The RSIS Big Build Ecuador Project Experience
This project has been specially designed for Round Square students looking to participate in a unique International Service project and are aged 16 and over, and returning to their school after the trip. This project offer will offer students the opportunity to make new friends, grow as a leader, experience a new culture and to give back to a community that is in much need of help.
This experience is the perfect balance between working on your service project and experiencing the local culture and having fun with your new friends from all over the world.
The Big Build Project
Students will spend most of their time in a small community near the Ruta de Spondylus supporting in the construction of a Early Childhood Centre, which will provide much needed day care for the growing population.
The community has approximately 600 inhabitants. Most of the men work in the fishing industry and frequently leave for up to 21 days at a time. Those women who work are often employed as domestic workers or in some of the local farming areas. Their need to work outside the home, with the fathers absent, makes the centre a vital community resource.
The aim is to construct a purpose built Early Childhood Centre that provides a safe space for young children and babies. The centre will have its own toilets, a kitchen, a vegetable garden, greenhouse and a playground for all ages.
The team will be accommodated in bunk accommodation and tents. The site is secure and has basic flushing toilets and clean shower facilities, as well as space for the local cook team.
Food and Water
Bottled drinking water will be provided throughout the trip. All meals in the community will be provided by a dedicated local cook team, using fresh food bought daily from the local markets. Food will be plentiful, delicious and filling.
Students should be prepared to try new foods, and while we can cater for most diets, we do not cater for fussy eaters. There will be a rota so that team members can lend a hand each day and learn a bit about the local cuisine.
Unfortunately, the weather is the one thing we cannot control and can be very difficult to predict!
The month of July is characterized by essentially constant daily high temperatures, with daily highs around 19°C throughout the month, exceeding 21°C or dropping below 17°C only one day in ten.
Please note: the temperatures and conditions above are historically accurate for this time of year but climate change can impact the seasons so you may experience uncharacteristic conditions during the trip which are out of our control. Should unexpected climate conditions occur the Adult Leadership team will assess the situation and make decisions to ensure the best enjoyment and ultimately safety of the group as a whole.
The team will be transported by the support of Camps International throughout the entire trip. The local Camps International team carry out checks on all the companies who are providing our private hire bus to ensure that and drivers and vehicles are road-worthy and fitted with the best locally available equipment. Round Square leaders will also carry out dynamic checks during the Project.
No mobile phones
Enjoy the liberating feeling of being off the grid. Mobile phones are prohibited for the duration of the trip which means you can fully immerse yourself in the experience of your trip and not be distracted by your life at home.
During the trip there will be lots of opportunity to mix with the community at every level, local children are really proud to take students to visit their homes and see how they live. The majority of local families are subsistence farmers or fishermen.
Students will visit some local attractions including a truo to Puerto Lipez and Isla de la Plata- known as the ‘poor mans’ Galapagos. The group will take a boat over to Isla de Plata for a guided tour of the island covered in Blue-footed Boobies and Frigates. The return allows for an opportunity to snorkel and see turtles.
The group will also have a special trip to Aua Blanca for a guided tour of the pre-inca ruins. The group can also try traditional clay skin masks used by the locals, sources from the volcanic pools on the site.
For lunch, we will visit Los Failes- possibly Ecuador’s most beautiful beaches for a picnic lunch and some wading in the shallows.
- Living and working within a welcoming community by the beach, along the Pacific Coast of Ecuador
- Visiting Puerto Lopez, one of the busiest fishing communities in Ecuador
- Boat ride to Isla de la Plata to see the very curious Blue-footed Boobie doing what it does best – looking curious
- Snorkeling in an area rich in sea life, with turtles, gorgeous fish and even manta-rays if we are lucky
- Dinner and bonfires on the beach in the evenings
- Challenging the locals to a game of soccer or ‘Ecuavolley’, but be prepared to lose!
The trip has made me want to help people more, it makes a person grow mentally and this is important. The international setting made me learn a lot about other people's customs and settings.
John Mbako, St George's College, RSIS Big Build Nepal