San Francisco de Quito, most often called Quito (Spanish pronunciation: ['kito]), is the capital city of Ecuador in northwestern South America. It is located in north-central Ecuador in the Guayllabamba river basin, on the eastern slopes of Pichincha, an active stratovolcano in the Andes mountains. With a population of 2,197,698 according to the last census (2001), and, as estimated by the municipality, approximately 2,504,991 in 2005, Quito is the second most populous city in Ecuador, after Guayaquil. Ecuador is approximately the size of Colorado. Click here to learn more about Ecuador.
There are basic safety issues as would be expected for any foreign traveler. Crimes against American citizens are more prevalent, especially in the area where we will be living and working. The Working Boys Center takes every precaution to ensure our safety. There are few if any issues related to State unrest due to a democratically elected political system.
Your $1400 will cover most food, transportation, housing and airfare for the entire trip. Any additional money needed would include costs of food to and from Ecuador, your personal spending for local crafts and other personal needs, souvenirs, etc. Money in Quito is based upon the U.S. dollar so there is no exchange of money needed.
You must have a passport with the expiration date further than 6 months from the date of travel, to enter Ecuador. Applications for passports can be found online. You must have two passport photos (which can be done at the Walgreens on 16th and Wisconsin) and your birth certificate when you go to the Post Office to apply for a passport. It takes roughly six weeks to get your passport returned, so please ensure your passport immediately upon deciding to participate on this trip. There is no need for a visa, unless you are not a citizen of the United States. We must have a copy of your passport by the first meeting to ensure that the name on your passport is the same as the name on your plane ticket.
Please consult with your family physician on what immunizations are needed for travel to Quito, Ecuador. Due to the elevation and our work mainly in the city of Quito, any immunizations are minimal. You may also consult information here.
Quito and the rest of the Ecuadorian Andes lie above 9000 feet. Therefore altitude sickness is a real possibility. To prevent this malady, characterized by pounding headache and nausea and, in the most severe cases, coughing blood and death risk, make sure you acclimatize slowly to the altitude. The first few days at altitude you should not exert yourself, drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol and tobacco.
Ecuador is primarily a Spanish speaking country. We have found that knowledge and the ability to communicate in Spanish is extremely helpful. Non-Spanish speaking students were often frustrated and had a different experience then the Spanish speaking ones. That said, there is a translator for almost every situation and other students step up to help those who need translations.
Quito is 16 meters south of the Ecuador and therefore the weather rarely fluctuates within a 10 degree variance. The average high temperature high is in the upper 60s with lows in the lower 50s. The higher elevation makes for cooler temperatures then one would expect in South America and along the equator.
The majority of outlets in Ecuador are standard U.S.-style two- and three-prong electric outlets with 110-120V AC (60 Hz) current.
The international dialing code to Ecuador is 593. This needs to be followed by the provincial area code and then the seven-digit number.