Amazon EXPERIENCE LIFE IN AN INDIGENOUS RAINFOREST COMMUNITY
THERE ISNOOTHERTRIP LIKE A ME TO WE TRIP. 1 | M E T O W E T R I P S : A M A Z O N
WHY ME TO WE TRIPS? A ME to WE Trip is the start of a lifelong journey—and is unlike any other volunteer travel program. HELP LEAVE A LASTING LEGACY: Visit a WE Villages partner community and work side-by-side with locals on sustainable development projects. CONNECT WITH COMMUNITIES: Spend time with local community members and put real faces, names and stories to the impact of your volunteer work. WALK IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LOCALS: Experience the sights and sounds of a new culture, and have one-of-a-kind adventures led by expert local guides on a journey off the beaten path. BECOME A LEADER: Learn lifelong leadership skills through meaningful workshops built around issues in the country visited. Build confidence and the ability to motivate others, and get the tools to turn the trip experience into action at home. OUR CHARITY PARTNER WE Charity empowers change with resources that create sustainable impact, through domestic programs like WE Schools and internationally through WE Villages. Our unique partnership with WE Charity gives travellers the opportunity to interact and engage with welcoming cultures, people and communities, working side-by-side with locals on WE Villages development projects.
When we were young, we were both lucky enough to travel to South Asia to witness the lives of kids our age in developing communities. These journeys changed our lives and helped forge a path for our life choices. We know that a ME to WE Trip will give participants the same kind of eye- opening and inspirational experience we were so fortunate to have in our teens. The trip is just the beginning of a journey to make a difference—and we’re here to support travellers every step of the way.
Together, let’s change the world!
Craig Kielburger Co-Founder, WE
Marc Kielburger Co-Founder, WE
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“THE STUDENTS REALIZED THAT IT WASN’T JUST ABOUT BUILDING A SCHOOL, IT WAS ABOUT THE CONNECTIONS THAT THEY MADE. I REALLY APPRECIATE THE PHILOSOPHY THAT THIS IS NOT ABOUT CHARITY; IT’S ABOUT RELATIONSHIP BUILDING AND HELPING A COMMINITY HELP ITSELF”
HEATHER COEY, EDUCATOR, REYNOLDS SECONDARY SCHOOL
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WE VILLAGES IN THE AMAZON In Ecuador, WE Villages partners with communities in the Andes and Amazon regions. On a ME to WE Trip to the Amazon, a group’s volunteer project may include school-building or working on a clean water system.
EDUCATION Access to education in the Amazon is limited, and existing school buildings are often dilapidated and unsafe. Students are also forced to travel for hours on foot or by boat to get to school. We work with communities to build new classrooms and repair existing structures. WATER Access to clean water in the Amazon is limited due to unreliable water systems and a lack of wells, and community members are forced to use water from a polluted river for drinking and cleaning. Projects include clean water systems, latrines, hand-washing stations and sanitation education.
HEALTH Health projects in the Amazon will include programs to prevent tropical diseases. The goal is to work with existing health infrastructure to provide support and improvements.
FOOD In the Amazon, poor infrastructure, deforestation and rising global food prices contribute to poorer crop production, lower nutritional value of food and fewer income-generating options. Projects will focus on crop diversification and introducing cash crops to augment family incomes.
OPPORTUNITY Programs in the Amazon work to empower women and provide them with the tools to be economically independent. By focusing on traditional handicrafts and bringing them to market to sell, women will earn an income to help support their families.
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TRIP SPECIFICS GETTING THERE Trip participants travel together to the city of Quito on group flights booked through ME to WE. In-country facilitators will meet the group at the arrivals gate at the airport in Quito and accompany them to their accommodations. WHERE WE STAY Groups spend their first and last nights at a hotel in Quito. We select hotels that are safe and frequented by Westerners, and regularly book at the same hotels. The rest of the trip will be spent at Minga Lodge, an eco-lodge owned and operated by ME to WE. Participants always share rooms with one or more participants of the same gender, and males and females sleep in different areas. Educators stay in a separate room from students. All washrooms are Western-style and have sinks with running water, as well as showers available daily. Some rooms will have private washrooms, others will have shared facilities. All facilities are cleaned daily. WHAT WE EAT Participants will enjoy meals prepared with great care by our trusted local providers. Meals will include a mix of local and North American cuisine, including beans, rice, fish, salads, soups, fresh fruits, lasagna and pizza. Filtered drinking water will be readily available. GETTING AROUND Groups will travel together by bus or boat. All drivers used by ME to WE are the same trusted transportation providers we use for all of our trips.
LANGUAGE • Learn Swahili • Local staff speak both English and Swahili
CLIMATE • The average temperature in the Longido region is between 10 C - 14 C minimum and 22 C - 28 C maximum
CURRENCY • The currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling • We recommend that participants bring the equivalent to $200 USD as spending money
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“YOU’D GET OFF THE BOAT AND SEE ALL THE KIDS LINED UP AT THE SHORE WAITING FOR YOU, WITH MASSIVE SMILES ON THEIR FACES. IT WAS SUCH HARD WORK BUT WE WERE HAPPY DOING IT BECAUSE YOU GOT TO SEE THE REACTION FROM NOT JUST THE KIDS, BUT THE COMMUNITY ITSELF.”
KAIRA AYER, ME TO WE TRIP PARTICIPANT
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ITINERARY AND TRIP HIGHLIGHTS SAMPLE ACTIVITIES: Visit a cacao farm: Learn about an important source of local income. Groups will also get to do some chocolate tasting! Day in the Life: Step into the shoes of a local family for a day. Help them complete daily chores, and learn about their lives and the daily challenges faced by people in this region. Go on a jungle hike: Led by a local guide, explore the Amazon rainforest, one of the world’s most bio-diverse ecosystems. A TYPICAL DAY: 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.: Breakfast. 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Experience what a typical day is like for local communities. 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.: Lunchtime! 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.: Get to know the group better with a fun team-building activity. 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.: Volunteer on a WE Villages project. 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.: Head back to the accommodations for dinner. 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.: Action planning! Get ready to make a difference at home. 8:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m: Free time—read, relax and reflect on the day. Cooking class: Learn about traditional indigenous cooking from a local chef.
SAFETY: OUR TOP PRIORITY ME to WE has been facilitating volunteer trips overseas since 2002. Since then, we have taken more than 15,000 youth to Ecuador, Kenya, Tanzania, rural China, India, Nicaragua and Arizona without a major incident. In Ecuador, our safety measures include: • ME to WE Trips abide by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs travel advisories and monitors these updates prior to and during travel. • Canadian and American participants are registered with their respective embassy before departure to ensure accountability in case of emergency. For all other nationalities, ME to WE strongly recommends participants register with their embassy before travel. • Copies of all passports, medical and travel insurance, and emergency contact information are collected well in advance of the trip. • Our extensive facilitator training program includes emergency evacuation protocols, standard operating procedures and crisis prevention/management. All facilitators are trained in first aid and carry a first-aid kit at all times. • Local hospitals with Western medical standards are notified of our trips and prepared to handle any minor or major medical situations. • All transportation is run by our trusted private transportation providers. All travel within Ecuador occurs under the guidance of our in-country team. • All food is prepared by cooks who are trained in proper food preparation. • During all building activities, participants are given thorough instructions on the use of equipment and wear protective gear at all times.
OVER 15 YEARS OF TRIPS SAFETY
“MY DAUGHTER IS ALREADY A MATURE INDIVIDUAL, BUT WHEN SHE CAME HOME FROM ECUADOR I NOTICED THAT WAS DEFINITELY INCREASED. SHE TOOK BACK A GREATER APPRECIATION FOR WHAT SHE HAS, AND HOW MUCH I SUPPORT HER. I WOULDN’T HESITATE TO SEND HER ON ANOTHER TRIP!”
SHAYU TALBOT, PARENT OF ME TO WE TRIP PARTICIPANT
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QUESTIONS? Ready to book? Contact us today. 1 . 855 . 959 . 8330
L E A R N M O R E A T M E T O W E . C O M / T R I P S
TICO #: 50017614
Photographs courtesy of Matt Finlin, V. Tony Hauser, Michael Rajzman and Scott RamsayPage 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12
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