Yanapuma organizes Service Learning programs for US and international universities, colleges and high-schools based around our extensive network of contacts with grass-roots and community organizations around Ecuador. We can arrange programs for individual students as well as for groups for varying lengths of time, from one week and upwards. Service Learning experiences can be combined with Spanish classes, either concurrently or prior to volunteering. Students can volunteer or intern at health centers and clinics, with pre-school, elementary and secondary school children, children with learning difficulties, street children and homeless aged persons, and more specifically skilled placements.
We also recommend homestays with local host families as the best way to immerse oneself in the language and culture of Ecuador.
The concept of Service Learning involves a method of teaching that combines academic study with meaningful community service, encouraging a sense of civic engagement and personal responsibility. Addressing authentic community needs is a key component, requiring students to immerse themselves in their host's environment and work collaboratively towards lasting solutions at the local level. Community development is used as an instructional strategy to achieve defined learning goals, through a combination of community service, academic instruction and personal reflection.
Service Learning projects can be organized for students to volunteer individually or in small groups, according to the specific needs of each organization. Yanapuma can place individual students from a group in different projects in Quito or Cuenca, or we can arrange individual and group volunteer placements around Ecuador. We can structure programs to include a mix of academic, volunteering, and more touristic pursuits with excursions to places of cultural, historical and environmental importance around Quito, Cuenca and Ecuador, including the Galapagos Islands.
Yanapuma will also coordinate with the sending institution to manage matters of academic credit and compliance with course requirements.
Click here to read about the core problems facing indigenous and marginalized communities in Ecuador