Volunteer Review Sydnee Lynch in Ecuador Quito at the Childcare Program

Share This Post

A Broader View Volunteers

Experience a heartwarming welcome at our program, where the energy of the children and the welcoming staff make you feel at home from day one. Our community eagerly embraces new members with open arms, questions, and smiles. Join us today.

1 How was the local ABV coordinator and support provided in country?

  • My local ABV coordinator was also my host mom. From the beginning, she was energetics, kind, and very helpful. She has a many connections as well to help me have the best experience. She was always very supportive, loving, and helpful to all my needs and wishes. 

2 What was the most positive surprise you experienced?

  • At the program: I was happily surprised to see how welcoming and energetic the children were to see me at my project from the beginning. On my first day, they instantly greeted me, hugged me, asked me questions, etc. I never felt like a stranger or an outsider to the children or the staff, who were equally as welcoming.
  • At the accomodation: At my home and with my host family I was surprised by the constant supply of time spent together with the family. We had family dinners every night and usually had breakfast together as well. Beyond this, we also spent time after dinner playing cards, watching movies, or another activity with the kids which was always a blast. I wasn’t sure how my host family was going to be, so getting to talk with them every night and learn more about them was the best surprise.
  • The country: After hearing the news and from others that Ecuador can be an unsafe country, I was happily surprised to have always felt safe there. Everyone was always kind to me and willing to help me out. Even when walking alone to my project or touring the city, I never felt unsafe or threatened by my environment.

3 What was the most difficult thing to experience?

  • At the program: Having worked at a daycare in the United States, seeing how my project worked was shocking and a difficult learning curve for me. Compared to the structured plan and consequences of a daycare in the US, working in Ecuador was quite the opposite. This was partially due to my time of having come during summer vacation, but the kids are essentially allowed to participate in any activity for the day. Occassionally we had organized trips, but it was difficult to learn what they kids were allowed to and not to do and enforce those rules accordingly since their time was so free. 
  • At the accomodation: I lived with a big family in my accomodation of friends and family members. Due to this there was a constant influx and movement of who was in the apartment when. This made it more difficult to know the exact time when we were having organized meals, who was home when, etc. This was especially harder during the first week, naturally, but I eventually learned the routine of my family.
  • The country: The thing I originally struggled most with was learning the slow pace of life here. I struggled to be comfortable with not having a plan for every day and every hour. I had to learn that almost nothing goes to plan here and you have to be ready for everything. Not only this, but I learned it’s okay to take a nap some days after a long day of Spanish lessons and my project. Rather than feeling like I have to take advantage of every second of every day, I adjusted to the slow and calm lifestyle of living here. 

4 Any tips for future volunteers (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)

  • Take the weekends to travel as much as you can to see the landscapes! It’s truly amazing to see the changes and take the opportunity while it is there! Also if traveling to ecuador pack for chilly weather but if planning to go to the coast very hot weather as well, essentially be prepared for everything. And learn to go with the flow and lessen control over your plans and time here! It’s more fun to enjoy the trip as it comes than feel you have to do everything a certain way or check every item off your list.  

4 Other things volunteers should know 

  • A. Bring a rain jacket. Rain will come for 20 minutes then be sunny the next 30, but be prepared to changing weather and rain. 
  • B. Take initiative and don’t wait for people to tell you what to do. Ask questions for yourself, don’t wait for others to ask for you. 
  • C. Be cautious about the water and ice. Always ask if it’s purified or get a bottled water to be safe so you don’t get sick.

5 Personal Paragraph (ABV program testimonial) 

  • Volunteering with ABV has truly been a life changing experience. Not only the opportunity to experience a new culture for several weeks, but to stay with a host family and work with the community so closely is an amazing opportunity. I’ve met so many amazing people and made strong friendships, only giving me more reason to travel the world. I know I’ve been a changed person upon returning home and realize how blessed I am and how different people live. I’m beyond excited I got to experience this amazing journey and learn so much and grow in my love for travel. ABV will definitely be hearing from me again soon as I plan to pick a new destination to volunteer with again soon. 

6 How would you describe your accommodations, meals, security?

  • My host family was absolutely amazing. They were very accommodating to dietary restrictions or preferences and we had family dinners every night and a prepared breakfast and lunch. I had my own room for the first two weeks then when another volunteer came we shared the room. It was spacious and more than enough for the two of us. I always felt safe as well with a security guard at the front door of the apartment complex and my own keys to lock the doors as I wished. 

7 What was your favorite memory on this trip?

  • Program: I think my favorite memory is about one and a half to two weeks in when I really bonded with some of the kids at my host family. I brought a new card game to give and teach them, and once they were given it we played for several nights after dinner, all together playing all kinds of card games, talking, and laughing. It was the start of a true friendship which spawned into weekend trips with them and other fun evening activities! 
  • Country: I spent a second weekend in Banos with another volunteer and two members of my host family which was absolutely amazing. We got to participate in bungee jumping, a massive swing, and see some well-known sites. Spending time with my host family and friends and getting to grow closer to them was a truly incredible experience.
  • Tours: My last weekened a friend and I traveled to Puerto Lopez on the coast where we took two tours. There we got to see several whales super close, sea lions, swam with turtles, snorkeled, and kayaked in the ocean. Even though I got very sunburnt and stung by a jellyfish while snorkeling, the tours were super cool to see the wildlife and practice my Spanish as I translated for my friends on the second tour.

8 How was ABV USA support prior to traveling? 

  • A Broader View was great with keeping in contact with me, always responding, and answering all my questions. I always felt I had a connection to ask all my questions to who I knew would respond quickly and thoroughly. I appreciated having all my information in one place as well and easily accessible.  

9 Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers? 

  • Yes, absolutely.  

10 How did you find ABV?

  • The first ten days of my trip to Ecuador was organized by my alma mater high school. I had mentioned to my Spanish teacher that I was interested in extending my time in Ecuador past our departure date as a group. From there she forwarded me ABV’s link for the opportunity to volunteer abroad and live with a host family, which was my ideal hope since I wanted to practice and improve my Spanish. 


Sydnee Lynch

More To Explore