Plan My Gap Year

English Teaching Assistant in Local Schools

Quito, Ecuador show on map
Teach English to rural students or students with special needs and work on their vocabulary and verbal skills. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
50+
Based on Global view Ecuador has a very good school system which requires all school aged children to attend classes until they achieve a basic level of education.

The public school system has a high level of enrolled children reflecting the government requirements are met, but, unfortunately, the level of participation in ages 15+ has decreased over the years in rural communities. Education is provided by the government for primary and secondary public students, but families are facing significant additional costs for extra classes and transportation. Due to this many aren’t able to continue to higher education or have the ability to speak English properly.


The private-school system tends to have extended student involvement, which then provides the necessary requirements for higher education levels such as university or training courses. Many of these institutions are run by churches requiring courses in religion along with maths, science, Spanish and at times other languages. There is an increasing number of private and international schools that offer courses in English, but the spaces on are limited.


In Ecuador, the government and local organisations have improved the quality of education not only for the general public, but also for special needs students across the nation. The areas of focus are for those that suffer from intellectual, physical, visual and hearing disabilities. Due to the changes in 2006, there are programmes from pre-primary to professional studies for over 30,000 students with special needs.


The PMGY English Teaching Volunteer Programme in Ecuador enables volunteers to teach English in two different environments based on interest. One is a typical classroom setting with cultural influences of indigenous beliefs and also within a school for the blind and deaf, which both offer unique experiences!


Can I use PMGY's programme as part of a university placement?

It is certainly possible to use one of PMGY’s programmes as part of your university or college placement. Project staff can sign off any paperwork required by your course tutors. PMGY regularly receives medical, childcare, psychology and nursing placement students at our projects around the world and we have ties with some of the leading universities.

 

If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programmes could meet the placement requirements for your degree course then please message us.


Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?

Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we always ensure our host locations are safe. Each programme has been extensively researched and has passed our strict vetting process. Our UK team undergo an extensive routine when establishing our in-country infrastructures and we continue to monitor our safety procedures on a regular basis. Furthermore, we monitor the stability of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis. Through our constant contact with consulates and embassies and our reports from our overseas teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable regions.

 

The PMGY team have visited and participated in every programme we offer and verified them based on our own independent criteria. We carefully inspect every little detail of our set-up. From inspecting the living conditions, checking out the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, to tasting the food you’ll be eating – each and every programme we establish has gone through a lengthy and rigorous vetting process. Risk assessments have been written for all areas in which PMGY operate and our experienced local coordinators are always on-hand to manage any emergencies that may occur. Our UK team are always on the road reviewing our risk management procedures in the field and monitoring local conditions.

 

In emergency situations we have the necessary protocols and equipment in place and we are able to evacuate our volunteers from potential dangers. Our local coordinators are trained to deal with emergency circumstances.

 

When you join PMGY we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visa issues etc. Furthermore, our UK team are only ever a phone call away should you wish to discuss any aspect of your upcoming programme. When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive safety briefing during your orientation course by our local coordinators. We will go through everything from emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM card, something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. We will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.

 

All our local teams are experienced development professionals who have years of experience in hosting international volunteers. They are our representatives on the ground and will assist you 24/7 throughout your stay. Whether you need to call home, travel at the weekend or require urgent assistance – they are there to support you.

Typical day

The classrooms are in group settings of 5-20 students based on their ability (ages 11-18). Courses can include general maths, science and English, while arts are very important including computer science, media and history. The teaching programme lasts from 8:00am to 1:00pm, but there are many opportunities to join in the afternoon for tutoring.

 

The project’s top priority is to improve the level of English of future generations of Quito since many of the people take English from primary, but with a basic curriculum including only minimal vocabulary and limited verbal skills. Most primary schools are understaffed leaving children without a proper understanding of the material to move forward in their education.


Students that are deaf or blind will engage in activities to further enhance their other senses so that they can then express themselves in the appropriate way to caregivers. Volunteers with experience in sign-language are of great need in the school, but this is not a requirement. Activities that the deaf children are involved in are story strips, jigsaw puzzles and visual diaries. Children that are blind are encouraged with activities such as texture matching, braille and the use of technology for those with vision impairment. All of these activities require assistance.


Here, volunteers will be involved in the classroom from 8:00am to 12:00pm with groups of 1-4 children based on their level of need. The tasks may include one-on-one assistance for classroom projects, educating children in general education such as maths, science and English or preparing lessons.

Details on Arrival

The programme starts on Sundays, so you should arrive into Mariscal Sucre International Airport Quito (airort code UIO) on these days.The programme ends on the Saturday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day.

Free-time activities

In & Around Quito


PMGY volunteer in Ecuador participants are based in Quito, the country’s capital located in the Andes Mountains. This major city is home to nearly 3 million people, but with its quaint atmosphere resting in the mountain tops you will find yourself in the majestic views of city life, wilderness and history.

 

Quito is a uniquely, centralized location to live and work in. In this famous city, you can find yourself at a prime spot to visit the earth’s equator, hike to Cotopaxi Volcano, enjoy panoramic views from the Teleférico, buy souvenirs at the Artesian Market, board the train to the amazon, take a flight to the Galapagos Islands for a long weekend or enjoy a quiet afternoon at Zazu restaurant for a delicious meal.

 

Our participants are situated in a great location to explore the local sites and also travel further afield.


Quito

Quito is the world’s most ‘historic’ city. As you venture down the cobblestone roads you can be sure that the same buildings ahead of you were there centuries ago. This enchanted city is the perfect introduction to Latin culture with its mixture of Indigenous and European traditions. Art and nature clearly play a large part in the beliefs of this beautiful location; wait until you walk the streets and encounter the endless murals, statues and works-of-art waiting for purchase in shop after shop.

 

This Spanish destination pours history into the hearts of every visitor with its colonial buildings, checkerboard patterned streets and earthen bricked churches. The surrounding snow-capped mountain tops and starry nights will leave you breathlessly in love with Quito!


Mindo Cloud Forest

The thrill of a 100 metre cloud forest will leave you wishing you never left as you glide through the tree tops and tube down the waters in the mountains. If you aren’t up for the packed adventure in the canopy you can keep yourself grounded and trek the Rio Nambillo of brightly coloured flowers and exotic wildlife.

 

A favourite tour of many is spent zip lining through the canopy of Mindo Forest. An hour of adventure moving tree to tree, witnessing spider monkeys jumping over your head and sloths chillin’ as you move from platform to platform. Those that want to satisfy their sweet tooth especially enjoy the Mindo Chocolate tour! The time spent with chocolate makers in El Quetzal will show you the steps of this delightful treat from its original form starting as the cocoa bean.

 

Don’t miss out on a weekend in the clouds!

Sightseeing
Shopping/Souvenirs
Hiking
Museum/Opera
Sports
Yoga/Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level) and Spanish (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
at High School/University level
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
You should be physically fit, as volunteering overseas can be quite strenuous. If you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas then these must be declared to us during your online application.
While the programmes only require you to speak a basic level of Spanish, we find that the ability to speak a good level of Spanish will greatly enhance your overall experience.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 13:00

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Plan My Gap Year cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Plan My Gap Year.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Plan My Gap Year (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Plan My Gap Year
Your fee includes both your registration fee and programme fees.

Your programme fee includes; accommodation, food, airport pickup (24 hours), in-country orientation, private transport to projects, 24 hour in-country support.

Your registration fee includes; 24 hour UK based support, comprehensive volunteer handbook, live pre-departure webinars, 100% financial protection, regular programme inspection.
Airport Pickup at Mariscal Sucre International Airport

You should arrive into Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito (airport code UIO) on the selected Sunday start date. You will be met at the airport by one of our local staff or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.

 

The programme ends on the Saturday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day.

Accommodation

During your time with PMGY in Ecuador you will live in our Volunteer House located in central Quito, the country’s capital. You will find restaurants, convenience stores, cafés, pubs and ATMs all within walking distance. You’ll be living with other volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.
 
The accommodation is comfortable with free Wi-Fi. Each room has single or bunk beds with up to 3 people per room in same-sex rooms. Volunteers are provided with cupboard space and bed linens. Bathrooms are shared, but have a shower and western style toilet. 

 

The Volunteer House has free Wi-Fi and a communal area for volunteers to hang out. We encourage you to bring some small padlocks and/or store any valuables in your own bags. There will also be fridge space available for volunteers to store any items they need to keep chilled in the kitchen. The Volunteer House is a quick walk from laundry services (low cost of $1.50/kg). 

 

Volunteers are housed within a hip area of Quito encompassed with restaurants, cafes, boutiques and pubs. The Volunteer House will have a security guard to ensure that volunteers are safe. Meals are not provided in the programme so there are fully equipped kitchens to prepare all of your food. This accommodation setup offers volunteers the unique experience of living with lots of other volunteers as well as an independent environment in this Latin American country.

 

The majority of our projects are not within walking distance of our Volunteer House. The PMGY Ecuador team members will educate you on the bus routes for your journey to project each day.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

Dorm Room Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages

The Volunteer House will be equipped with a kitchen including all the appliances and items needed to prepare your three nutritious meals a day. The idea behind this is that with a communal setting volunteers spend much of their time interacting with each other and building life long bonds, both while preparing and eating.

 

The Volunteer House is located in a great area. This hip spot has small food markets and large convenient stores for any items you may need. Whether you are preparing a frozen pizza or frying some fish and chips everything is in close proximity.

 

Volunteers tend to put their heads together and discuss certain nights they will cook together and then chip in to buy the food items. If you are up for some communal cooking, get involved! PMGY Ecuador will host cuisine nights that you are free to attend and learn. If you want to eat the well prepared Ecuadorian meal just bring $3!

 

If you have any questions about the kitchen or where to buy items the team is always willing to point you in the right direction.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) in Quito. We assist you to find cheap flights to Ecuador.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Ecuador provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Ecuador you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Ecuador.
Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
$ 909
6 weeks
$ 1,089
8 weeks
$ 1,269
10 weeks
$ 1,449
12 weeks (max. stay)
$ 1,614
Average fees
$ 181 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Quito/Ecuador between 4 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Plan My Gap Year will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Ecuador.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Plan My Gap Year during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Americas South America Ecuador  Quito, E5 Isla Seymour N44-71 y

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