Frequently Asked Questions
Project Ecuador, The Amazon & Galapagos Islands Teen Community Service Tour
How old are the teenagers on Project Ecuador?
Our participants are currently in 9th – 11th grade.
How many teenagers will be in my group?
Project Ecuador accommodates up to 26 teenagers.
Do I get to choose my roommate when I arrive in Quito?
Prior to the summer each participant will fill out a roommate questionnaire. After a thorough review of each person’s questionnaire, we will assign roommates based on everyone’s responses. Friends traveling together can choose to room with each other in Quito (but remember, there are only 2 people per room!). After the first week we allow the flexibility of choosing new roommates at the various hotels throughout the program.
Can I bring my cell phone?
Yes, you can bring your cell phone. We do, though, have certain policies that are enforced during the program. Cell phones can not be used during community service and we prefer cell phones not be used during meal times and group activities. Cell service is generally good in Quito but spotty in the Amazon and Galapagos. We recommend you speak with your service provider regarding international calling plans.
Who are the counselors?
We hire adults who are fun, energetic, and share our passion for giving back. This past year the average age of our counselors was 27 years-old and many come from backgrounds in education. The counselors work side-by-side with our teenagers at the volunteer projects, participate in all activities, and are always available to lend a hand, no matter the reason. Our staff undergoes professional training and skill development during orientation meetings prior to the summer.
What if I get sick while in Ecuador?
Medical facilities in Ecuador are fairly advanced and are found in each location we visit throughout the program. For any situation that requires medical attention, your parents will be notified as soon as possible and a counselor will take you to a nearby clinic or hospital. Your parents are kept up to date on developments after any medical visit. If you are unable to participate in a day’s activities, a counselor of the same-sex will stay at our hotel with you.
I’m a picky eater. Will I be able to find enough to eat?
The food in Ecuador is plentiful, diverse, and fresh! We can satisfy the pickiest of eaters and we are happy to discuss your individual requirements with you before the summer.
How do you handle allergies and special dietary needs?
We are able to accommodate teenagers who have allergies and dietary needs. Prior to the summer, all participants are required to complete a detailed medical history. If you have a particular allergy, please call the Rein Teen Tours office so we can discuss an allergy action plan
What if I don’t feel comfortable doing a certain activity while in Ecuador?
Our counselors encourage each participant to have an open mind and a willingness to try new things. We will never pressure you, though, to do anything that you do not feel comfortable with.
What should I pack?
Ecuador consists of several different climates, ranging from tropical in the Amazon and Galapagos to mountainous in Quito. Light, breathable clothing for the jungle and the islands and comfortable layers for Quito work best. We run a very casual program, so think shorts, t-shirts, jeans, flip-flops, and sneakers. Each participant receives a detailed packing list prior to the summer, so you’ll know exactly what to bring!
How does laundry work?
Once per week we drop everyone’s laundry at a local laundromat. By the next day, your clothing is nicely clean and folded.
Will I receive any type of acknowledgment that I volunteered this summer?
At the conclusion of your program we will send a certificate documenting the number of hours completed. We are also happy to help with any paperwork or documentation that may be required by your school.
What kind of transportation is used in Ecuador?
While in Quito we use a professionally driven coach bus. In the Amazon we use a coach bus and, on occasion, boats to ferry us on the Napo River. To get to the Galapagos Islands, we fly on regular commercial flights and while in the Galapagos we utilize chartered boats and buses.
Do I need a passport or visa to enter Ecuador?
A valid passport is required to enter Ecuador. To be valid, the expiration date of your passport should be at least six months after the planned date of return. A visa is not required for a U.S. citizen to enter Ecuador. Please note that requirements can change at any time for reasons beyond our control and it is the responsibility of the traveler to verify appropriate documentation.
What vaccinations do I need for Ecuador?
Rein Teen Tours does not require special vaccinations for our Ecuador program. You must be up-to-date, though, with your routine vaccines and your Covid-19 vaccine. We also recommend that you follow the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and consult with either a physician who specializes in international travel or with your family physician. Prior to the summer we will provide a summary of the CDC recommendations.