Online Alternative Winter Break 2022 – Service and Culture in Ecuador

Participate in a short term service and culture program and gain some valuable knowledge along the way on Ecuador and on your choice of program. 


Online Alternative Winter Break 2022 – Service and Culture in Ecuador

This program is designed to introduce students to Ecuadorian culture and gain some service experience in the fields of education and food security or nonprofit management and human rights advocacy. Through a group service project, weekly cultural workshops and group buddy chats, this is a great opportunity to meet other people while learning about a new culture during your winter break!

Service Options

Education and Food Security in Quito

Quito is a city with approximately 3 million people. Due to the expansion of the urban areas, the landscape of the city has drastically changed. For instance, pollution has increased and the local fauna has been seriously reduced. The latest COVID-19 pandemic has opened the eyes of many families about how vulnerable they are when it comes to food security. Many are going back to “basics” and instead of purchasing imported products, they have tried to grow their own vegetable gardens.

The project works with a local school in a parish of Quito that has integrated food security as part of their student’s key learning. The goal is for the children to understand where food comes from by providing them workshops about products, and also generate an urban garden at the school as a living example of what can be done.

Students can:

  • Generate didactic material for the school to use and teach the kids (and their families) about the importance of at least 10 products
  • Elaborate a design (canvas or any similar design tool), where the key aspects of each of the products will be shown
  • Search for videos, pictures, or any other tools that could be helpful as material for the school to use
  • Elaborate a game (use goose-chase, Kahoot, or similar) with all this information in order to teach the kids about the products in a more practical environment
Non-Profit Management and Human Rights Advocacy

Quito is the home to many non-profit organizations that cater towards immigrants and individuals from the LGBTQ+ community to ensure their basic rights are respected and to help them elevate their living conditions. The immigrant crisis was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. NGOs are working with them to teach them skills and entrepreneurship that will allow them to get a better quality of life. They are also working with immigrants and the LBGTQ+ community to ensure their rights are protected by promoting and eliminating prejudice based on sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, HIV/AIDS, etc.

The organization also puts in a lot of effort to raise awareness among the general public about the living conditions of vulnerable groups within the LGBTQ+ community (migrants or those with HIV/AIDS). Advocacy is one component of their essential work to ensure the government and other institutions create safe and non-discriminatory policies for all. Advocacy efforts include involvements in voting campaign, data research for those affected by HIV/AIDS, psychological support for those more vulnerable within the LGBTQ+ community, legal support for those who have suffered atrocities, monitoring of the development of human-rights related policies amongst many others.

Students can:

  • Provide communications support as well as a social marketing plan
  • Develop and teach English to the immigrants (adults and kids)
  • Research potential partners and alliances
  • Create a fundraising strategy for the NGO to help finance existing projects as well as to implement new projects and promote research



Winter Session Dates
Start date: December 27th​, 2021
End date: January 21st, 2022
Application deadline: December 10th, 2021


Program fees: US $995 (UK £785) for 4 weeks

What does the Online Alternative Winter Break Ecuador include?

  • Group service project focussed on Environmental Education and Food Security or LGBTQ+ rights, defense and advocacy (approx 5 hours each week)
  • Placement Guide outlining details of your host organization and goals of your placement
  • Donations to support the work of your project
  • Weekly cultural workshops in English with Country Director to attend live or watch the recording when it is convenient for you (1-2 hours/workshop)
  • Support from Local Country Site Director for course assistance
  • Two buddy chats to encourage cultural exchange with prompts to facilitate discussion
  • Discussion forum to connect you with other classmates
  • Certificate of completion
  • Support pursuing home university credit, where available.
  • Invitation to Kaya LinkedIn Alumni Group
  • Reentry toolkit to guide your future career steps!
  • Future program discount of US$200 / GBP£150 to visit your host country in the future

Optional Add-ons (not included)

  • Online Spanish Language classes
    – $55 2 hours/week
    – $100 4 hours/week

Your support staff in Ecuador

Diana Balarezo holds an MA in social and environmental studies and a bachelor of science degree in tourism development and hospitality with a minor in fine arts. Born in Ecuador, Diana lived in the United States as a student during her junior year of college, and after college, as a restaurant manager at a ski resort in Idaho. She also participated in a six-month internship in Valencia, Spain, and has travelled to 21 countries so far.

Application Process and Payment Schedule


Speak to a Kaya placement advisor for more information on the program. Click here to email us.


Complete an Application 

and submit your resume/CV with a $45/ £40 deposit, for us to hold your place on the program. Deposits are deducted from the total program fee and will be refunded if we can’t accept you.


We will confirm your successful application and send you an invoice for the balance. You have 1 week to pay your balance to accept and book your placement.

What are the requirements to do a Kaya Winter Break program?

Our program is open to all. Instruction is in English, so there are NO foreign language requirements, but we do have opportunities if you are looking to improve your Spanish language skills. All you will need is access to a laptop, internet connection for video calls and an interest in learning.

What other online programs can I take?


Also known as virtual internships or online internships, our placements in Ecuador, Morocco, South Africa and Vietnam are combined with cultural workshops and local buddy connections so you can learn the culture from those who know best – the locals.


Learn French or Arabic in Morocco or Spanish in Ecuador with a fun and engaging program of language classes, cultural workshops, and local buddy chats


Explore the cultures of Morocco, South Africa, Vietnam, or Ecuador with interactive Cultural Workshops and engaging Local Buddy Chats