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Details and Itinerary
Arrive at the Quito airport and meet your Global Works Leader. Transfer via private bus to our Quito accommodation, selected specifically for its comfort and group-coherent space. Safety briefing, snacks, and settle into bed.
Begin the day with group orientation and language activities as we situate ourselves in this exciting new setting. Spend the day visiting the famous Plaza de Independencia and El Panecillo to take in breathtaking views of this sprawling metropolis. After a delicious traditional lunch, we visit the Quito Teleferico before returning to the hotel for dinner and a continuation of orientation activities.
We rise early to transfer via private bus to Lago Cuicocha (2.5 hrs) for a hike around the spectacular crater lake. Learn about the geological and cultural histories of the area as we take in amazing views and stretch our legs! After a local lunch, we settle into our new accommodations in the nearby town of Cotacachi (homestays are an alternative option). Evening group reflection and community service orientation takes place along with some language activities before settling into bed.
We transfer via private bus to a small indigenous community outside of Cotacachi (20 min) where we will spend the next four days engaging in community service and exchange. We begin our time by meeting with local school-aged children and their families to discuss projects and practice our Spanish. Past projects have included general maintenance around the local indigenous school, building, and painting. The small school building hosts all local students under one teacher; there is a lot of work to do!
In addition to daily projects alongside community members and school organizers, the group will have the opportunity to visit a local tannery to see how locals process leather- we will even try our hand at shoe or wallet making! Other workshops will include organic jam and jewelry making. One afternoon, we will take a break from work to visit the world-famous Otavalo artisan market!
On our final full day in the community, we will hold a Pambamesa Lunch where different members of the community bring their land products to share as a way to thank you for all the work done during this week. We will also hold a final celebratory dinner with our new friends.
After breakfast at the hotel, we make one last visit to our worksite to see results, play some fútbol, and say goodbye to our new friends. We travel back to Quito for one night and hold service learning reflection activities as a group to consider our days spent in Cotacachi.
The next morning, we drive east for a visit to the mystical Papallacta Hot Springs in the highlands above Quito. We eat a local lunch to try a local delicacy- trout! We transfer back to Quito for final reflections, trip closure, and a celebratory dinner out in the city.
Transfer via private bus to the Quito airport in accordance with your flight schedule. We are sad to leave, but excited to share our stories with our family and friends. ¡Adios, Ecuador!