Volunteer Ecuador: It took me 3.5 weeks out of my 4 to actually start falling in love with the country. I loved how cheap it was to travel around ecuador. The taxis are sooo much cheaper than ubers so I took advantage of that. I can tell that my spanish has gotten way better and I am more confident when I talk. And the hospital wasn’t what I thought it would be.
1- How was the local ABV Coordinator/staff and the support provided in-country?
I didn’t talk much to my local coordinator, solely because I had most of my things in place for this trip. The in- country coordinator was very helpful. German showed me around the fun places of Quito, told me which places I should visit on the weekends, and encouraged me to come to events held at the school.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced? Name 2
Program: How many doctors and medical students are actually at the hospital to help, and finding out my first patient on my internal medicine rotation has stage 4 cancer and nothing can be done to help him because of how fast it spread.
Host Family: How good the food is, and how open the family and nice the family is.
Country: How safe the country is compared to others (even the us), and how beautiful every part of the city is.
3- What was the most challenging thing you experienced?
Program: Not having much work to do because there are so many people at the hospital, and trying to understand the spanish (even with 6 years of lessons)
Host Family: I really can’t think of anything.
Country: sometimes the language barrier, and because you’re a tourist some people take advantage of your money.
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
1. You really don’t need as much as they say you will, 2-3 scrubs are fine, there is laundry.
2. BRING A RAIN COAT, sunscreen, hat, and also buy your toothpaste/shampoo/face wash in the US, it’s way cheaper there.
3. Go to otavalo, mitad del mundo, the coast, everything in the end is worth it, so if yourre questioning going somewhere, just do it.
4. Have an open mind with everything, don’t eat the street food until your stomach is accustomed (2 weeks), try the ice cream (its great), and the empanadas.
5.1-Other things volunteers should know before coming here:
(thats not in the orientation guide)
a. know your money limits before you come, set limits per week, dont go crazy.
b. ask questions, dont be afraid, theyre here to help
c. 2weeks to a month is enough time to enjoy the place without getting homesick and such, set your time here with everything like that in mind.
d. the tap water isnt bad, bringing a filter water bottle will do.
6- Personal Paragraph about the experience (ABV Program Testimonial):
It took me 3.5 weeks out of my 4 to actually start falling in love with the country. I loved how cheap it was to travel around ecuador. The taxis are sooo much cheaper than ubers so I took advantage of that. I can tell that my spanish has gotten way better and I am more confident when I talk. And the hospital wasn’t what I thought it would be. I wanted more of a hands on place with patients and I didn’t necessarily get that here. I did learn a lot about different diseases/ conditions patients were admitted with, and how to communicate effectively with patients with the little spanish I speak.
Volunteer in Ecuador
7- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security, friendliness, quality others:
meals, accommodation, saftey, friendliness, I would all rate a 10/10. The meals were great (way healthier than what I am used to), I felt very safe always around quito, whether I was with others or by myself, my host family made it seem like I was at my own house, and every one you see will say hello or good day.
8- What was your favorite memory of this trip?:
Program: seeing the patients get healthier
Host Family: feliz de ano was crazzzzy. but a good crazy.
Country: the beach was beautiful, 10/10 would go again.
9- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling? (who helped you, emails, phone calls, chat online, how fast did you got an answer, did you got all your answers)
I would rate it like a 5/10. there was an incident where my dates were changed and I was charged $120 more and I was not contacted at all about it. I only found out about it when I saw my itinerary 2 weeks. so communication could be a little better. I was also told I would work 8-12 then 2-6, and when I got to ecuador I was told I only work 7:30am to 12:30pm. I also did not need nearly as much things to bring like the emails said. I didn’t even use half of it.
9.1- Who did you find Abroaderview website (keywords, search engine, word mouth to mouth, recommended by .., other)
I googled ‘medical mission trip’ and found abroaderview.
10 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?