of the most amazing countries in the world, and a vibrant setting for Amizade participants. Ecuador offers the best of both urban and rural worlds. In major cities, Ecuador offers a variety of activities from visiting UNESCO colonial city centers, to exploring world-renowned museums, beautiful expanses of urban parks and an assortment of foods that satisfy all palates. In rural areas, Ecuador offers a diversity of ecosystems unique to its geographical location and the intersection of the equator and the Andes Mountains. Like its topography, you’ll find similarly diverse identities and communities.
This program was great for our family because we love hiking and being in nature, enjoy spending time with lots of new people and have no shame in trying to speak Spanish (even though we aren’t even remotely fluent). Our teenager was just the right age for it because it was so active. It’s well-organized so the days are full and you always know what’s coming next and can mentally prepare. This program would be great for families with kids that are up for jumping in and trying a variety of new activities every day (swimming in a waterfall, eating popcorn soup, playing games with Ecuadorian high schoolers, milking a cow, going to the town Fiesta) with the steady constant being long, daily hikes.
If you want to have an international experience where you make real relationships in a community, learn deeply and connect to incredible natural beauty, this is the program for you.
– 2023 Ecuador family program participant
This week-long experience is open to and designed for families. Our partner, Nido de Vida, is excited to host families in an experience that explores rural Ecuadorian culture in the north western transitional region of the country. This experience focuses on learning about local history, traditions and activities, and exploring the natural world. Families should expect a physical experience that includes walking, hiking in local forests and pasturelands (uneven terrain), and swimming in local waterways.
- April 1, 2024: The last day to register. A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to complete registration.
Early bird special: Register by March 1, 2024 for $200 off the total program fee for each member of your family!
- May 15, 2024: Mid-payment – 50% of program fee due
- June 15, 2024: Final payment due
- July 13-2o, 2024 : Program dates (arrival on July 12th)
Participants should arrive in Quito by no later than Friday, July 12, 2024. Nido de Vida and Amizade will make hotel reservations for all participants for the night of July 12th. The program will officially begin on Saturday, July 13, 2024 with pick up at the hotel at a set time.
During the week, days will be busy with activities that allow participants to explore culture and nature. Participants should expect a hands-on experience that will be both educational and at times dirty! All on the ground expenses (food, lodging, transportation, cultural and rec. activities, and service projects) are covered by the program fee. If families are interested, Spanish language lessons for children and adults can be included in the daily activities.
About Nido de Vida
Nido de Vida’s mission is to foster the connection between our mutual well-being and our relationship with nature. They work towards achieving their mission by being good neighbors, and they have partnered with Amizade since 2020. Nido de Vida is in an agricultural area and is one of Amizade’s more rural community partners.
About San Miguel de Los Bancos
The program will take place in the county of San Miguel de Los Bancos about 100 miles west of Quito, Ecuador’s capital. The county’s seat, also called San Miguel de Los Bancos (aka Los Bancos), is an agricultural town of a population of around 10,000 people. While lodging will be in the town of Los Bancos, the majority of activities throughout this program will take place in more rural parts of the county.
During the program, participants will stay at a local hotel in Los Bancos with simple and clean accommodations. Each participating family will be placed in a private room with a private bathroom. Hot water and wifi are available.
Who is this program for?
This is a program for families who enjoy being active in the outdoors. As a weeklong experience of hiking, being in nature, swimming in rivers, this is for kids and adults who don’t mind getting muddy and/or getting caught in the rain while hiking. This is a program with a lot of movement, so we suggest that children be at least 8 years of age. However, this is only a suggestion, and we look to parents to make the final decision.
PROGRAM ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS
Day 0 | July 12
– Arrive to Quito and travel to hotel.
Day 1 | July 13
– Nido de Vida will pick participants up at the hotel and the program officially begins.
– The group begins their journey west to San Miguel de Los Bancos. On the way, they will explore Ecuadorian history and geography at the Middle of the World before checking into the hotel in Los Bancos.
Day 2 | July 14
– Participants will explore Los Bancos on foot before traveling to Nido de Vida for the day.
– At Nido de Vida, participants will meet the animals, learn about Nido de Vida’s projects, do some service and play soccer.
Day 3 | July 15
– Participants will continue their service project at Nido de Vida before heading off to learn about and make sugar cane with a neighbor.
Day 4 | July 16
– Participants will learn about other important local activities: dairy farming and cheese making. Today, participants will have a chance to milk cows as well as learn to make fresh cheese.
Day 5 | July 17
– Participants will have a day of enjoying local waterways. First, they will travel to the best known waterfall in the area, Cascada El Amor, before swimming in the river that runs through Nido de Vida.
Day 6 | July 18
– Participants will travel to another nearby city to enjoy the Tsachila interactive museum. While their population is small, the Tsachila have occupied this part of the country for millennia. The museum is an experiential introduction into their daily routines and traditions.
Day 7 | July 19
– Participants can expect another day of hiking and river swimming. The group will hike to the Tatala Waterfall to enjoy its waters.
Day 8 | July 20
– The group will depart early to Quito.
– Once in the city, the group will enjoy riding the Teleferico (gondola), visiting the Historical Center, and shopping in the Artisanal Market.
– The program ends after dinner. Nido de Vida will arrange to drop participants off at the airport if they have a late flight on July 20 or at a hotel (families will be responsible to make hotel reservations.)
Register now to secure your spot for this hands-on, immersive family program in Ecuador!
Registration deadline: April 1, 2024
Early bird special: Register by March 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up for one of our info sessions to learn more about the program and get answers to your questions. Info sessions are free to attend and open to anyone.
Info session dates:
• November 6, 2023 @ 12:30PM ET
• February 15, 2024 @ 6PM ET
AMIZADE’S CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICIES
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 May 15, 2024 will receive a full refund, minus the nonrefundable deposit.
- Individuals who send a written cancellation notification to the Amizade Office between May 16 and June 12, 2024 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 June 13, 2024 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.
Amizade requires a minimum of 6 participants to run this open group program. If the minimum number of participants is not met, Amizade will notify all participants by April 5th. We advise against purchasing non-refundable airfare before April 5th unless otherwise notified.
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LEARN ABOUT THIS SITE
Get to know the history of our partnership in Ecuador.VISIT THE SITE
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