After you arrive in beautiful Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage city, settle in and get to know your fellow adventurers as you tour Quito’s historic center and even straddle the equator line at “La Mitad del Mundo”. In the evening, travel to a working farm nestled in the mountain folds of the Rumiñahui Volcano. Earn your Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification as you take breaks to explore Ecuador on hikes and horseback rides. Practice your new backcountry medical knowledge in both English and Spanish during realistic rescue scenarios while trekking through the beautiful Andes mountains.
Return to sea level to Montañita, a hip and scenic beach town on the Pacific coast, where you’ll stay with warm and welcoming local families to really hone your conversational Spanish skills. Mornings are spent in small-group medical Spanish lessons at a local language school and afternoons volunteering in the community. Take a break from your studies one morning to embark an exhilarating whale watching tour, catching an awe-inspiring breaching or two. Warm evenings promise dance lessons and cooking classes. Not to mention, Montañita is famous for its waves ‘ there will be surfing lessons!
Back to the mountains, where Riobamba sits high in the sierra portion of the Andes and is the perfect spot to dig into our clinical work. Here, you’ll work alongside doctors and medical professionals at a free mobile clinic, learning about the challenges of rural health care and importance of communication while providing families with much-needed care. Rotate through different stations, assisting with dentistry, working in the pharmacy, taking vitals and shadowing doctors during routine health assessments. A locally designed service project to improve community infrastructure will leave concrete evidence of your time in the Andes.
Conclude your fulfilling trip with a visit to Baños, the adventure capital of Ecuador. Take a long hike in the mountains, explore the local landscape and raft the Pastaza river while you reflect on all that you have learned, the lasting friendships made and where your newfound skills will take you next.