“Ecuador was fantastic. This was my first experience going abroad completely on my own, and it did take some adjustment, but it was also the most fulfilling experience abroad I have ever had. I am very glad that I had the opportunity to do this internship with ELEP. They were very supportive and informative all the time”.
Jenny Holmes, Journalism Internship, England
“My experience with ELEP was amazing! I received a grant from my university to study women’s health care and ELEP was able to provide me with a wonderful medical environment that would meet all my needs for my research project. For the month of July I worked in the obstetrics-gynecology unit in Quito’s Hospital del Sur. The doctors there were fabulous, they always took the time to explain medical procedures and allowed me to interview them and record their responses. In addition to the many times I observed deliveries, cesarean sections, and the tying of the fallopian tubes, I also assisted in deliveries and cesareans sections numerous times”.
Jeanine Simmons, Medical Internship USA
“I have recently returned from Ecuador, and must confess that the experience was a most satisfying and enriching one. Both the ELEP’s staff and colleagues (in the consulting firm where I did my internship) were good and very collaborators during my program. Besides, everybody in the family took care of me and was interested in what I am doing or think. I felt very comfortable all the time”.
Michael Schoener, Economic Internship, Germany
"Through this internship, I was able to put a lot of the skills I had previously learned to good use. I feel much more comfortable working with websites, and I gained a lot of experience working in a professional setting. I think I have met all my goals, even more than I expected."
Thank you ELEP for all your help.
Elizabeth Dittman, Graphic Design Internship, USA
"My internship was the perfect way to learn about the field of public health. I obtained valuable experience collaborating on a project with various physicians, and found an insight into what I am looking for in a profession. This type of information is priceless, and can't be taught in a classroom!"
William More, Medicine Internship, Canada
“My ELEP internship was an extremely valuable experience. This internship allowed me to see how the marketing and sales strategies that I learned at the University work in the actual marketplace. I also developed skills in sales, marketing, advertising, organization and time management. Without the opportunity to be an intern, I honestly do not think I would have been fully prepared to enter the business world.”
David Johnson, Marketing Internship, England
"My 2 month internship experience in Ecuador was
overall amazing! I have traveled with other volunteer programs
twice before, but ELEP has by far been the best out of the three I
have used. It is very well organized and the `psychology internship
offered opportunities to learn valuable skills useful to proceed to
graduate school and future work that are not normally available for
practice to undergraduate students in the USA due to many
restrictions. The price is additionally very reasonable and
the accommodations are great because one is housed with others,
which promote good community and travel opportunities in the
beautiful country of Ecuador! The ELEP staff meet you at the
airport, and from that moment on, they stay in contact with you,
help you, and genuinely care about your time/experience in their
country. But I for sure recommend ELEP for any international
internship experience you would like to have"
Psychology Internship, United State
"I would like to
recommend an ELEP Internship to anyone who wants to experience real
life in Ecuador and truly make a difference. From the start my
internship was well organized by Patricio and Jonathan who answered
all my e-mails promptly and found projects to best suit my skills as
dietitian with the help of local co-ordinator of Puerto Lopez.
I was very
pleased to be living with Liz, her family and other volunteers and
interns in Puerto Rico. Liz prepared daily delicious meals and was a
source of great laughter, warmth and support. Her sons Miguel and
Antonio and husband Maxi were charming and patient and it was lovely
to have other volunteers and inters to share the experience. The
accommodation was basic but felt very safe and was located in a
tranquil spot on Ecuador's coastclose to beautiful surf beach.
As for work, both
health centers in Salango and Las Tunas were fantastically friendly,
delighted to have help and I learnt a huge amount. There was a
plenty of opportunity to make a real difference and I was thrilled
to help co-ordinate the formation of diabetes club, to deliver
regular nutritional talks to various groups of patients and to have
the opportunity to visit patients at home to gain a better
perspective of their personal challenges.
In short, overall
I was delighted with the experience, believe it was good value for
maney and would not hesitate to recommend ELEP as an organization.
Special thanks to the staff at both medical centers for their warmth
and a kindness and Liz for all her incredible hard work and day-to-day
caring. I leave very happy with the experience and I feel very
appreciative for the wonderfull opportunity I have had to get to
Nutrition/Dietitian Internship, London
"In short, going to Ecuador changed my life. I know it's a cliche to say that, but in my case, it's true. Being immersed in another culture excited a quality in me I never knew existed. My experience working with the children in an orphan and a school has been extremely rewarding. ELEP has lived up to all my hopes and expectations with my program”.
Adam Hunt, Orphan and Teaching English Volunteer, USA
"I had the best time in Ecuador. ELEP Program has been a great way for me to improve my Spanish and gain an unforgettable experience. I worked on an organic farm as volunteer for 8 weeks and the best part about the program was the friendly and willing attitudes the people. Things are great in Ecuador. I love my host family-they take great care of me. I think the Ecuadorian culture taught me how to relax and to enjoy the important things in life”.
Matthew Smith, Organic Farm Volunteer, Canada
Thank you for everything you did during our time in Ecuador. Your support and organization helped us to make a smooth transition into a new culture.
Upon our arrival into Guayaquil, Patricio picked us up from the airport and took us on a tour of the city. It was so nice to know someone who could "show us the ropes." He also drove us to Puerto Rico and stayed with us as we met and got to know our host family. Living with a host family and teaching in the local schools helped us to feel like members of the community of Puerto Rico and Puerto Lopez. This was a great way to improve our Spanish speaking skills as well as to learn about the local culture.
We really appreciated how ELEP helped us to complete our three months on the Coast and also advised us about visa issues and travel information for our next stay in Ecuador. After having experience with other volunteer organization in Ecuador, we would highly recommend ELEP to future volunteers.
Clark and Katie Colby, Teaching English Volunteer, USA
Hello ELEP and Patricio!
“Ecuador is a beautiful country and I soon realised that three months is simply not enough time to explore everything this land has to offer, despite its deceptively small size on a map. The family I stayed with was extremely friendly (like most people in Ecuador), caring and generous. They were also very patient as I slowly learned Spanish! My time working at a local school in Quito was excellent.. The children demand a lot of attention, but the rewards of helping with their education are priceless – both for the student and volunteer alike. ELEP as an organization gave me autonomy when I wanted independence, but were always at hand when I needed support of any kind – they gave me a taste of the real Ecuador. An experience I will never forget”.
Joe Gerlach, Orphan and Teaching English Volunteer, England
I am writing to recommend the ELEP Organization to you as a facilitator of travel abroad programs. During the summer of 2006, ELEP (based in Quito, Ecuador) organized my trip to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador to teach English as a volunteer position. I found them to be very thorough and organized in all aspects of the program.
When I arrived in Ecuador , I was met at the airport in Quito by two ELEP representatives. They were very friendly and took me to the home of a host family, where I stayed for two days until my departure for Galápagos. While at this home, all my meals were provided and everyone at the home made every effort to accommodate me and answer any questions I had.
When I left for Galápagos , an ELEP representative accompanied me to the airport. When we arrived in Galápagos, the ELEP coordinator there picked me up from the bus station (we had to take a bus from the airport). We were then taken to the home of a host family, where I lived for 12 weeks.
The host family in Galápagos was great. Again, all my meals were provided, and the family was careful to always use purified water in cooking. Meals were very healthy and balanced. Because of the excellent food served in the house, I had very few gastrointestinal problems in Ecuador, which I had almost expected to have. Suffice it to say, I was well-cared for!
I was placed in San Cristobal Island where I taught fourth
grade at a local school. Teaching allowed me to become part of the
community and make a valuable difference in the lives of my students.
During my 12 weeks in Galapagos, I made great friends and experienced
incredible moments which I will never forget. The host family stay, which
was organized as part of the Teach in Ecuador Program, was fantastic. While
living in the family, I not only got an inside look into Ecuadorian cuisine
and culture, but I was also able to improve my Spanish which went from being
high basic to essentially fluent.
When I left Galápagos , I was again able to stay at the home of the host family in Quito. I wanted to take two days to travel to Baños, Ecuador, and Patricia Parrales of ELEP was great to set me up with a friend of hers, who took me all over Baños and served as my guide.
In summary , ELEP was a great organization to work with. I recommend them to you as a travel/volunteer abroad facilitator without reservation.
Samantha Weaver, Volunteer teacher from Australia
"For me, this trip was started out with months
of meticulous planning. Endless were exchanged between me and
helpdesk to find answers to every question I had---what programs I
should work with, where would I be living and volunteering, what
should I do in the case of an emergency, what is the host family
like, how would I explorer Ecuador when I have free time...
When I finally arrived, however, all the pre-trip
worries seemed to disappear. The family was wonderful---generous,
kind and experienced. Other volunteers were very helpful, and we
quickly became friends. The food was delicious and eassy to become
accustomed to. Weekends trips to explorer the country were the
highlights of my weekedns. I loved my volunteer work and I miss all
the people I met terribly. The kids were adorable and eager to
interact with me, and the older people were alwys affectionate and
The organization of my program was admirable.
The application process was simple, and learning to adapt to my new
schedule was not difficult. In Ecuador, I felt a very strong sense
of independence due to the fact that ELEP does not do much
sheltering as many other volunteer programs do. However, I never
felt threatened or unsafe---I traveled with other volunteers during
weekend excursions and always had phone numbers I could call in case
I needed help. Consequently, I learned to spend the majority of my
time taking care of myself, but I always knew help was available if
I needed it.
In short, my trip to Ecuador was all that I hope
for and more. My only regrest is that I did not start sooner, and I
couldn't stay longer".
Melodie Yen, Child care/elderly care &
healthcare volunteer, USA
"I recently volunteered in Ecuador with ELEP
Volunteer & Internship Programs and I gained an incredible amount of
professional experience through my volunteer work with this
organization. The invironment that I worked in was dedicated and
encouraging; I was treated a professional, a friend, and a colleague.
I was specially impressed by the impulse staff members' strong work
ethic and dedication to creating social and humanitarian changes. My
one-month volunteer work with ELEP Program was great and I will
never forget. The only improvement that I could've asked for on this
trip was MORE TIME!!! I will back again.
I would like to recommend ELEP as a travel
volunteer travel organization! Ecuador is a wonderful destination
for everyone interested in learning about the Latin America Culture
and to make a real difference!"
Timothy Smith, Community Development Volunteer,