' I LOVE this experience in chitwan for though short period! '

Xue Ying Fiona Wang

Ecuador FAQs

Disclaimer: The information given in this FAQ's page is generic. You should verify critical information such as visa-related issues, health and safety, customs and transportation with the relevant authorities prior to traveling. Please be aware that information given in FAQ's may change at any time. In effect, we accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone resulting from this information. For the latest updates, please contact us or our in-country coordinator(s).

General Information

The founder of RCDP has been involved in volunteer abroad business for the last 10 years. During this time, he has worked with more than 2000 volunteers and more than 200 universities, colleges, and schools groups.

Working with inspiring college students and humanitarian volunteers was very motivating as well as very enjoyable and presented many exciting learning opportunities. This experience encouraged him to start his own volunteer abroad program where affordable prices, premium programs and meaningful contributions to deprived communities would become the key components of the programs.

With this in mind, while setting up volunteer and travel abroad organization, we have selected many safe and culturally rich destinations where volunteers can make meaningful contributions, immerse in local culture, and get enriched from volunteer abroad experience. In each destination, we have carefully selected projects, host families, travel coordinating staff, and placed local support staff. We have provided them with extensive training to manage the program with professional services that will be delivered with care and respect for all volunteers. We are now proud of our coordinators, host families, host projects, and staff as all of them have at least 4 years of working experience with international volunteers. To meet your expectation, they are committed to working hard, delivering professional services, and turning your volunteer abroad experience into a memorable journey.

Our volunteer projects in Ecuador are located in such exciting places like Quito, Machachi, Latacunga, Puerto Lopez, Mindo and the Amazon Rainforests. Our Volunteer in Ecuador programs offer unique opportunities to serve humanity while simultaneously exploring the spectacular diversity of wildlife and marine life all contained within the bountiful borders of Ecuador.

Information on Application

Starting application

There are two options available to those applying for volunteer positions in the Argentina programs:

  • Apply online 
  • Download the application form. Then, fill it out, and mail to RCDP.
After submitting application

Once RCDP receives your application, it will immediately be forwarded to Ecuador for processing. Our Ecuador In-Country coordinator will then carefully review your application to ensure you get placed in the project that matches your criteria and your qualifications.

Duration of the application process

Once the Ecuador In-Country coordinator finalizes and forwards us the detail, we will immediately send it to you. The whole process normally takes 1-2 weeks. However, this can sometimes take longer.

You will also find an invoice requesting you to pay the program fee along with the placement details.

Preparation

Once you receive the placement details, you can even call our Ecuador office directly and speak to our In-Country coordinator and any questions that might you prepare for their trip.

Preparation for Ecuador trip includes: reading about Ecuador, vaccination, visa arrangement, booking tickets. If you experience ANY problems, please call RCDP office.

Once you purchase air tickets, they should immediately submit the flight details to BOTH RCDP and Ecuador office.

Information on Airport and Arrival

Arrival Airport

Please arrive at Quito International Airport, Quito, Ecuador.

One of our representatives will be waiting for you in the arrival lounge holding a placard with your name on it. This will happen without fail when you pass your travel itinerary to our office. If you want to be absolutely sure, you can call your Ecuador office and talk to our In-Country coordinator.

Flight Delayed or Missed

If your flight gets delayed or if you miss your flight and book yourself on a later flight, please let us know immediately by either calling our office. You must try to call first and then email the details if possible. Look at your placement details for all the contact information.

If you can not make any contact and no one receives you at the airport, look at your placement details, hire a taxi and go to the hotels recommended on it. In the airport in Quito take a pre-paid taxi.

Let the In-Country coordinator know your whereabouts after your arrive at the hotel or the next day. The coordinator will arrange for you to be picked up.

Arrival Day

Volunteers coming to Ecuador are suggested to arrive one day before the start of program. If volunteers arrive more than one day earlier or remain after the close of their program, they will be responsible for their own for providing their own accommodation and meal.

Information on Accommodation and Meal

RCDP will look after your entire need during your volunteering program. We have carefully screened and chosen host families with educated background, proficiency in spoken communicate and prior hosting international volunteers' experience.

Typically, three (3) Ecuadorian meals are served a day by the host families. If you need to pack your food, that can be arranged. For details on Ecuadorian meal, visit: http://www.ecuadorexplorer.com/html/ecuador_food.html

For vegetarian appetite, the host families also provide the option of vegetarian meal but please inform us well in advance.

You will share bathrooms and kitchen with family members. Many houses in Ecuador do not have hot water. You will have the ability to do your laundry in the house or the host family may offer to do it for you. You may have to pay little extra for that service.
During the volunteer work, RCDP keeps in touch with our volunteers. Our staff will visit volunteers every 2 weeks (if possible). Volunteers are always welcome to visit our local office and talk about anything they like. If volunteers' are further afield, we communicate with them by either email or phone.

Information on Visa

If you are citizen of US, UK or Canada, you can get a visa of 90 days upon arrival. You are warned though that applying upon arrival can sometimes take a long time.

Others are advised to get the visa prior to arrival. For details of Ecuadorian embassies or consulates in your country,

If you intend stay more than 90 days, please apply for extension in the first week in Ecuador with Immigration Department. Alternatively, you can exit the country for minimum of 72 hours before re-entering on a new visa.

Information on Health and Safety

Visit the sites listed below and acquire as much information as possible. Remember there is no harm in knowing more when it comes to health and safety.

General Health Tips for Volunteer in ecuador

  • Publicly available water is not considered safe to drink in most of Ecuador. When traveling to the beaches or very rural areas, drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Tap water should not be considered safe at the beaches nor fountain drinks and ice cubes.
  • Buy bottled water from proper outlets. Be wary of fake bottled water which are available everywhere. Always make sure the seal is not broken and the cap not tampered with.
    Avoid eating food from road-side stalls. Eat unpeeled fruits and avoid fresh salads, especially in small hotels. If you are forced to eat food at some place that you have doubts about, make sure the food is served hot.
  • Avoid eating food from road side stalls/vendors. Don't eat unpeeled fruits or fruits that have already been cut by unknown handlers on the street. If you are forced to eat food at a place that you have doubts about, make sure the food is served hot.
  • If you require any prescription drugs, bring enough for the duration of your stay in Ecuador. They will need to be carried in their original prescription bottle and the prescription must be in your name.
  • Please carry a small health kit which should include medicines to cure upset stomachs, some antiseptic cream, hydration powder, deer mosquito repellant, sun block, band aids, etc.

Information on Vaccinations

Please visit Center for Disease Control's website ( www.cdc.gov ) for traveler's health recommendations. Your travel doctor will be knowledgeable about current epidemics and should be consulted.

Recommended Vaccinations and Preventive Medications

The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to Africa including Kenya. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.

  • Routine: such as for influenza, chickenpox (or varicella), polio, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) are given at all stages of life
  • Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG). Transmission of hepatitis A virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; through exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting or subsequent handling.
  • Hepatitis B , especially if you might be exposed to blood or body fluids (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11-12 years who did not receive the series as infants.
  • Malaria: if you are traveling to a malaria-risk area in this region, see your health care provider for a prescription anti-malarial drug.
  • Rabies
  • Typhoid vaccine. Typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food, or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected. Large outbreaks are most often related to fecal contamination of water supplies or foods sold by street vendors
  • Yellow fever , for travelers to endemic areas in Panama
  • As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria , measles , and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults.

Against mosquito born diseases wear long-sleeves and pants (especially in the early evening). Use insect repellants also. Cordoba has no malaria but mosquito carry and transmit diseases such as dengue fever.

Ecuador has no malaria.

Information on Monetary Issues
Currency

The currency of Ecuador is the United States Dollars.

ATM/Debit Card/Debit Card/Travelers Checks

ATM machines are available at various regions throughout Ecuador, especially in Quito and the airport, where the option to take out US dollars or Colon is available.

Do not arrive in Ecuador without any cash as ATM machines aren't reliable and may fail to accept your card. Check with your bank to confirm that your card will work overseas. Debit cards and credit cards are acceptable at major stores. Travelers' checks are exchanged at the banks. In most locations, you won't be able to exchange them. Debit card is the best way of getting money out and ATM vendors are available in Quito and other places. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted in large stores and hotels in larger cities.

Credit card fraud is a big problem in Ecuador. Do not use cards at any smaller or non-reputable locations. Find the Exchange Rate for Real at http://www.xe.com/ucc/

Budget

You can get by with $15 a day provided you are careful in taking your money out. Accommodation and meal during your project is free but if you want to explore Ecuador and shop, budget accordingly.

Information on Field Support and Supervision

We keep in touch with our volunteers. Our staffs visit volunteers every 2 weeks. You are encouraged to contact us if you want to speak with us on anything. You can also visit us. You will be provided with all the contact information.

If you work in projects that are far from Quito, you will be contacted by email, phone and fax.

Information on Communicating

Internet cafes are around in Quito.

You can also use international phone cards to call home. You will be provided with full contact details of our office in Ecuador. You are encouraged to call us should you want to do so. In addition, our program staff will visit you regularly to check upon you.

Information on Weather

The weather in Costa Rica is predominantly tropical and subtropical. From December to April, Costa Rica is in the midst of dry season. From May until November, rainy season comes to the country. The highlands in Costa Rica enjoy cooler temperature.

Typically though, the northern regions are hotter, while Patagonia and further south is extremely cold.

Information on Materials to Bring

  • Camera
  • Mobile phone (you can use mobile phones after changing sim cards)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Mosquito repellents
  • Insect repellents
  • Sunscreen
  • Some books of ecuador
  • Map of ecuador
  • Toiletries
  • First-aid kits
  • Flash light
  • Electricity adapter/converter
  • Sunglasses
  • Walking shoes (for work and travel)
  • Towel

Information on Bringing Gifts for Project

It will be a nice gesture if you bring items like books, pencils, color pens, toys and games, especially if you are volunteering in schools and orphanages.

You can also bring things like chocolates, CD, T-Shirts to the host family.