Adult and Family Ecuador Brochure

TRIPS

Meaningful Purposeful. Downright unforgettable.

Welcome to a truly unique kind of travel experience.

WE.ORG/TRIPS | TRIPS@METOWE.COM | 1.833.999.6393

We build better travel experiences.

Our expertise comes from our over 20-year history of working alongside communities around the world. With years of experience, on-the-ground knowledge and our passion for doing good, we offer a travel experience unlike any other.

Culturally immersive

Learn about the culture of the country from local community members. Join them and experience these traditional arts first hand.

Adventure & discovery

Our itineraries are designed to actively demonstrate the WE Villages sustainable development model. Guests can participate in new experiences, meet a community and get to know a new culture firsthand.

Meaningful Service We understand that each of our travelers are unique. That’s why our trips are customizable to meet your interests; however, activities such as school building

Local experience

and water walks are always included for a truly authentic, genuine experience.

Working side-by-side with community members, participants dive right into the local culture in the most authentic way.

Why we work in Ecuador The province of Chimborazo in central Ecuador, as well as the Amazon region, are home to large numbers of indigenous communities who suffer from some of the highest rates of poverty in the country.

POPULATION 16.9 Million

CURRENCY US dollar ($)

TIME Ecuador Time (GMT/UTC minus 5 hours)

LANGUAGE Spanish , Kichwa

• The average length of schooling for the indigenous population is just 3.3 years. • Due to the unavailability of secondary schools and remoteness of communities, nine out of 10 children in rural regions do not continue their education past the primary level. • Thirty-five percent of the Ecuadorian population live below the income poverty line. • Almost 8 percent of children ages five to 14 are engaged in child labor. • Illiteracy continues to affect almost a third of the indigenous population.

Ecuador

Our work in Ecuador In Chimborazo and Napo provinces, we work alongside the local communities to implement WE Villages programming that includes:

WATER 3 water systems established

FOOD 4

pilot gardens implemented, with three kitchens and dining halls currently being rehabilitated

EDUCATION 1,000+ students we have helped support

Ecuador

OPPORTUNITY 8,000

In the lush Amazon rainforest, the biggest in the world, witness the sights and sounds of the incredible surroundings. It’s a feeling that cannot be described in words. But with a ME to WE Trip to Ecuador, we also bring you beyond the rainforest and into the lives of the Kichwa people, who have thrived in the jungle for generations. See Ecuador not as tourists, but as part of the community.

community members impacted through the Women’s Empowerment Center, serving as a training space for artisans.

HEALTH 200+ people have been provided with medical care.

Trip highlights

Discover the Amazon rainforest Join your naturalist guide on optional hikes to discover the Amazon’s incred- ible array of plant and animal life.

Connect with the community

Step into the shoes of locals to learn about daily life in the rainforest and indigenous traditions—from seeing how chocolate is made to learning how to shoot a blowgun.

Make an impact

Participate in a ceremony with a shaman Be invited to the home of a local shaman, who will guide you through a traditional cleansing ceremony.

Give back directly to the places you’re visit- ing—volunteer on a local project like building a school or working on a community farm.

Minga Lodge

A luxurious, peaceful oasis nestled in the Amazon on the banks of the Napo River that marries local design with comfort and convenience. After a day of volunteering, Minga Lodge offers serene and comfortable spaces to refresh and recharge. Accommodations : • Inspired common spaces that include an al fresco dining platform overlooking the Rio Napo, offering spectacular sunset views. • Eco-friendly conveniences, including hot water, electricity and en suite bathrooms. Food: Start each day with fresh Ecuadorian coffee served alongside an array of tropical fruits such as fresh papaya. Enjoy family-style meals prepared fresh daily by expert chefs, including Western favorites and Ecuadorian specialties like yucca, rice and beans.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

• Arrive in Quito and check in to your hotel.

• Spend more time

• En route from Quito,

• Travel by motorized canoe down the Rio Napo and arrive at Minga Lodge to a welcome from our team.

• Take part in a local community project.

• Have the option to

• Say goodbye to the local community.

• Depart Minga and

volunteering in the community.

travel through the cloud forest on a scenic and relaxing bus ride into the Amazon basin.

continue volunteering on a community project.

check into your hotel for some rest and relaxation before your international flight home, or book an optional extension to the Galapagos Islands

• Meet your ME to WE guide.

• Meet a local artisans’ group and learn more about opportunity projects they’re working on with WE Villages. • Enjoy delicious meals on our terrace, which offers stunning views of the Napo River.

• Enjoy a Kichwa cooking lesson, transforming local ingredients into traditional dishes. • Take in a grass-skirt- swaying spectacle of traditional Ecuadorian music and dance performed by local community members.

• Meet a local shaman and experience traditional jungle weapons training. • Visit one of our newest projects, the WE Agricultural learning Centre, and learn how we are working alongside communities to grow some of the finest cacao in the world while empowering farmers with the opportunity to earn a living and build a legacy for their families.

• Learn some Spanish and settle in.

• Visit a farm to experience a day in the life of a family.

• Enjoy dinner on our al fresco dining platform.

• Amazonian night walk with a guide to discover the fascinating creatures of the rainforest

or nearby Peru to experience Machu Picchu.

*Please note that this is a sample trip itinerary and details are subject to change. We are happy to work with you to customize an adventure.

Trip costs

EXCLUSIONS

INCLUSIONS

From $4,495 USD PP Based on double occupancy

• International airfare

$500 USD PP Single supplement

• All accommodations

• Tourist visa

• All meals and beverages

• Travel insurance

• All domestic transportation

• Meals in Quito

• ME to WE professional guide

Customize Your Experience

Otavalo From Quito, drive overland to the region of Otovalo, which offers a unique glimpse into Ecuadorian life—from vast, open-air markets, to snow-capped mountains in the highlands. Recharge and refresh at traditional and welcoming haciendas, set high in the Andean mountain range. Embark on optional daily hikes and excursions provided by our partner haciendas, leading you to breathtaking vistas, trickling waterfalls and tranquil villages.

FROM $900 USD PP Based on double occupancy

Includes two nights full board accommodation and all land transfers. Optional activities extra.

Galapagos Islands

FROM $3,000 USD PP Based on double occupancy

Embark on a breathtaking adventure, bringing you face to-face with the vast biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands. Be expertly guided through the flora and fauna of this famous archipelago on an unforgettable journey. Located 1,000 km from the Ecuadorian mainland, enjoy a remote paradise made famous by Charles Darwin and mingle with the vast array of natural wonders—on land or by sea! No matter which option you choose, we are happy to create the perfect adventure for you and your family. Book early to secure your spot—Galapagos trips sell out very quickly.

Price subject to availability and occupancy. Land and sea-based options available. Includes three nights full board accommodation, domestic flights and all land transfers. Optional activities extra

Machu Picchu and beyond Start your journey in Peru’s bustling, coastal capital of Lima, before traveling to the ancient city of Cusco. Spend a day wandering the cobblestone streets, exploring Inca ruins and admiring beautiful Spanish architecture, all with the backdrop of the cloud-topped Andes mountains. Then, begin your journey to Machu Picchu itself, traveling through the Sacred Valley aboard a glass-topped Vistadome train. Along the way, take in stunning views of Peruvian villages nestled beside lush forests and rushing rivers. Your final ascent to Machu Picchu begins the next day!

FROM $3,000 USD PP Based on double occupancy

Price subject to availability and occupancy. Includes international flight from Quito to Lima, domestic return flight from Cusco to Lima, all land transfers and four nights full board accommodation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the weather like in Ecuador? A: Because Ecuador is so geographically diverse, different regions experience different climates. Minga Lodge is located in the Amazon rainforest, and therefore weather is generally hot and humid. The average temperate hovers around 26°Celsius (78°F). The best times to visit Ecuador, especially in the Amazon, are June, July and August, when wildlife thrives in the jungle! Q: What time zone is Ecuador in? A: Quito is on ECT (Ecuador Time), and is the same as Toronto (Eastern Standard Time). However, they do not have Daylight Saving Time, so the region is an hour behind during DST periods. Q: Can I bring a laptop, iPod, expensive camera, etc.? A: We suggest traveling as lightly as possible to minimize the risk of damage to or loss of your possessions. The rooms and cabins at Minga Lodge can be locked. We ask that you leave your key with reception if you choose to lock your room during the day. Q: Is there filtered water? A: The water at our lodge comes from natural springs, is purified before use to prepare food and is chlorinated in all other areas of the lodge. Our lodge provides filtered water stations so you can refill your water bottle throughout the day. Q: What is the electrical voltage in Ecuador? A: Plugs in Ecuador take 240v. Moreover, Ecuador’s outlets are the same as those in North America—two flat, parallel prongs. Q: What will my meals be like while I’m in Ecuador? A: Participants can expect to eat meals consisting of traditional cuisine, which includes beans, rice, meat, salads, soups and potatoes, as well as Western favorites. This food is prepared with great care by our local lodge staff. Minga Lodge is also able to accommodate any dietary needs—just let us know before you leave for your trip. Q: Can I bring gifts for the kids? A: We ask that you do not. ME to WE and WE Charity work in solidarity with the communities we are partnered with. Put simply, your gift is your presence. We ask that our trip participants do not bring candy, toys or presents for community members, as we would like to promote fairness for all children. A portion of your trip cost goes to in-country communities to support their basic needs.

Don’t worry about the details, our team is on call to provide:

International and domestic flights on world-class airlines Our ME to WE Travel Teammembers are experts at buying the best flights and finding you the top sales on international airfare. Whether you want to fly first class, or snag the most cost-effective deal, our team can book your travel from door-to-door. Travel insurance Whether it is medical, cancellation or lost baggage (or any combination of the above), we are able to create and purchase the plan that will give you and your family peace of mind. Passport and visa information If you are unsure about what is needed to enter Ecuador, we will walk you through any and all requirements and make sure you have everything you need to begin your journey worry-free! Immunization information At ME to WE, our participants’ health is our top priority. We always recommend visiting a travel doctor a minimum of six weeks before your departure date. If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, we are happy to recommend a travel doctor that is familiar with ME to WE Trips. On-ground transportation and local guide Once you arrive in Ecuador, we take care of all your transportation, so you can sit back and enjoy the spectacular wildlife and landscapes of the Amazon unfolding in front of you. Your experienced local guide will welcome you into the communities and be an invaluable resource for in-depth information about the places and people you visit. Travel recommendations From Quito, you are at the perfect gateway to explore either the Galapagos, inland Ecuador or even Peru. Whatever you choose, we are more than happy to arrange the next leg of your journey!

Our signature service

Whether you’re preparing for your trip or experiencing the real deal on the ground, we take care of all the details! Leave the planning to us—including flight arrangements, packing lists and information about vaccines and visas. While in country, we encourage you to focus on what’s really important: being in the moment. That’s why we ensure every detail is accounted for— from world-class accommodations and meals, to in-country transportation and excursions with your local guide.

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NEW YEAR TRIP 2018-2019

Health & safety

Your safety is our top priority! We take care of all the details to ensure you stay safe and healthy throughout your trip including: • Airport arrival assistance • 24-hour security staff • Filtered water available at all times

“The water we will drink is filtered. The food is prepared by their own kitchen, their own chef. We have these wonderful facilitators around us that are fountains of knowledge, but they also make sure that everything is seamless.”

Donna MacFarlane ME to WE Immersive Volunteer Trip, 2013

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Join us! ME to WE Trips

TRIPS@METOWE.COM 1.833.999.6393

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