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Ecuador: Santa Elena

Project Information Packet (PIP)

Click here to download the Project Information Packet (PIP).

Project Specific FAQs

Itinerary and Activities

  • How many days is in-country training? Will volunteers have to quarantine in Ecuador before going into community?  
    • Volunteers will complete a quarantine for the first 3 days in Ecuador. This will involve rooming with a smaller group of volunteers and maintaining physical distancing and masking when not in their room or outside. After in-country training (which lasts one week), volunteers will travel to their communities to join their host families.  
  • Will AMIGOS volunteers have free time to visit the beach?   
    • The Santa Elena province is a coastal province in Ecuador that has beaches all around. A volunteer may be able to go to the beach with their host family as long as they have permission requested and approved by the AMIGOS project staff.   
  • How will volunteer projects be assigned in community? Will volunteers be able to speak with members of the community about potential project ideas?
    • This year volunteer projects will be related to larger projects that AMIGOS' partner, PLAN International, has already established in each community. The purpose of selecting the project idea in advance is to save time and to make sure that the type of project selected responds to a community need. With this, we try to make our projects more sustainable over time and allow volunteers to also focus on spending time with community members.
  • What is the typical food in Santa Elena?
    • Santa Elena is known for its delicious fresh seafood and plantains.
  • Will volunteers fly into Santa Elena?   
    • No. All volunteers will fly from MIA (Miami, Florida) to GYE (Guayaquil, Ecuador) and will be picked up by AMIGOS staff at GYE airport. From there, they will travel to Santa Elena, which is about a two-hour drive from Guayaquil.

Packing

  • With regards to water bottles, do volunteers need to bring 2 reusable water bottles AND a LifeStraw water bottle, or is it either/or?  
    • Either/or. Just the Lifestraw water bottle alone is enough as it purifies water.   

Lodging

  • What are the lodging accommodations like with a host family? Will volunteers be sleeping on a cot or will they have a bed?
    • AMIGOS requires all volunteers to bring a cot. However, there is also a chance that the volunteer will have a room and/or bed to themselves in the host family's house that they are welcome to use.     
  • When will volunteers find out which other AMIGOS volunteer will be in the same community as them?  
    • During briefing AMIGOS staff will define which volunteers go to which community based on their interests and preferences.    

Health & Safety

  • If a volunteer is using a LifeStraw water bottle, do they also need to purify their water?   
    • AMIGOS will be providing participants with liquid chlorine bleach upon arrival in-country to use in the case that volunteers do not have a LifeStraw bottle or need additional water purification. The LifeStraw water bottle does not need additional purification.
  • Do volunteers need a negative COVID PCR test prior to project start?
    • AMIGOS requires all volunteers to submit a negative COIVD PCR test within 72 hours of project departure. Please send the test results to our Health & Safety Team at oncall@amigosinternational.org.
  • What if a volunteer has had COVID-19 in the last 90 days, has fully recovered, but is still testing positive on a PCR-test?
    • If you have tested positive in the last 90 days, please email oncall@amigosinternational.org so we can discuss specific pre-departure requirements.  
  • How strongly recommended are rabies and yellow fever vaccines?
    • Both the yellow fever and rabies vaccinations are recommended but not required for volunteers. For additional questions on immunizations, please see our required list here and email our Health & Safety Team at oncall@amigosinternational.org.