I definetely recommend the program! The doctors were really friendly. My host family was brilliant - warm, welcoming and friendly. It was so lovely to be part of such a close family.

- Anna Geall, Newcastle, England (Smile Ecuador Dental Program, August 2009)

As an indigenous person myself (Anishanabe First Nations), I am very interested in visiting indigenous communities abroad, learning about their conceptualizations of health and methods of healing, understanding the local health challenges and discussing our shared struggles as first peoples. This program gave me the incredible opportunity to visit a remote community in the Amazonia, where I learned about Shuar healing techniques, the medicinal plants of the jungle and the community's ceremonial customes. It was an invaluable inter-cultural exchange that will help me in my journey to find a balance between my western medical training and my traditional ancestral knowledge of healing.

- Michale Dumont, Vancouver, Canada (Palora Eco-Health Program, July 2009)

I came to Ecuador for 4 weeks with SVE and it was an amazing experience. I was in ER, internal medicine and surgery and I learned so much from all the doctors. Every one was very warm and welcoming and I felt very welcome in the country. Spanish classes were fantastic. So many people have commented on how my Spanish has improved. The host family I was with was so amazing and I am so happy to have made so many good friends.

- Caitlin Fitzpatrick, Calgary, Canada (Sustainable Healthcare Program, July 2009)

I spent time in emergency, internal medicince and surgery. All of the doctors and hospital staff were great and took the time to answer all our questions. I learned a lot about healthcare in Quito. Our classes for Spanish were nothing short of amazing! This was a great experience and i will certainly be recommending this program to my friends and colleagues.

- Emily Christie, Calgary, Canada (Sustainable Healthcare Program, July 2009)

I really enjoyed my time in Ecuador and all the amazing experiences I had available to me through the program. I also had an amazing host family who really took me in as a member of their own family. I was able to see the differences between the healthcare systems in the US and Ecuador and also the differences in the way doctors practice. I will keep these lessons with me for life.

- Jessica Morales, Washington, USA (Sustainable Healthcare Program, July 2009)

I spent 2 weeks in Quito and 2 weeks in Palora. The best parts of my experience were seeing the tremendous differences between how medicine is practiced in Quito vs Palora and my host families.

- Lauren Kaup, Chicago, USA (Palora Eco-Health Program, April 2008)

Most of the dentists were more than willing to let me get in there and participate. The doctors are immensely helpful, willing to teach, and most importantly willing to answer questions. I have shadowed in US clinics and so many things are different here that it was truly a cultural experience. The teachers at the Spanish School have an incredible grasp on teaching the Spanish language. My two months in the gorgeous country with a rich cultural heritage and geographical diversity has been unforgettable. I am very grateful that SVE has given me this opportunity.

- Haaris Nizami, Oklahoma, USA (Smile Ecuador Dental Program, March 2008)

Firstly, I'd like to thank all the employees who made my experience possible through your dedication to Ecuador's health-care and to international volunteering. As a Canadian student looking for dental experience this program proved priceless in the fact that what I learned has cemented a Dental career one way or another in my life. The doctors I worked with were extremely pleasant, always eager to assist and accommodate even through our language barriers. Going to clinic was an adventure and with the open mindedness travellers carry it was an opportunity to constantly learn and experience something new. Equally as invaluable was experiencing Ecuadorian culture from museums and landmarks, to the cuisine and language. Friends I met there were like-minded and helped make the trip an unforgettable one. And in our spare time travelling together about the country we quickly found the locals to be friendly and helpfull at each city, town, hostel and bus stop we found ourselves momentary at. Each element of the trip came together harmoniously like the teeth in my Smile (Sonrie) when I think about Sustainable Volunteer Ecuador.

- Robert Hogarth, Vancouver, Canada (Smile Ecuador Dental Program, Summer 2008)

“I felt I really got to embrace Quito culture. My host family was really good at showing me what was custom, and what wasn't. I felt like a normal person going on day-to-day rather than a tourist or visiting student".

- Arlene Vazquez (Quito Sustainable Healthcare Program participant, Summer 2008)

“I am a History PhD candidate taking Spanish and teaching English to children. Overall, my experience has been wonderful. My host family is great and the teachers at the school have been patient with my butchering of the Spanish language.”

- A. B. Wilkinson, Ph.D. Student University of California, Berkeley (Helping Hands Volunteer Program, Summer 2007)

"I arrived in Quito and spent the first week and a half touring the city, learning Spanish, taking in the rich cultural history of the city, larning about national economic, social, and political issues as well as trying my hand at things like Ecuadorian cooking. After that it was a rather intrepid trip into the Intag region. When you think about what paradise looks like, you probably think of something that looks like areas of Intag. It is easy to see why inhabitants are so concerned with environmental protection. In Intag I sayed with a local family for a week and was given a taste of campesino life - I toured their farm, visited the local newspaper, the coffee consortium, and helped with activities such as milking cows and preparing tamales from scratch. I then spent a week in the small village of Junin where much of the mining conflict has centred around. Currenlty I am applying what I experienced in Ecuador to the classroom and am pleased to have a deeper understanding of the material I study.

- Scott Atchison, London, Canada (Intag Sustainable Economy Program, June 2007)I definetely recommend the program! The doctors were really friendly. My host family was brilliant - warm, welcoming and friendly. It was so lovely to be part of such a close family.

- Anna Geall, Newcastle, England (Smile Ecuador Dental Program, August 2009)

As an indigenous person myself (Anishanabe First Nations), I am very interested in visiting indigenous communities abroad, learning about their conceptualizations of health and methods of healing, understanding the local health challenges and discussing our shared struggles as first peoples. This program gave me the incredible opportunity to visit a remote community in the Amazonia, where I learned about Shuar healing techniques, the medicinal plants of the jungle and the community's ceremonial customes. It was an invaluable inter-cultural exchange that will help me in my journey to find a balance between my western medical training and my traditional ancestral knowledge of healing.

- Michale Dumont, Vancouver, Canada (Palora Eco-Health Program, July 2009)

I came to Ecuador for 4 weeks with SVE and it was an amazing experience. I was in ER, internal medicine and surgery and I learned so much from all the doctors. Every one was very warm and welcoming and I felt very welcome in the country. Spanish classes were fantastic. So many people have commented on how my Spanish has improved. The host family I was with was so amazing and I am so happy to have made so many good friends.

- Caitlin Fitzpatrick, Calgary, Canada (Sustainable Healthcare Program, July 2009)

I spent time in emergency, internal medicince and surgery. All of the doctors and hospital staff were great and took the time to answer all our questions. I learned a lot about healthcare in Quito. Our classes for Spanish were nothing short of amazing! This was a great experience and i will certainly be recommending this program to my friends and colleagues.

- Emily Christie, Calgary, Canada (Sustainable Healthcare Program, July 2009)

I really enjoyed my time in Ecuador and all the amazing experiences I had available to me through the program. I also had an amazing host family who really took me in as a member of their own family. I was able to see the differences between the healthcare systems in the US and Ecuador and also the differences in the way doctors practice. I will keep these lessons with me for life.

- Jessica Morales, Washington, USA (Sustainable Healthcare Program, July 2009)

I spent 2 weeks in Quito and 2 weeks in Palora. The best parts of my experience were seeing the tremendous differences between how medicine is practiced in Quito vs Palora and my host families.

- Lauren Kaup, Chicago, USA (Palora Eco-Health Program, April 2008)

Most of the dentists were more than willing to let me get in there and participate. The doctors are immensely helpful, willing to teach, and most importantly willing to answer questions. I have shadowed in US clinics and so many things are different here that it was truly a cultural experience. The teachers at the Spanish School have an incredible grasp on teaching the Spanish language. My two months in the gorgeous country with a rich cultural heritage and geographical diversity has been unforgettable. I am very grateful that SVE has given me this opportunity.

- Haaris Nizami, Oklahoma, USA (Smile Ecuador Dental Program, March 2008)

Firstly, I'd like to thank all the employees who made my experience possible through your dedication to Ecuador's health-care and to international volunteering. As a Canadian student looking for dental experience this program proved priceless in the fact that what I learned has cemented a Dental career one way or another in my life. The doctors I worked with were extremely pleasant, always eager to assist and accommodate even through our language barriers. Going to clinic was an adventure and with the open mindedness travellers carry it was an opportunity to constantly learn and experience something new. Equally as invaluable was experiencing Ecuadorian culture from museums and landmarks, to the cuisine and language. Friends I met there were like-minded and helped make the trip an unforgettable one. And in our spare time travelling together about the country we quickly found the locals to be friendly and helpfull at each city, town, hostel and bus stop we found ourselves momentary at. Each element of the trip came together harmoniously like the teeth in my Smile (Sonrie) when I think about Sustainable Volunteer Ecuador.

- Robert Hogarth, Vancouver, Canada (Smile Ecuador Dental Program, Summer 2008)

“I felt I really got to embrace Quito culture. My host family was really good at showing me what was custom, and what wasn't. I felt like a normal person going on day-to-day rather than a tourist or visiting student".

- Arlene Vazquez (Quito Sustainable Healthcare Program participant, Summer 2008)

“I am a History PhD candidate taking Spanish and teaching English to children. Overall, my experience has been wonderful. My host family is great and the teachers at the school have been patient with my butchering of the Spanish language.”

- A. B. Wilkinson, Ph.D. Student University of California, Berkeley (Helping Hands Volunteer Program, Summer 2007)

"I arrived in Quito and spent the first week and a half touring the city, learning Spanish, taking in the rich cultural history of the city, larning about national economic, social, and political issues as well as trying my hand at things like Ecuadorian cooking. After that it was a rather intrepid trip into the Intag region. When you think about what paradise looks like, you probably think of something that looks like areas of Intag. It is easy to see why inhabitants are so concerned with environmental protection. In Intag I sayed with a local family for a week and was given a taste of campesino life - I toured their farm, visited the local newspaper, the coffee consortium, and helped with activities such as milking cows and preparing tamales from scratch. I then spent a week in the small village of Junin where much of the mining conflict has centred around. Currenlty I am applying what I experienced in Ecuador to the classroom and am pleased to have a deeper understanding of the material I study.

- Scott Atchison, London, Canada (Intag Sustainable Economy Program, June 2007)
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Sustainable Volunteer Ecuador