Although an exotically beautiful country, the population of Ecuador and Galapagos are plagued with poverty, lack of educational opportunities, and a battle to keep the unique species and fauna on both the Galapagos and the mainland alive and thriving. When you embark upon this program you will have the opportunity to work on initiatives that empower change within the host community and merge learning, service work, and cultural exploration, and fun.
Through our educational partner, Bethel University, all rising junior and senior high school students are eligible to participate in the immersive, online dual-enrollment course- Global Service Learning and Citizenship (GST 140). This virtual classroom experience not only provides program participants with an edge during college admissions because of their unique dual-enrollment university experience, it will provide them with a much richer service work experience and increased cultural understanding after they embark on the international service work component of the program.
Hands-on, immersive cultural learning opportunities include cooking lessons, an excursion to visit “The Middle of the World,” exploring Quito’s Old Town, a ride up the Teleferico, a visit to El Panecillo, and more! For those adding on the Galapagos portion of the program, you can expect opportunities to snorkel with sharks, see blue-footed boobies and sea lions in the wild, and tour some of the island’s many environmental and ecological centers to learn more about issues such as sustainable fishing, Darwin and his theories, and the spectacular fauna and flora of this intriguing chain of islands.
Service project opportunities abound in this majestically beautiful country. In Quito, program participants will work on infrastructure projects in a local center for at-risk youth and also work one on one with the center’s youth on a variety of educational programs. If the group adds on the Galapagos Island portion of the program the participants will also have the opportunity to serve on environmental and ecological projects with our partners on the island of Santa Cruz.
Program participants will exit the program having:
– Demonstrated an understanding of the definition and value of global citizenship
– Developed awareness of one’s own personal reactions to those from different cultures (personal biases, beliefs, attitudes)
– Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of local, national and/or global issues and the interconnectedness and interdependency of different countries and populations
– Developed skills for critical thinking and analysis of global issues
– Developed a sense of belonging to a common humanity, sharing values and responsibilities, based on human rights
– Developed familiarity with various cultures / cultural practices of the host country
– Acted effectively and responsibly at local, national and global levels for a more peaceful and sustainable world