High in the Andes mountains, immerse yourself in the life of rural Ecuador. During your time in community, you might learn to harvest potatoes alongside your host dad or help your host sister milk the family's cows. Throughout the summer, work with local students to grow their microenterprise, earning 215 service hours. You'll have the opportunity to travel with your community counterparts and AMIGOS partners to entrepreneurship workshops, build your business savvy, and develop a sustainable microenterprise. Work together on your business pitch and plan a project budget, then defend your community's business in a competition to win extra funding!

Example Itinerary

*This is an example itinerary based on last year’s project. Dates, topics, and activities may be subject to change.

June 25

Volunteers arrive. Project staff meet them at the airport and the group travels together to the briefing site in Guamote.

June 25–29

Briefing. Project staff lead all volunteers in a country-specific orientation to AMIGOS and the Chimborazo Project. Meet all other students on your project and spend a few days getting to know each other, learning about Ecuador, and doing fun activities. After briefing, project staff bring volunteers to their host communities to meet their host families.

Week 1

Week 1 in community. Lead day camps for local youth with topics like “Getting to Know Your Community” and start thinking about your microenterprise project. You may be working with local youth to start a new project or you may be continuing to develop an existing microenterprise.

Week 2

Week 2 in community. Lead day camps on topics like health and hygiene and start setting goals for your microenterprise project.

Week 3

Week 3 in community. Continue leading day camps on topics like the human impact on the environment and prepare for your Shark Tank-style competition to secure extra funding for your project.

Week 4

Week 4 in community. Continue day camps on topics like self esteem and get ready for midterm, a time to come together with other volunteers and staff on your project, catch up, relax, and share experiences with each other before heading back to your respective communities.

Week 5

Week 5 in community. Day camps on topics like critical thinking and planning for the future.

August 2–6

Leave community and come together for debriefing. This is a chance to process, reflect, and prepare to return home. You’ll also get to see sights around Riobamba and hike the Chimborazo Volcano!

August 6

Fly home!

About the Region

Climate

Cool and dry. The terrain is mountainous. Daytime temperatures range from 45°F to 65°F and often drop below freezing at night.

Slang

achachai = how cold!

Food

Potatoes, cuy (guinea pig)

Terrain

High altitude in the Andes mountains

Crops

Potatoes, Andean tubers, quinoa, Andean corn, barley, and onions.

Citizens

Ecuatorianos, Riobambeños

Example Volunteer Projects
  • Building a cuy farm
  • Production and sale of artisan goods like bracelets, hats, sweaters, or jewelry
  • Community banking or microlending projects
  • Hair salon
Example Day

Morning: Wake up early to milk the cows, prepare breakfast, and help with other chores. Get together with AMIGOS partners to plan day camps for kids or work on your community service project. Go to lunch.

Afternoon: Lead activities for kids and then work in the fields to plant and harvest crops alongside your host family. Go on a hike and take in the spectacular views of the Andean highlands or start a game of soccer in the community center.

Evening: Eat dinner, chat with your host family, practice some Kichwa (an Andean indigenous language), and play games with your host siblings. Go to bed and get ready for another day!

Chimborazo, Ecuador

Why Choose AMIGOS?

Learn Spanish

AMIGOS programs provide a unique opportunity to experience a new culture as a local, not a tourist. Volunteers report increased fluency in Spanish after going through our program. Activities go far beyond the classroom — you’ll lead activities in Spanish, learn local slang, and increase your confidence with real-world practice. You will not believe how fast your Spanish improves when you use it in conversation everyday!

Make an Impact

AMIGOS works with trusted local partner organizations to identify communities that are passionate and committed to working with our volunteers on community service projects. It has been our experience that a service project is sustainable only when the community owns it and participates in the effort. You will collaborate on a service project with volunteers your own age as well as community members, earning up to 155 service hours.

Gain a New (Host) Family

You’ll get to do way more than just travel — you’ll live with a host family, sharing in their day-to-day life. Become part of your host community, making friends with and working alongside community members. Share holidays, celebrations, and everyday life in a way you can only experience through authentic cultural immersion. AMIGOS volunteers and their host families build long-lasting relationships and often stay in touch after their project ends. All of our host families are vetted and trained before volunteers arrive.

Have an Adventure

Travel to must-see spots in your host country! You’ll travel as a group to experience unique destinations your host country has to offer, like volcanoes, ancient ruins, national parks, and historical sites. You’ll get to see these places from the distinct perspective of someone who has lived in that country and learned about the culture firsthand. Plus, you’ll bond with their fellow volunteers and have fun!

Travel with Trust

AMIGOS is the industry leader in health and safety management. Our staff is prepared to help you with any situation that may arise. Each volunteer receives a personalized emergency plan, as well as support from local staff teams and a professional 24-hour On-Call Safety Team of travel specialists, doctors, and mental health specialists. AMIGOS also has an established network of vetted medical clinics and hospitals throughout the region.

Training for AMIGOS and Beyond

Prepare for AMIGOS through guided training in topics like: multicultural understanding, health and safety, community development; travel safety, Spanish, leadership, and team building.

Upon arrival in the field, you’ll start country-specific training with your group of fellow volunteers. During your time abroad, you’ll meet regularly with an AMIGOS staff member who serves as your mentor. Finally, at the end of your service, come together again as a group to participate in debriefing — putting what you learned in context, preparing to go home, and going on fun excursions around the country.

Want to volunteer abroad?

Learn more about AMIGOS programs!

REQUEST INFO
Length Training
Dates
In-Country
Dates
Ages Application
Deadline
Price
Local Chapter 6 weeks

Find a chapter near you for a local training calendar!

June 25–August 6

15–22 Closed

$4,250 + group fundraising

National Chapter 6 weeks

Group pre-departure training: June 21–25

June 25–August 6

15–22 April 30

$6,350 (includes international airfare)

  • Local Chapter
  • Length
    6 weeks
  • Training Dates

    Find a chapter near you for a local training calendar!

  • In-Country Dates

    June 25–August 6

  • Ages
    15–22
  • Application Deadline
    Closed
  • Price

    $4,250 + group fundraising

  • National Chapter
  • Length
    6 weeks
  • Training Dates

    Group pre-departure training: June 21–25

  • In-Country Dates

    June 25–August 6

  • Ages
    15–22
  • Application Deadline
    April 30
  • Price

    $6,350 (includes international airfare)

Partner Agency

AMIGOS helped me find my voice and my purpose in life. AMIGOS isn’t just a summer volunteering program, it is a path that leads you to appreciate other peoples and cultures, a journey that develops you as a leader, an adventure that makes you realize that you are more capable than you think.

—Eli Samson, Chimborazo Project Volunteer, 2018

Program Requirements
  • Meet the health criteria for AMIGOS participation and follow the mental health procedures if necessary.
  • Receive required immunizations and medications
  • Be age 15–22 on the project start date
  • Have taken 2 years of Spanish or the equivalent
REQUEST INFO

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