Summer Programs High School Spanish
June 27 – July 25 • $5,600 • 90 Service Hours
August 1 – August 16 • $4,100 • 40 Service Hours
Ecuador is a land of marked contrasts, where wood-burning stoves and thatched roof dwellings of the Andes co-exist with iPods and cell phones. Where the planet's rarest species live on islands 600 miles off the coast, yet development activities threaten the very existence of the extraordinary Galapagos ecosystem.
OUR HOME BASE:
Patate and San Cristobal
We live in the picturesque Andean town of Patate, home to about 15,000 people in central Ecuador's Tungurahua Province. The region's rich soils yield a diversity of crops that coin it the "bread basket of Ecuador". Our final days unfold on the Galapagos island of San Cristobal.
Projects in Ecuador are a blend of adobe and masonry construction. VISIONS primary partner is El Patronato, a local organization that addresses social welfare and housing in Patate. Teen volunteers have completed significant renovations on La Casa de Ancianos, an elders’ center for people who otherwise did not have a place to live. Students also have built modest homes, kiosks for artisans to sell their wares, a museum addition, greenhouses, and more. Each work day you will choose from two or three projects, including running a summer camp for local kids. During the last few days in the Galapagos, some time is carved out to assist the National Park with environmental initiatives.
ECUADOR SERVICE PROJECTS
Patate is a small town with welcoming community members. Picturesque farms and hillsides roll into the Andes, and townspeople as well as rural families want to get to know you. Plaza Central is a common place to gather for games, food markets, music, and catching up with friends. In addition to partaking at the main gathering spots, you will spend time with families during a few dinner stays, attend workshops with artisans, learn to make quimbolitos from our cook, and get in spontaneous games such as street soccer with neighbor kids. You will discover the universal appeal of Ecuador, while also practicing your Spanish and getting to know folks personally.
"I will never forget the people I met in Patate and the Galapagos. It was an amazing summer."
Taylor Mustapich – Old Brookville, New York
Weekend summer adventures include hiking to a breathtaking mountain vista and visits to the popular town of Baños, where we rent bikes, tour the markets, and soak in natural hot springs. During our few days in the Galapagos, you will snorkel during a boat trip, swim with sea lions, get close up to blue footed boobies, giant Galapagos tortoises, bright red Sally-Lightfoot crabs, iguanas, penguins, Darwin's finches, and more. Before the program ends, we even have time to visit Quito's ancient cathedrals and colonial zone, UNESCO's first World Heritage Site.
- Staff leaders receive students at the Quito airport and travel by bus the next morning to Patate, a three-hour drive. Airfare is not included, but VISIONS assists with travel plans. The Galapagos flight is included with tuition.
- High school volunteers and their leaders live together in a school where there are showers, bathrooms, and a kitchen. We stay in a hotel in the Galapagos.
- Boys and girls sleep in separate rooms. VISIONS provides floor mattresses and you will bring your own sheets, sleeping bag, and pillow.
- You typically choose your service project four days a week and spend the other day on “homebase” crew, cooking breakfast and running errands for the group.
- Weekends are for excursions and afternoons after work are for closer-to-home activities. The Galapagos is an excursion of three to four days. A few nights a week we meet as a group to discuss our volunteer and cultural experiences.
- Details such as a packing list, travel parameters, and health forms are provided upon enrollment through login web pages. The process is straightforward and we also are here to help.
- Ecuador I: 90 community service hours; Ecuador II: 40 community service hours. High school summer camp for teens ages 14 - 18.
- Prerequisite: two years studying Spanish in order to participate in Ecuador I. No prerequisite for Ecuador II, a shorter program.