The Spanish schools in Ecuador
In Ecuador we work with a school in Quito that has branches in Otavalo and Pedro Moncayo. This school offers both private and group lessons. They also offer a travelling classroom with one or two weeks of group lessons. You will travel through the jungle and will have daily group classes. The ideal mix of experiencing the jungle and learn Spanish at the same time! In Pedro Moncayo you can combine the Spanish classes at the same time with voluntary work which is quite unusual since in most cases you’ll first have to reach a certain level of Spanish before you can start voluntary work. So if you don’t much time but like to study Spanish, volunteer and see a lot of the country Ecuador is a good choice; you can combine all schools. The school also has a voluntary work coordinator who can inform you about the numerous possibilities for voluntary work in Ecuador.
North East of Quito you can study in the country side in the small village Pedro Moncayo where at the same time you can participate in a volunteer program. The program focuses on rural development projects, aiming at the strengthening of human ability, the management of productive resources and environmental conservation. Participation in the voluntary project is not obligatory!
The hacienda is set in 25 acres of farmland and has different in and outside classrooms. You can choose for private or group tuition of 20 hours a week. You will have classes in the morning or afternoon depending on the amount of students and the type of your work in the project.
The host family
You’ll sleep at an Ecuadorian family where you will receive three meals a day. The family lives in the farm or in the small village nearby.
The volunteer work
There is a choice of three volunteer programs and for all programs applies: On Saturdays you'll work a few hours more and Sundays your free to relax, make trips to nearby Indian villages or visit Otavalo.
Organic Agriculture program: daily activities will include working with the animals (cows, pigs, guinea pigs and even llamas), organic farming in the 13 cultivated hectares, and some tree nursery work which forms part of the organizational reforestation activities of the community.
Teaching program: There are various schools and local organizations providing the challenge of improving the level of education of both children and teenagers. You will work as a teacher or assistant, helping in numerous subjects, from mathematics, through to English. This program has a minimum of one month, and you will live in the community where you work.
Cultural exchange program: for those with more time, a month or more. The first week is passed at the hacienda as detailed in the “organic agriculture program”, followed by three weeks (or more) living and working alongside your host family in a rural community. In this way you will learn about the culture, the customs and the daily life of farming communities; the challenges, the difficulties and the achievements.
You will be collected from the airport in Quito and brought to a host family in Quito for one night. The next day you will be escorted to the bus station, your bus ticket will be bought for you and in Pedro Moncayo someone will await you and bring you to your host family.
Included in the standard package in Pedro Moncayo
- Private or shared lessons of 4 hours per day, five days a week. Including voluntary work if you wish.
- Study material.
- Registration fee.
- Accommodation with a local host family with three meals a day, during the study period from Sunday to Saturday.
- Transfer from the airport to the family in Pedro Moncayo with a one night stay in Quito.
|Ecuador||Classes||hpd||1 wk||2 wks||3 wks||4 wks||extra week||extra night||transfer|
|Pedro Moncayo||private||4||$ 379||$ 666||$ 944||$ 1189||$ 261||$ 25||included|
COUNTRY INFO: ECUADOR
Ecuador is a small but very diverse country. You can encounter the Indians of the Andes at one of the many colorful markets, the black population on the coast or one of the many indigenous tribes in the Amazon. Nature wise it has over 30 mostly active volcanoes, mountain peaks with eternal snow, jungle, beaches and, of course, the Galapagos Islands! The republic of Ecuador got its name because of its position on the equator. The backbone of the country is the mighty Andes with its colorful Indian population.
To the east of the Andes is the jungle of the impressive Amazon and on the west side is the Pacific coast with palm trees, cocktail bars and salsa music. A visit to the small town of Otavalo, which has one of the biggest handicraft markets of South America, is definitely worthwhile. One can also sit on top of a train and ride through the jungle or climb the most active volcano, the Cotopaxi.
Absolutely unforgettable will be a visit to the world famous Galapagos Islands that lay in the Pacific about 1000 kilometers of the Ecuadorian coast. This is where Darwin discovered his revolutionary Theory of Evolution. It is very easy to come into contact with the unique animals that live here. Whilst swimming one can play with seals and at the same time penguins will shoot by you. For me, personally, this was nature wise the absolute highlight of eight months of traveling in South America.
A Return flight Quito - Galapagos is about $380. A boat trip of five days that goes to several islands is best booked once you are on Galapagos. It costs about $275 including bed and meals. The entry fee for Galapagos is $100. All in all it is quite expensive but it will be an absolutely amazing experience. Ecuador is an ideal country for people who, after their Spanish course, wants to see and experience a lot in a short period of time.
- Climb volcanoes: the highest volcano is the Cotopaxi (5897 m.).
- Horseback riding
- River rafting
- Salsa dance courses
- Take a ride on top of a train right through the jungle for instance from Alausí.
- Visit the jungle from Misahuallí.
- Visit an Indian market in an Andes town.
- Visit the Galápagos islands if you have the budget for it (about $1000 for one week).
- Visit a less well known and therefore more traditional Indian village.
- Voluntary work: loads of voluntary work available. Volunteer in Ecuador
- Transport: public bus (chicken bus) or a minibus for tourists on roads between 'highlights'.
- Advice: if you do not have much time skip the Pacific coast of South America as it is not particularly beautiful and the weather is often bad because of the cold 'Humboldt-stream'.
CITY INFO: PEDRO MONCAYO
The province of Pichincha is dominated by the snow capped volcano Cayambe with it’s hight of 5790 m. (over 16.000 ft.). There are numerous National parks like the nearby 'Reserva Cayambe Coca'. The farm is situated close to Cayambe, a fair village where everything one might need can be obtained after a 10 minutes bus ride. Picturesque Indian villages with colorful markets and small white churches are easily visited too. Quito is situated 70 kilometers (45 miles) away and Otavalo is at a 30 kilometers (20 miles) distance.
Activities Pedro Moncayo
- Visit the pyramids of Cochasqui or the small lakes of Mojanda.
- Visit Cayambe at the base of the dormant volcano Cayambe. The village is known for their cakes and you will be able to see different cake factories at work and of course try them!
- Climb the volcano Cayambe.
- Make walks through the misty forests in the surroundings.
The rainy season in Quito and Otavalo lasts from October to May with a lesser period in December and January. On the coast it lasts from January to April. The temperature varies with the altitude. The jungle, as is to be expected, remains hot and moist throughout the year.
Come with Adiós Travel to learn Spanish in Pedro Moncayo, Ecuador.