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IVHQ Video Tour: Ecuador

The IVHQ Video Tour continues and our video team, George and Kate, keep us in the loop from Ecuador:

Looking out over EcuadorOur next stop in South America is Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, recently acknowledged by National Geographic as one of the Top 20 destinations in the world to visit in 2013. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Quito’s old town is full of beautiful cathedrals and other historic buildings.

Quito makes for an excellent base to explore the rest of Ecuador, with many volunteers having travelled to destinations such as the Amazon and the spa town of Banos during their spare time.

Here in Quito the volunteers live either in the volunteer house or close by with various local host families.

Thursday 29 November

Visiting the IVHQ volunteers working with Street ChildrenThe main project the IVHQ volunteers are involved in here in Quito is the Street Children project. The ferias of Quito are open-air markets that run several days a week. Many children work long hours at these markets helping their parents to sell various goods, leaving very little opportunity for education or recreation. These children can be as young as two years of age and this environment severely limits their development. There are several different areas in and around Quito where the Street Children project is run, and classes are conducted in both the morning and the afternoon. 

Street Children work project volunteers in Ecuador with IVHQThis morning we travel with the volunteers to the Sangolqui market, located about an hour's bus ride from Quito. Here the volunteers set up the education centre right behind the bustling market, firstly constructing a tent and then collecting the children from within the market. The volunteers then run classes that involve a range of different activities to foster the children’s learning. 

Building relationships with the parents is a critical step in this process, in order to gain their trust and eventually permission to spend time with the children.

Ultimately, the Street Children program aims to ensure that any child not attending school is enrolled within a period of 10 months. 

Friday 30 November

Volunteers here in Quito also have the opportunity to work at several local schools teaching English. Today we visit Ninos Lideras, a school located very close to the volunteer house. Here both a kindergarten and a primary school are housed and volunteers can work as teaching assistants or if more experienced, as English teachers.  Today the children are practicing their end of year production.

Teaching English volunteers in Ecuador with IVHQMany of the Ecuadorian teachers at this school are also taking English lessons, which IVHQ volunteers have the opportunity to teach.

In the afternoon we head to the town of Otavalo, a town famous for its Artisan markets said to be the best in South America! 

 

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