LOCATION: Quito • COST: $3350 • AGE: 16-19 • AIRPORT: MIA

Video Creator: Kiersten Crowther


OVERVIEW

Straddling the equator, Ecuador boasts beautiful white-sand beaches, stunning mountain peaks and the scenic diversity of the Amazon Rainforest. The beauty of Ecuador goes far beyond its landscapes and provides a deep, immersive cultural experience. What is now Ecuador formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the Spanish conquest in 1533. Present day Ecuador, with a population of 16.62 million, has largely intact Spanish colonial architecture, including 16th- and 17th- century palaces and religious sites. 

 


COUNTRY CHALLENGES

Present day Ecuador draws most of its economic power from its petroleum resources, which contribute to roughly a third of the country’s export earnings. With the increase in oil prices, Ecuador experienced a period of growth and poverty reduction between 2007 and 2014. This growth helped to lessen macroeconomic imbalances and contributed to greater efficiency in the public sector.

However, Ecuador is still working to increase literacy rates and school access, particularly in rural areas with roughly 19% of the rural population currently registered in school. Families in rural areas live on roughly $2 a day and lack access to basic sanitation and health services. Ecuador continues to focus on developing infrastructure and fiscal sustainability.


SIGHTSEEING

First, you will spend a weekend exploring the beautiful beaches and wildlife in the Galapagos Islands as you kayak with sea turtles, swim in volcanic fissures, and hike with giant tortoises. You will then hike to the breathtaking Cotopaxi volcano (while wearing your Cotopaxi backpack!), the 3rd highest active volcano in the world. Finally, you will stand on the true equator as you visit La Mitad del Mundo!

 


TEMPLE

On your last day, you’ll be able to serve in the beautiful Guayaquil temple, the perfect end to your trip. This temple took fourteen years to build, and prior to its dedication members of the Church had to travel three days by bus to attend the temple in Lima, Peru. Ecuador’s second temple is currently under construction in Quito.



 

 

 


ECUADOR FACTS

There are over 400 species of fish surrounding the Galápagos Islands as well as Giant Tortoises and Sea Lions.

Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter of bananas, accounting for up to 29% of all bananas exported in the world.

The top of Mt. Chimborazo in Quito is as far as you can get from the center of the earth.

The Galapagos Islands were formed from oozing lava on the ocean floor.

While meals are primarily focused around traditional plates of rice and beans accompanied by some type of meat, the cuisine often incorporates local fish and a traditional dish called cuy (guinea pig).

 

*Note: All info subject to final adjustment. 

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