Experience South America away from the tourist trail. learn Spanish in historic Quito, become truly exhausted whilst hundreds of 6-year-old children run rings around you on the football pitch or show your dance moves in ways you never thought possible. Finally, explore parts of South America you'd never find on your own, from Andes to Amazon.
Located high in the Andes, at 2,850 meters, on the slopes of an active volcano, Quito is a melting pot of Indigenous and Spanish Culture. Immerse yourself in the South American lifestyle. Open your eyes to a tantalizing mixture of food, dance and language. Learn Spanish with intensive one-to-one lessons. Put it into practice by visiting some true Latin American gems; vibrant indigenous markets, pristine beaches and dense cloud forests. Experience the passion of a football match, the cultural history buried under hundreds of years of colonial architecture, try your hand at balancing an egg on a nail. Quito offers a wealth of once in a lifetime experiences, all you need to do is be willing...
Villa Maria is home to around 700,000 people living below the poverty line, scraping a living by any means possible. The lack of facilities is evident - many houses are without electricity and sanitation. Long working hours and low pay combine to leave children alone, forced to wander the streets, often ending up in trouble with the law. Despite these setbacks, the children are enthusiastic and truly inspiring to spend time with. Their attitude, even when faced with terrible hardships, really opens the eyes of those who volunteer at Villa Maria. It is incredible how volunteering yourself and working alongside children can make a difference to their lives as well as changing your own.
Being blessed with the most diverse landscape in the world, South America offers such a vast variety of natural wonders, from the driest dessert in the world to the largest mountains outside of the Himalayas. Ride the white water of the Urubumba river, learn to ice climb on some of the most beautiful mountains in the world, buggy over the dunes, strap on a sand board and shoot down, wake up at the crack of dawn to see the sun rise over Machu Picchu. The list is endless and the expedition is bespoke. It is an amazing place to explore.
Two different spectacular itineraries - one with a 3 week Spanish course followed by 4 weeks working at our project in Villa Maria, then finishing off with a mind blowing expedition through three countries; the other itinerary is 6 weeks on the project followed by our 6 week expedition. Team sizes from 10 to 16.Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile Learn the language, work with children, explore Amazon to Andes January and February (3 months) Spanish, Project + Expedition: £4650 + £700