Yanapuma has been a third-party provider for Study Abroad programs for US and international universities and colleges in Quito and Cuenca for the past 7 years. Optional Spanish classes at all levels can be combined with volunteering at one of several community and grass-roots projects in either Quito or Cuenca. 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.
We also offer combination programs of intensive Spanish study in Quito or Cuenca followed by independent Field Study in one of over 30 grass-roots organizations and community projects that we collaborate with all around Ecuador, including on the Galapagos Islands. Students can volunteer or intern in projects related to sustainable agriculture and conservation, sustainable community development, tourism, education and child care, health and well-being, and animal rescue.
Study Abroad programs can be created to fit with academic semesters, summer breaks, or personalized study programs, from as short as a week and up to one year. Yanapuma staff can act as in-country advisors for research projects regarding data gathering techniques and procedures, and can help to set up research opportunities prior to students' arrival in Ecuador.
The concept of Study Abroad combines classroom instruction with meaningful service to a local population in another country with the aim of promoting a sense of civic engagement in a globalized context. Active participation in local projects through the work of a local agency such as Fundación Yanapuma, together with structured time for reflection on the service experience offers the opportunity for personal growth and transformation. For the student, stepping out of their habitual and comfortable surrounding to share a new environment with local actors provokes new learning and reflection on values and attitudes.
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