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.
The school is in the new part of town near the University and near the famous Avenida Amazonas with its sidewalk terraces. The school is located in a stately mansion in one of the better neighbourhoods of Quito. Group lessons never involve more than four people. If there is nobody with your Spanish level you will get same value of private lessons. They organize activities like visits to museums, cooking classes, Salsa classes and cultural events. For the more adventurous there is hiking, trekking, bike riding, kayaking, and horseback riding. The school always finds locations away from the usual "tourist traps".
You can combine Spanish classes here with Spanish classes in Otavalo or Pedro Moncayo or finish classes taking part in the Travelling Classroom. For more information on this see under the heading Travelling Classroom.
The host family
You will stay with a Ecuadorian host family where you will receive three meals a day and your laundry will be taken care of. The walking distance from the host family to the school is between 10 and 20 minutes.
The owner of the language school, Eugenio, will pick you up from the airport where he is waiting for you in the arrival hall with a sign bearing your name and he will take you to your host family.
Included in the standard package in Quito
- Private or shared lessons of 4 hours per day, five days a week. Including voluntary work if you wish.
- Study material.
- Registration fee.
- A single room and three meals a day at a host family during the study period of Saturday to Saturday.
- Transfer from the airport to the host family.
|Ecuador||Classes||hpd||1 wk||2 wks||3 wks||4 wks||extra week||extra night||transfer|
|Quito / Otavalo||private||4||$ 334||$ 584||$ 830||$ 1050||$ 232||$ 19||included|
|Quito / Otavalo||group||4||$ 306||$ 526||$ 773||$ 937||$ 205||$ 19||included|
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.
COUNTRY INFO: ECUADOR
Ecuador is a small but very diverse country. You can encounter the Indians of the Andes at one of the many colourful 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 colourful 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 kilometres 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 travelling 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: QUITO
Quito is situated in the Andes Mountains at a height of 2850 meters and has a rich history. It has been the capital of the mighty Quitu people and of the legendary Inca's. Modern-day Quito is divided in two parts. In the west lies the old colonial neighbourhood of 'el Centro' where the Spanish architecture is still very visible. It has many impressive churches, squares and narrow streets with its typical markets. The new part of town 'Quito moderno' lies in the east and has many terraces which are very rare in Latin America. It also has many nice restaurants and this is where the business life takes place. The two parts of the city are divided by the 'Ejido park where on Sundays the Quiteño come together with the whole family, for example, for a game of volleyball. The population of Quito is almost 1.5 million people.
- Visit the old colonial part of Quito with its monasteries, churches and the cathedral.
- Climb the 'El Panecillo' (small sugar bread) and you will have a spectacular view over Quito and its surrounding volcanoes.
- Weekends go to the Parque Ejido where local families get together for volleyball or a picnic.
- Voluntary work.
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 Quito, Ecuador.