Housing and Meals
Volunteers live and eat together in a hostel run by Gilberto Cifuentes, the foundation’s Ecuadorian Director and his family. The hostel includes not only the living space for the volunteers, but an office where volunteers and the staff work together on lesson plans.
The Hostel and Volunteers’ Rooms
Hostal El Geranio, where all volunteers live with the foundation’s Ecuadorian Director and his family, is a large hostel in downtown Otavalo. It includes a main house, where Gilberto and his family live, and a courtyard surrounded by rooms, where the volunteers live.
Each room looks out onto a central courtyard, complete with hammocks and palm trees, where volunteers typically gather to hang out, talk and work. In the back of the hostel is a small basketball court and pavilion. Most of our volunteers have said that they were pleasantly surprised by their comfortable, spacious rooms.
Every volunteer will either have his or her own room, or will live with one or two roommates. Roommate requests can be made by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hostal El Geranio has wireless internet, so volunteers are able to email home and use the internet at their leisure.
The volunteers eat all three meals with the Cifuentes family in the dining room. Most meals have several courses, and vegetarians, vegans, and volunteers with other food restrictions can be accommodated (but should let the foundation know in advance.)
Breakfast usually consists of juice or a smoothie (often pinapple, papaya, or berry), eggs, freshly baked bread and coffee or tea.
Lunch and Dinner will include a soup course, and typically some combination of rice, beans, vegetables and meat.
Volunteers who wish to miss a meal may do so, but must inform the family in advance. Otavalo offers a variety of Ecuadorian restaurants, as well as alternative for volunteers who are fed up with local fare. For information on restaurants in Otavalo, visit the About Otavalo link, above.