I went for 28 days: 2 weeks medical rotations, 1 week on the volunteer site and the final week travelling.
The medical rotations are what got me to go on this trip but I ended up having way more fun than I expected. I witnessed procedures and learned skills that I couldn't have until third year of med school here in Canada.
The volunteer portion was the most impactful experience of my life. We spent a lot of time bonding while working with the community and the other students. It was truly a humbling experience.
The trip itself is very organized. We were always accompanied by a driver and translator. Juan and Jose (owners) are incredible people and I learned so much from them.
11/10 would recommend!
Review by Patriciann1 month ago
Of all the programs out there, ecuaexperience is the one that caught my eye, and i don’t regret it! I had an amazing time learning about medical stuff in the AXXIS Hospital with the staff. For people that are interested by med school or any medical field you should honestly go through an experience like this. It opens up the options for you. The volunteering part of the program was eye opening as well. When building the school for the kids of the community of Patate, I saw how much our actions impacted the community. We had an amazing time getting to know them and their kids. The community was so kind and loving. The traveling part was amazing too. We got to learn about the lifestyle and different specials thing about Ecuador. When you get out of your comfort zone, that’s when you’ll enjoy the trip the most i promise!
Review by BCBiker1 month ago
This was an amazing opportunity to experience the hospital environments in Ecuador as well as volunteer to help those in need. The hospital rotations were interesting to see the differences and similarities between healthcare systems in Ecuador compared to back home. The volunteer opportunities to build an expansion to a school and provide a Mother's Day celebration to a community was so rewarding. The people there were so nice and so welcoming to all of us despite having a language barrier. There were also many days of travelling around to site see and do fun activities that I would never imagine doing. I also met so many amazing people that came onto the trip and made great memories together. I'm so glad I decided to spend a part of my summer with this program and would definitely recommend it to others!
Review by DahriWasli Villager2 months ago
Good job and Good experience
Review by Satana3 months ago
Ecuaexperience really gives an all-around amazing experience. Every component of the trip was better than I thought it would be. The trip was insanely fun and I could talk about it forever, but one thing I want to share is that going to Ecuador genuinely changed my life. My perspective on life changed so much and I now know exactly what kind of person I want to be. Going to Ecuador with Ecuaexperience is honestly the best thing I ever did.
Review by Georgeia3 months ago
This was experience of a lifetime that I will never forget. In less than 3 weeks I learned more than I could ever attempt to in lecture, class, or at any job. The first week we had the opportunity to see different surgical departments and it was truly a turning point for my future endeavours. The mentors had a passion for teaching and made me enjoy the entire learning process. The second week we volunteered in the village of Patate and the emotional connection we developed with the community and families were unforgettable. Despite the language barrier, the community was kind, warm, and welcoming whenever we were in the village. On the weekends we would discover other parts of Ecuador and go zip-lining, water rapelling, tubing, kayaking and many more excursions. I met friends that I will stay close with forever and we became a family. Leaving Ecuador and all the amazing people was definitely the hardest part!
Review by Andygee11 months ago
Such an amazing experience. The staff is very supportive and friendly I would do this trip again if I could. Juan and Jose are amazing people who are so great at what they do. It was my first time traveling without my family to a foreign country and they made me feel very safe. The experience was great because we got to shadow medical professionals, learn relevant health care information, help build houses for communities in need, and explore the wonders of ecuador!
Review by EmreK1 year ago
The trip was simply amazing! Everything about it was great, and it without a doubt changed my life for the best. The restaurants were good, the tours were well planned and the medical rotations were awesome! I recommend doing this to anyone interested in becoming a doctor someday and/or changing the lives of the less fortunate people in Ecuador.
Review by Chrisostomos1 year ago
Ecuaexperience was absolutely AMAZING! You have the opportunity to shadow medical students who can answer any questions you can have about the medical field. While following them, you can see surgeries in the OR, learn how to do stitches, how to properly draw blood, learn about an xray or an MRI or an ultrasound and even get to learn about some patients cases in the ER. During this experience, you also have the chance to help build houses for people in need. This part of the trip was the most significant for me. You get to know who your building these houses for, which makes it even more special. We also got the chance to meet the other communities that HLD helped in the past years. And on top of that, we got to do amazing hikes and visit SO MANY amazing places around Quito. I will always be thankful to have gone on this trip and to have met so many good people from different places in Canada and in the USA. If you love travelling and you wanna make a difference in this world at the same time of learning so much more about the career you're dreaming about (whatever that is, HLD has different programs), Ecuaexperience is for you!!
Review by JBest1 year ago
My experience with Help, Learn & Discover was nothing short of amazing! During my first trip to Ecuador in August, everything was above and beyond my expectations. HLD gave me my first look into the medical profession. Through shadowing doctors, scrubbing in on surgeries, and learning medical techniques in the Pre-Med Program, I became certain of my desire to become a doctor. After a long week of rotations, we got to explore all the wonders of Ecuador, surfing on the beaches, hiking through the jungles, relaxing in the hot springs, and so much more. Best of all, we got to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged families. We worked together to build new homes, and give hope to these families, becoming one with the community. I am a huge advocate for HLD today especially because of the difference they make! I highly encourage anyone interested in healthcare, volunteering, and travelling to go with HLD this summer; I promise you will not regret it!!!
Review by SharonTN1 year ago
Two years in a row with HELP, LEARN, & DISCOVER has formed a huge part of who I am. This experience is an excellent opportunity for passionate and caring young adults who need to scratch the itch to travel!
The medical rotations, the volunteer work, and the travel portions of the trip were all humbling experiences in their own unique ways.
Ecuador stunned me with its landscape and culture. The program blew past my expectations. And the fellow students I traveled with are now some of my great friends.
To ease any worries you may have, I felt safe the entire time, the leaders are there to make the most of the experience for you, and I never went hungry!
Its hard to say anything negative about this trip.
Ecuador m'a stupéfié avec son paysage et sa culture. Le programme a dépassé mes attentes. Et les camarades avec qui j'ai voyagé sont maintenant certains de mes grands amis.
C'est difficile pour moi de dire les choses negatif au sujet de ce voyage!
Help, Learn, & Discover formera un grand partie de qui vous allez devenir!
Review by Leedham1 year ago
Ecuaexperience is such an incredible summer program. It is the perfect vessel that allows you to explore who you are through the amazing opportunities that Help, Learn & Discover gives you. In essence, the passion you have for volunteering and learning is brought to life as you experience helping others, learning, and travelling in a unique way.
Volunteering for me personally was especially enjoyable. I wish we spent more days volunteering. I remember that when we got called for a lunch break, our group did not want to stop working because we were all so into it. It is a remarkable and rewarding experience to be a part of a whole hearted team and work with them alongside the community.
The people you meet and the relationships you form while being there enhanced the meaningfulness of the whole trip. Being surrounded by like minded people and having a blast with them in a beautiful country is all you could ever ask for!
Don't hesitate if you are thinking of going on this trip. You will get more out of it than you expect!
Review by Tomarrius CustoKellymer1 year ago
I had the opportunity to Travel to Ecuador this past summer with Help Learn Discover to shadow doctors in a hospital, volunteer in a community and travel around the country! It was one of the most memorable month i ever had! I met some incredible people and made some once in a life-time memories
While in Ecuador, I got to spend the day in the OR, watching surgeons preform surgeries, learn to draw blood, do stitches, shadow doctors in many other fields of medicine and learn about Patient care. This was such a great experience in introducing you to the different fields of medicine.
We then helped build homes in Pujili where I got to work alongside of the community members receiving the home. Getting to see them every morning with a great big smile on their faces and knowing that we had a part in building a future for themselves,makes the experience even more special.
As part of the 28 days we got to explore the beautiful country of Ecuador! We did activities such as Hiking trough the rain forest,tubing down the amazon river,rappelling down waterfalls, horseback riding around a volcano,surfing and swinging at the end of the world.
I would not only recommend HLD to anyone interested in the medical field but to anyone who wants to travel to make a difference! Getting to shadow doctors in their field was incredible! The volunteering portion was also very life-changing and so much fun! HLD has a strictly volunteering program for anyone not interested in the medical field.
In this short post, I would end by saying that I hope that if you have not traveled the world to serve, rather than a tourist and you have thought about it, I urge you to go. There is so much to learn about yourself, but so much more to learn about community and goodness as you live, learn and serve together!
Review by Graydon1 year ago
Ecuaexperience was one of the most amazing, unique, genuine, and enriching experiences of my life. I learned so many things that varied from healthcare specifics to life lessons about what it is like to live in poverty. All in all, I would 100% recommend this to anyone who is considering it.
Review by AttentionX1 year ago
HLD is truly unlike any other volunteer trip you will come across. The 3 facets of Help, Learn and Discover that these programs revolve around ensure that you receive a completely fulfilling experience. In addition, you have AMAZING guides and the company of the extremely dedicated founders Juan and Jose. I have been on this trip twice - once as a volunteer and then again as a leader and each trip has been life-changing. With HLD, you work alongside passionate individuals to offer assistance to impoverished families, learn more about medicine, dentistry or biology and discover a beautiful part of the world.
I had the privilege of adding extra weeks on my second trip which allowed me to travel to Peru and the Galapagos. I will never forget the memories I made on these trips. I love that the groups are fairly small which means that you really get to know all of the individuals that come on your trip. Juan and Jose really unify the group and make you feel like family.
I HIGHLY recommend Ecuaexperience. It is the experience of a lifetime and will not disappoint.
Review by TGoxic Brownson1 year ago
HLD has truly been a life changing experience for me. The trip encompasses my three main passions in life: helping others, expanding my knowledge (especially in the medical field), and discovering the beauty of the world through travel. I never imagined going into my first trip that I would still be travelling with the company going on 4 years later. The bonds and friendships that have formed through my experience with HLD are invaluable and I am thankful everyday for the impact Ecuador has had on my life. I have always felt extremely safe and well-taken care of during my time in South America.
HELP: Being able to fundraise the money for the homes we build adds so much more value to the project. Working alongside the families is a truly amazing experience and you will find yourself finishing the project with the community leaving as much of an impact on you as you have made on them.
LEARN: The experiences gained during medical rotations is unparalleled to anything I have been able to gain in Canada. Seeing surgeries first hand, learning about patient history, and gaining clinical skills (drawing blood, suturing, ECG's) are an aspiring medical students dream and HLD's pre-medical program certainly did not disappoint. I was able to see a hysterectomy and a brain biopsy up close as I was scrubbed into the operating room.
DISCOVER: Who would have known that such a small country had so much ecological and biological diversity! From the highlands, to the jungle, to the coast, and the rainforest, Ecuador truly has it all. After travelling multiple times to this country, I am still in awe by the beauty of it. Activities like tubing in the Amazon, jungle hikes, waterfall rappelling, and horseback riding at the base of a volcano brings out the fun in the natural playground of Ecuador's land. I had the pleasure of also extending my trip to the Galapagos and Peru. Both trips I would highly recommend adding onto your trip. The Galapagos has always been a dream destination for me and I hope to be back their someday. Pristine beaches, turquoise water, and wildlife that I describe as "Sea World in real life" are just some of what to expect from these beautiful islands. Peru was also high on my list of travel destinations. This trip was filled with adventure (sand boarding, hiking Machu Picchu, paragliding, and endless llamas), delicious cuisine, and breathtaking scenery.
If you have taken away one piece of valuable advice from this lengthy review: Travel Ecuador with Help, Learn, and Discover! Don't hesitate, because you will not be disappointed.
Review by Wenny Dwaah1 year ago
EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME!
I went on the 18 day Pre-Med trip, but I wish I stayed longer!!
Through HLD, I was able to deepen my knowledge in and passion for medicine. I got to shadow doctors and be present in the ER and OR. I got to work with patients and observe surgeries in such a unique environment. By going through what healthcare professionals encounter daily, I can confidently say that Medicine is the right path for me.
Volunteering in Pujili was life-changing. The people were so kind and welcoming. It felt good knowing I was making a difference in the world. HLD instilled within me, a desire to help others.
To experience this diverse country and all its beautiful landscapes while making real friendships with other students made the trip totally worthwhile! Who wouldn't want to add "Hiking the Amazon Rainforest" to the list of things they did last summer?
Review by Stikova Deligeorges1 year ago
This program is an amazing experience. It is an amazing and opening experience that allows you to shadow doctors in the field you dream to work in, fostering dreams and aspirations of students. Students also get to experience the culture and vivacity of Ecuador, which is a beautiful country. Getting to also work with a community and fundraise for them to build new homes for them is life changing and extremely impactful. Great trip! Recommend going for the 28 days.
Review by Mariterese1 year ago
I had a great time with Help, Learn and Discover. It was a great way to gain some valuable skills and experience. I was able to help the less fortunate and gain experience in building a house, while honing my organization, work ethic, and teamwork skills. Additionally, I was able to learn and gain experience in the healthcare field, which is what I want to pursue. I aim to become a doctor, and being able to shadow a professional in my desired field was awesome. I was also allowed to practice on real patients, which fostered my curiosity and excitement to pursue my passion. On top of all of this, I was able to discover the beauty of Ecuador. Just being able to see the unforgettable sights is worth it. Volcanoes, costal beaches, and the Amazon Rainforest make it worthwhile, and doing it with your friends makes it even better. I'll never forget the memories and life-long friends that I've made on this trip.
Review by SoulShifter Grönstedt1 year ago
HLD was an incredible experience! I gained so much knowledge that I was able to use in med school once I was accepted! Ecuador was so beautiful, diverse, and so fun!! I would recommend this program to everyone!
Review by Hooter1 year ago
I went on the 28 day pre physio program. It was amazing and I learned so much. The medical part of the experience was more than I could have ever hoped for and the people who I worked with were very knowledgeable and willing to teach me. The sites we saw discovering Ecuador were all very interesting and super fun. The trip packed in so much during the time we were there and it was defiantly the trip of a lifetime.
Review by JeanetteJoyce2 years ago
I have had the privilege to be a part of the Ecuaexperience team for 3 years and could not be more thankful for the life changing experience they have provided me.
The program is a great way to see if the medical field is the career path you want to pursue. You get hands on experience as well as up close interactions within hospitals. Opportunities similar to what this program provides is hard to come by in Canada and US.
It is also a wonderful way to experience a beautiful country. The program does a fantastic job in organizing fun activities that allow for cultural appreciation. You have the opportunity to be fully immersed within Ecuadorian day to day life and explore unique sites to Ecuador.
I had the humbling opportunity to help build 60 homes during my time with the program. This is the most authentic experience you could ask for in terms of volunteering. You are building the homes along side the individuals that will be receiving them and you are fully involved in the building process. A comforting and unique trait to the program is knowing the all your fundraised money goes directly to the building of the houses and no where else.
I also had the opportunity to take part in the additional weeks within Peru and Galapagos and would highly recommend exploring these incredible destinations with this amazing organization.
Lastly, this programs introduces you to individuals that you form life long friendships and connections.
This program will fulfil and surpass your expectations.
Review by Pipey2 years ago
If you're having troubles deciding whether or not you want to go to Ecuador with HLD, I can help you make this decision: GO. The month I was in Ecuador with Help Learn and Discover was honestly the best 28 days of my life. I couldn't have imagined travelling to a more interesting country, making more incredible friends or helping a more kind and deserving community.
I first heard about HLD through the SFU2016 Facebook page. I had been looking for a volunteer abroad program to do in the summer and right away I knew this would be the perfect fit for me. I did the Biomed program, which meant 4 days of medical rotations, followed by activities, volunteer work, a trip to the coast and finally a week in the Galapagos islands. Although the days were jam packed and we were constantly on the move, I wouldn't have changed a thing about how our schedule played out!
The first week was definitely a crazy one. Being part of the biomed group, we had to fit everything the Premed group did in two weeks into one. This meant our days were schedule like this: 4 hours of med rotations (OR, ER and radiology) in the morning, a tourist activity in the afternoon (we visited churches, downtown Quito and the middle of the world) and finally a lecture in the evening (we did abdominal pain, stitches, fractures, headache and drawing blood). All in all this first week was absolutely amazing and was filled with incredible opportunities to see, learn and do things that we would never have the chance to experience in Canada as Pre-med students. Juan and Olivia definitely made sure we would get the most out of this first week. The medical tutors were also very knowledgeable, friendly and welcomed questions at all times.
After the first crazy week, we spent our weekend horseback riding in Cotopaxi, swinging at the end of the world in Banos, hiking in the jungle, and finally relaxing at the hot springs in Papallacta. All of these environments had much different weather patterns (ranging from Cotopaxi being at about 2 degrees, to the jungle being 25 and humid), so definitely pack well and be ready for any kind of weather!
We then travelled to the volunteer site (this year in Pujili) and spent 3 days volunteering with the community to begin building 12 of the 20 houses the HLD 2017 group fundraised for. I was absolutely blown away by the people of the community. They were all very welcoming, grateful and patient with our group. They also had the most admirable work ethic, and I felt very fortunate to be working alongside these individuals knowing how much these houses will help change their lives. As for the work itself, be prepared for a lot of lifting, digging and sifting (if you're part of the May group) so bring clothes that can get dirty and can afterwards be left for the community!
The second weekend was spent at the Coast. Here we had the opportunity to relax, learn to surf and have fun with friends! The UV index in Ecuador is normally 11, so my one biggest recommendation is BRING LOTS OF SUNSCREEN!! Even if you don't normally burn, you will burn if you don't wear sunscreen, trust me.
Finally we returned to Pujili for a few more days at the volunteer site and for a heartfelt goodbye to the community. We then headed to our last stop in the "Discovery" part of the tour in Ecuador: Mindo. Mindo was definitely my favourite place we visited in Ecuador. Here, we not only got to live in mushroom shaped cabins, but we also got to do activities I otherwise would probably never have done in my lifetime: water rappelling and tubing down a fast river.
We then travelled to the Galapagos islands (which is a 2hour flight from Quito) where we spent 1 day on the main island, Santa Cruz, and 4 days on another island: Isabela. In the Galapagos, we had the opportunity to explore the most incredible beaches, kayak, hike a volcano and of course go snorkelling. I have travelled to many beautiful places in the world, but I have never seen a more diverse and incredible ecosystem as the one in the Galapagos. We saw sharks, stingrays, blue footed boobies, penguins, turtles, sea lions, tortoises, marine iguanas, and the most beautifully coloured fish! Everyday we were accompanied by a naturalist guide. Every guide was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. Olivia, our HLD Galapagos guide, was also a great person to have with us in the Galapagos as she had previously lived there. She knew exactly where the top places to eat and the best activities on the islands were, and she insured that we had the most incredible week imaginable!
If you're still undecided about signing up for a program with HLD after reading this review, I have one final thing to say: DO IT. It will hands down be the most incredible experience of your life. You won't regret it!
Review by Everyone2 years ago
My 18 day experience in Ecuador was one of the best moments of my life. The all-in-one experience allowed me to accomplish more than I could imagine in a relatively short amount of time. Every portion of the trip left me in awe, a feeling of amazement and fulfilment. The "Help" portion of the trip gave me taste of their lifestyle community dynamics. As a pre-medical student, the "Learn" portion of the trip gave me invaluable experience in the ER and OR. The "Discover" portion of the trip opened my eyes to the beauty of Ecuador and inspired me to see more of the world.
Review by Jezze2 years ago
I participated in this program about two years ago and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I went to Ecuador for 6 weeks in 2016 where I did the pre-med program with HL&D. This program really delivered their views of helping, learning and discovering because while I was there I did help. I helped by fundraising money and building homes for a community struck by an earthquake. I definitely learned, by getting the chance to shadow medical students and doctors. I was given a thorough experience of all the aspects of the hospital from the operation room, to the radiology department, to gynaecology and obstetrics. And I surely discovered many wonderful things about the country of Ecuador, the people in the community and about myself. Before going on his program I was pursuing a degree in health care but like many students I was constantly questioning whether a health care profession was for me. So I went on this trip to reconfirm my choice, and I did. I gained so much knowledge and experience from this trip that I am so thankful for. If I got the chance to do it again, I undoubtedly would !