Plan My Gap Year

Provide Healthcare to Locals

Quito, Ecuador show on map
Join the medical staff in the wards of a public hospital and provide care to the marginalized people of Ecuador's capital. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

In the late 1990s, Ecuador suffered from an extremely weak government with one of the worst financial systems in Latin America. The healthcare provided was that of the middle ages with costs that were never to be met by the monthly salary of $210.00 per citizen. The system was failing and with unemployment at over 10% of the population and 20% at poverty level, people were faced with little to no solution.

 

In 2000 Rafael Correa took office and in the first years, although hit with crisis after crisis, established one of the strongest healthcare systems of the continent. At the start, there were so few hospitals and medical care providers that patients were receiving the level of care one would have in an extremely rural clinic in the major city of Quito. Due to these measures, Correa invested over $2,000 million into the healthcare budget and commissioned 18 new hospitals in major cities along with 250 healthcare centres and health clinics in rural villages nationwide.

 

Since these changes, locals describe all care to be equal across the country, whether they are visiting a rural village clinic or a major hospital in Quito. The care will be nearly the same quality with only a difference in the availability of specialists in the small facilities.

 

Changes to the healthcare system are also reflected by the levels of coverage. The system is broken down into four parts; private, public, social care and no coverage. Those with private care are the working class; this care is provided under a purchased insurance plan. In addition to the private system, there is the Social Care system, which is similar to the Social Security system of the United States. This system applies to citizens that have applied portions of their income for a duration of time to the government care plan, which allows for a coverage in healthcare. The public system is free to everyone who has been denied care; in most cases, this is for those with a terminal illness, over the age of 60, under the age of 10 and impoverished.

 

PMGY Volunteers are going to apply their time in a public hospital in Quito. The project takes place in one of the few care centres offering free healthcare for the people in and around the capital. The hospital provides volunteers with the opportunity to join on 8 different wards including internal medicine (speciality departments), paediatrics, gynaecology, occupational therapy, trauma, out-patient and surgery consult department.

 

The hospital is very happy to have university students and medical volunteers, but they take the position quite seriously. Volunteers on this project are not required to have any medical education, but should have some form of experience whether in a community care setting or clinical volunteering hours. The minimum time in any department will be 2 weeks and the ward will be assigned based on your level of Spanish, (these factors can be considered if volunteers are joining for 3- weeks and/or receiving Spanish classes). The recommended time for this medical project is 4+ weeks to properly apply yourself in the listed departments.


Please be aware that care provisions may not meet the autonomy or standards of your home country. In Latin America volunteers may encounter situations where locals have been victims of domestic violence and/or other forms of physical assault. We ask that those on this programme keep an open mind and prepare for different experiences than they may encounter within their medical studies at home.

 

Your level of involvement at the project is dictated by medical experience, duration of programme and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision, so it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures. Whilst previous PMGY volunteers have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc, we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement for participants regardless of their medical experience or background.


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.

Typical day

Volunteers will join the programme Monday – Friday. The project will begin at 8:00 am each day to ensure you get a busy morning and help the medical staff out appropriately. The average time on the project will be 5 hours finishing in the early afternoon or time of requested completion. An example of a day on the pediatric ward could be as follows:

 

08:00 – 09:00 Observe inpatient rounds with a nurse for medication, consultation and viewing
09:00 – 09:30 Observe injections for children in need of updated vaccine charting
09:30 – 11:00 Assist care provider by engaging children in games or play while they provide necessary treatment for external wounds, infections or therapy due to disabilities.
11:00 – 11:30 Break time
11:30 – 13:00 Shadow doctor during rounds providing consultation and admission to the hospital
13:00 – 14:00 Assist care providers with counsel and care planning with family for patient discharge plan

Details on Arrival

The programme starts Sundays, so you should arrive into Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito (airport 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)
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
2 weeks (min. stay)
$ 879
3 weeks
$ 969
4 weeks
$ 1,059
6 weeks
$ 1,239
8 weeks
$ 1,419
10 weeks
$ 1,599
12 weeks (max. stay)
$ 1,779
Average fees
$ 294 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Quito/Ecuador between 2 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, Angel Ludeña & Machala Oe 5261

You might be also interested in

Nature Reserve Preservation Taolagnaro, Madagascar Plan My Gap Year Agency | Plan My Gap Year
We need volunteers to help us with wildlife conservation and monitoring, physical maintenance and renovation on the reserve and environmental education awareness.
Medical Apprentice Kumasi, Ghana Plan My Gap Year Agency | Plan My Gap Year
A fantastic opportunity to gain first-hand experience and insight into the Ghanaian health care system. Learn from local staff and get involved in supporting them.
Early education and childcare buddy Rabat, Morocco Plan My Gap Year Agency | Plan My Gap Year
Spend time looking after the children as well as providing early education to the children by teaching basic English and organising games.
English Tutor Rabat, Morocco Plan My Gap Year Agency | Plan My Gap Year
Our volunteers provide young people from poor families the chance to learn English and improve their chances of gaining meaningful employment in the future
English Teaching Support Pathum Thani, Thailand Plan My Gap Year Agency | Plan My Gap Year
Assist local teachers with teaching English in the large classrooms that can have up to 40 children in at one time by talking to the children to improve their skills.
English Teaching Assistant in Local Schools Quito, Ecuador Plan My Gap Year Agency | Plan My Gap Year
Teach English to rural students or students with special needs and work on their vocabulary and verbal skills.
Reservation
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Why am I seeing this?

You requested a page that doesn't exist on this site any more. This could be caused by a link you followed that was out of date, by a typing in the wrong address in the address bar, or simply because the post has been deleted.

Take Me Home