2018 CF WelcomePackage Ecuador

Welcome Package

Your ME to WE Trip to Ecuador

Welcome

Preparing for your adventure Travel doctor .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Health reminders.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Insurance.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Money. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 ME to WE Tr ip rules and pol icies.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Packing for Ecuador .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Your adventure Introducing our Ecuador country team. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 What to expect upon arr ival .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Ecuador general informat ion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Communicat ion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Accommodat ions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Food. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Volunteer ing.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Safety. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Next-steps checkl ist .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Contact us.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Table of contents

Hola! Welcome to your ME to WE Trip to Ecuador! We can’t wait to host you in the Amazon and want to take this opportunity to ensure that you’re feeling confident and equipped with all the information you need to know before you travel. The next few pages will walk you through how to prepare for your travel experience and what to expect once you arrive. We recommend that you review all of the information in this package—please connect with your trip coordinator if you have any questions at all. We are here to support you, and we’re looking forward to getting started!

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Preparing for your adventure

Travel doctor As you prepare for your ME to WE experience, we recommend that you visit a travel doctor. At ME to WE, we cannot provide advice on specific medications or vaccinations you may need for your trip. The advice given to you by a travel doctor will depend on your past medical history, and will ultimately be your decision. We suggest going to visit a travel doctor two to six months before you depart on your trip. When you visit the travel doctor, you can let them know: ► ► You will be in Quito for one night at the beginning and one night at the end of your trip. ► ► You will be in the Amazon in Napo Province in a community east of Tena, along the Napo River, for the remainder of your trip. ► ► Please note that this information is exclusive of any extensions or personal travel you do before or after your ME to WE Trip. If you are booking an extension, please speak to your trip coordinator for more information on the regions you will be visiting.

Health reminders ► ► We provide filtered drinking water for all guests throughout the trip. If you wish to bring a personal water bottle, please feel free, otherwise you will be provided with one. ► ► The health questionnaire that accompanies your registration forms is completely confidential and will be used so that medical personnel may make informed decisions in the event of an emergency. ► ► As Ecuador is located right on the equator, the sun is very powerful! Please remember to bring and wear sunscreen as well as a hat with a brim. ► ► Please inform us of all medical conditions and medications you are currently taking and bring an extra supply of medication for the trip.

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I nsurance It is mandatory that all guests are covered with emergency medical travel insurance. We also highly recommend that this insurance be extended to include trip cancellation and interruption, in the event of any unforeseen circumstances, as all payments made toward your trip are non-refundable. If you would like, ME to WE can provide you with an insurance quote through our preferred provider. Please speak with your trip coordinator for more information! Money The local currency in Ecuador is USD, and credit cards are also widely accepted in Quito. We suggest bringing about $200 USD in small bills for your trip. Your food, water and beverages, transportation, accommodations and activities are included in the cost of your trip, but you may wish to have extra spending money. This will go toward souvenirs, any meals or expenses during flights, an international phone plan or Internet access at hotels (if applicable) and gratuities if you wish to leave some. At Minga Lodge, all gratuities are distributed equally among all staff. Tipping is not expected but appreciated—we recommend $5–$10 USD per day, per person. If you are booking a trip extension, you may require additional spending money.

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Tr i p po l i c i es There are a few policies that we ask travelers to commit to in order to ensure we are preserving the relationships we have with our communities and making this trip as impactful as possible. Photo policy This policy exists to preserve the positive relationships we have with our partner communities. We want to ensure that the photos we take are not exploitative, and that we are taking photos of solutions—not problems—to share with friends and family. We ask that photos are only taken of people with whom we have built a relationship, after obtaining their permission. We will never take photos of people we see while driving or walking by. We can assure you that there will be plenty of opportunities for you to take photos and highlight key moments on your trip. The trip facilitators will let the group know when it’s appropriate to take a photo. Gift-giving policy WE has worked for many years to create strong partnerships with the communities we work with. The WE Villages program works toward sustainable development and empowering people and communities to support themselves. This means that the work we do is in solidarity with our communities,

not an act of charity. Because of this, we ask that participants do not bring gifts from home to give local children or families. This includes anything and everything from a soccer ball to school supplies to the sunglasses on your face. Remember that you’re already contributing so much just by being in the community volunteering. A friendly wave, a smile or a hello in the local language is the most important gift you can give.

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Packing for Ecuador One of the best ways to have a successful trip to the Amazon is to plan ahead and start thinking about what you will be packing. Be sure to consider the weight of the items that you are planning to bring, as you will have to meet both your international luggage restrictions as well as domestic flight restrictions. For your carry-on bag, we recommend a small backpack—this will double as a day pack. Your carry- on should contain everything you would need for one to two days, in case your luggage gets to Ecuador after you. For the rest of your luggage, we have included a clothing list on the following page as a guide to use at your discretion. Please note that there are cultural expectations around clothing that may be different from home. If you are unsure about what

you should and should not wear, please refer to this list. The clothing you wear on the build site is likely to get quite dirty, so please consider this while deciding how much and which clothing to pack. We offer laundry services at Minga Lodge if you would like to wash any items during the trip—laundry will be returned within 24–36 hours. Since Minga Lodge is in the Amazon, you can expect hot and humid weather for most of your time there. To keep yourself as comfortable as possible, loose and lightweight clothing made of quick-dry material is best (we recommend avoiding cotton or natural fibers). Despite the heat, long pants and long sleeves are best for avoiding bug bites. You will be provided with rubber boots for your stay, so we suggest bringing tall, breathable athletic socks that won’t slip down your feet while you’re wearing the boots.

Average temperatures in Ecuador

The Amazon Temperatures range between 22°C–35°C / 71°F–95°F and humidity can be as high as 90%. Please be prepared for periods of rain.

Quito You will spend about two days in Quito where temperatures range from 10°C–19°C / 50°F–66°F. The city has a fairly constant cool climate due to its elevation. Please remember to bring a few warmer items to wear during your time in Quito.

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No need to pack Towels, facecloths Bedsheets, pillows Hair dryer (we provide this for you!)

Checked baggage Strongly recommended items to pack: An outfit for travel A comfortable and casual outfit for your day in Quito A mixture of short-sleeved and long-sleeved quick-dry tops A few comfortable evening outfits (i.e., lightweight pants and a long-sleeved shirt) A lightweight, high-quality waterproof rain jacket with a hood Comfortable pajamas Comfortable shoes (we suggest sneakers or tennis shoes) Toiletries bag: toothbrush, toothpaste, personal hygiene items, hand sanitizer, etc. (we provide shampoo, conditioner and soap at Minga Lodge) Sun hat and sunscreen Suggested items to pack: Work/gardening gloves for build site (we do provide gloves on-site, but you may prefer to use your own) Insect repellent and anti-itch ointment Nut-free travel snacks Electrolyte powder (to add to filtered water, if desired) Long athletic socks (ankle socks will be uncomfortable to wear with the rubber boots we provide) A pashmina/light scarf Active-leisure wear (to use for optional morning yoga, jogging or other optional exercise) Camera and charger (no adapter required) Plastic bags (Ziploc or similar) to pack clothes for return trip (they may be damp from the humidity)

Shampoo, soap, conditioner Jewelry or valuable items Laptop

Tank tops, short shorts, low-cut tops or other clothing that may be culturally inappropriate Carry-on bag Passport and travel documents Prescription medications Essential toiletries (no liquids/gels over 100ml due to airline restrictions) A change of clothes Spending money ($200 USD) Personal items (e.g., camera, book, magazine, journal) Reusable water bottle Passport and visa requirements Your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from your scheduled date of departure from Ecuador and contain a minimum of two blank pages. People of most nationalities, including those holding a Canadian or American passport, do not require a tourist visa to enter Ecuador, if they are staying in the country for less than 90 days.

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Welcome to Ecuador

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Introducing our Ecuador country team Below are some of the incredible team members who are working hard in Ecuador to make all the arrangements for your life-changing experience. While they work mostly behind the scenes, you may see them pop in during your trip, so make sure to introduce yourself! You will also be accompanied by two full-time facilitators, who will be confirmed closer to your date of departure. Your facilitators will be there 24/7 to guide you through each moment of your trip experience, and make sure that you are having a fun, safe and meaningful journey.

Ximena Morris Director of Client Experience and Logistics

Ryan Kern Corporate and Family Trips Specialist

Jacqueline Granda Manager, Amazon Trips

Robin Wiszowaty Director, WE Villages Ecuador

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What to expect upon arrival After landing at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport, you will proceed toward customs. Please ensure you have your passport handy, as well as your completed customs card, which will have been given to you on the plane before landing. After going through customs and speaking to a border agent, you will proceed to baggage claim and find your luggage. Before exiting the airport, you will be required to put all of your baggage (both checked and carry-on) through a security X-ray. You will then exit to the arrivals area, where a member of our team will be waiting to greet you! If you encounter problems en route, for example, missing a flight connection, you should contact our 24-hour emergency phone at 1.416.526.8450.

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Ecuador facts: ► ► Ecuador’s primary exports include oil, bananas and shrimp ► ► 95% of Ecuador’s population is Roman Catholic ► ► The average life expectancy in Ecuador is 76 years ► ► One third of Ecuadorians live in rural areas ► ► 35% of the Ecuadorian population lives below the poverty line ► ► More than 7% of children aged five to 14 are engaged in child labor ► ► Bordering Colombia to the north, Peru to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the west, Ecuador’s population of 14.5 million is comprised of 65% Mestizo (mixed Indigenous and Spanish), 25% indigenous, 7% Black and 3% European ethnicities ► ► Quito is on ECT (Ecuador Time), and is the same time zone as Toronto (Eastern Standard Time) ► ► Ecuador does not have Daylight Saving Time, so the region is an hour behind during DST periods

Country information overview The South American country of Ecuador (Spanish for Equator) gets its name from the fact that it straddles the Equatorial line. Bordering Colombia to the north, Peru to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the west, Ecuador’s population of 14.5 million is comprised of 65 percent Mestizo (mixed Indigenous and Spanish), 25 percent Indigenous, 7 percent Black and 3 percent European ethnicities. Although Spanish is Ecuador’s official language, many of the Indigenous people speak their native language, Kichwa. Ecuador has four main geographical regions: the Pacific Coastal Area, the Andean Highlands, the Amazon Rainforest and the Galápagos Islands. The Amazon is home to more than 200 Indigenous groups and less than 5 percent of Ecuador’s entire population. It is the earth’s largest and most biodiverse watershed and tropical rainforest. After centuries of political repression, abandonment and exploitation by the “hacienda-huasipungo” (large estate/bonded labor) land-system, the Indigenous people finally gained independence in 1977 and the right to vote, study and own a piece of land. Although significant progress has been made, Ecuador’s four million Indigenous people still remain the ethnic group most affected by poverty.

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Communication and Internet Once you arrive at Minga Lodge, there will be limited access to phones and the Internet for the duration of the trip. There is no Internet at Minga Lodge, and there is very little cell signal in the areas we work in. If you opt to sign up for an international phone plan with your wireless provider, expect limited access. Our staff at Minga Lodge have access to a phone at all times in case of emergency, and will be in daily communication with our Ecuador in-country team. In the event that you urgently need to connect with home, this can be facilitated through our staff’s phones. In the event of an emergency at home, please ensure that family and friends know to contact ME to WE’s Risk Management Emergency Phone at 1.416.526.8450.

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Accommodations: Minga Lodge From hot showers, delicious meals and beautiful, comfortable cabins, to expert local guides and friendly staff, we take care of every detail—letting you focus on being present and connected. We are happy to host you in eco-friendly cabin accommodations nestled into the jungle above the Napo River. Minga Lodge offers: ► ► En-suite washrooms with showers, flush toilets, and hot and cold running water ► ► 24-hour electricity with Western-style outlets ► ► Biodegradable soap, shampoo and conditioner ► ► Bedding and towels ► ► Filtered drinking water

► ► Laundry services ► ► Bug nets on beds

► ► Buffet-style meals prepared fresh daily by expert chefs using local ingredients, including Western favorites and Ecuadorian specialties (dietary needs can be accommodated)

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Food In Ecuador, all your meals will be served buffet- style, with a mix of familiar foods from home and more local dishes for you to try. Below is a sample menu of the types of foods you might find on your plate:

Lunch ► ► Fresh green salad ► ► Black bean salad ► ► Quinoa with peas and corn ► ► Meatloaf

► ► Steamed vegetables ► ► Blackberry mousse Dinner ► ► Fresh green salad ► ► Corn soup ► ► Mushroom risotto ► ► Chicken ► ► Mixed vegetables ► ► Lemon pie

Breakfast ► ► Omelet station ► ► Hash browns ► ► Breakfast sausages ► ► Cinnamon rolls ► ► French toast ► ► Cereal ► ► Assorted fruit ► ► Toast ► ► Yogurt ► ► Fresh juice ► ► Tea & coffee

Most dietary needs can be accommodated by our chefs at Minga Lodge, with prior notice. If you have any dietary concerns or preferences, please be sure to let your trip coordinator know as soon as possible.

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WE Charity Ecuador Projects Map

WE Partner Community

Project

Other Location

Loreto Canton

Airport Francisco de Orellana

Orellana

Sablog

San Miguel

Cruz Chicta

Mondaña Minga Lodge Mondaña Mondaña Health Clinic

Bellavista

Chontapunta

Los Rios

Gulahuayco

Kanambu

Hatun Urko

Totoras

Shuid

Chimborazo Region

Amazon Region

10km

5km

Volunteering You will find out the name of the community you will be volunteering in approximately one month before your trip. Communities are allocated based on need and the progress made by previous groups. You can learn more about the Ecuadorian communities that WE Villages works with here .

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During trip ► ► All accommodations have 24-hour security systems and participants are given an orientation to know where to find resources. ► ► All transportation is run by our trusted transportation providers and all travel within Ecuador occurs under the guidance of our team. ME to WE Trips do not utilize any public transportation in Ecuador. ► ► ME to WE Trips travel with a local ME to WE staff member fluent in the local language and familiar with all locations of ME to WE programming. ► ► Purified water is available at all times and 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. ► ► Local hospitals with Western medical standards are available and prepared to handle any minor or major medical situations.

Safety: Our #1 priority ME to WE has been facilitating trips overseas since 2002, with an incredible track record for safety in the countries to which we travel. We take serious measures and precautions to ensure your safety from the moment you begin planning your trip to the moment you arrive home. ► ► ME to WE Trips abide by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs travel advisories and monitors these updates prior to and during 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 and risk management. All facilitators are trained in first aid. ► ► Emergency communication is available 24 hours a day between our Country Team and our Toronto office. In Ecuador, our safety measures include: Pre-trip

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Next-steps checklist Confirm your insurance coverage Fill out your online application Send in a copy of your passport Sign your trip waivers

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Contact us!

You can contact our team anytime by calling, emailing, or contacting your trip coordinator directly.

416.640.3865

c o o r d i n a t i o n @W E . o r g

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