Ecuador Family Portal

Welcome to the Family Portal for Global Citizen Year’s Ecuador program.

On this page you’ll find all the country-specific information you need to follow along your Fellow’s gap year and support them from afar. For information regarding the global cohort, visit our main Family Portal.

Visit Global Family Portal


Non-Emergency Communications

For questions, concerns, and non-emergency issues, please contact our Fellow Success Coordinator located at our Oakland Headquarters.


Phone: +1 (415) 963-9293 ext. 204

The email and phone line line are monitored Monday-Friday, 9-5pm Pacific Time. For non-emergency issues, please allow 24-48 hours during this timeframe for a response.

We kindly ask that you refrain from contacting country staff directly. The Fellow Success Coordinator will coordinate with US staff and country staff as needed.

Emergency Communications

In case of an emergency, please call our 24 hour Emergency Hotline.

Emergency Hotline: +1 (415) 763-5808

This hotline is monitored 24 hours, 7 days a week by staff in Global Citizen Year’s office in Oakland, California. Please use this hotline for true emergencies only, and for all other issues contact the Fellow Success Coordinator as described above.

We kindly ask that you refrain from contacting country staff directly. The Fellow Success Coordinator will coordinate with US staff and country staff as needed.

Contact your Fellow

Phone calls
Fellows must have a working mobile phone with them at all times during the program cycle. Fellows may choose to bring their own smartphone or use the loaner phone that Global Citizen Year provides. In both cases, Global Citizen Year will supply each Fellow with a local SIM card and monthly credit stipend to be used for communicating with staff, host family, and apprenticeship supervisors. Fellows are responsible for purchasing/securing additional cell phone/data credit for personal communication with other Fellows, friends, or family members.

Fellows will receive their local telephone number once in country, and will be able to share it with family and friends at that point.

If Fellows bring their own smartphone, it must be an unlocked GSM smartphone with a SIM card slot. Fellows and parents/guardians are advised that they should disconnect or suspend mobile service so that they will not incur cellular or data charges while abroad. These charges can be very high and add up quickly.

The country code for Ecuador is 593. When calling from the US to the Fellow on their local number, dial 011 + 593 + the fellow’s number. Parents in other countries should dial the international access number (usually 00) + 593 + the Fellow’s number. Phone calls from the US or Europe to Ecuador are rather expensive ($0.25 — $1.50 per minute).

Other communication strategies
International phone calls can be very expensive. Here are some options to make communication between Fellow and families/friends easier and more affordable:

  • Sign up for a long-distance plan or purchase a phone card that can provide a special rate for international calls.
  • Services such as Skype, Nimbuzz and Truphone also allow users to load pre-paid credit and place international calls to phones for rates that are generally lower than traditional phone service.
  • Whatsapp can be used for free phone calls and texting. Wechat can also be used for free texting.
  • Fellows and their families may wish to arrange communication via options such as Skype and Oovoo, which can be used in a computer-to- computer or computer-to-phone configuration.

Mailing Address

Mail takes at least 3 weeks to reach Ecuador from the US. Once Fellows arrive in their host communities, it may take an additional 2—4 weeks to reach them there. The addresses in Ecuador where items can be mailed throughout the program are:

For Felows living near the Northern hub (Ibarra and Otavalo regions):

Global Citizen Year
Attn: Fellow Name
Oviedo 11-34 y Av. Jaime Rivadeneira
Ibarra, Ecuador

For Felows living near the Southern hub (Azuay and Canar regions):

AMAUTA Spanish School
Fellow’s Name & GCY
Hermano Miguel 7-48
entre Sucre y Presidente Cordova
Cuenca, Ecuador 010104

It is generally not advisable to mail packages as they generally take a long time to arrive, can be expensive to retrieve, and may very well get lost or “disappear” in the process.

If you do decide to send a package, the US Postal Service is generally the most reliable mail service. Please note that it is the sole responsibility of the Fellow to pick up and pay for the packages. Depending on the contents of the package (listed on the customs slip) the package may have to go through customs, where it is opened and inspected, and can sometimes cost up to $100 or more to receive. To keep the retrieving cost low, we recommend not shipping anything expensive or personally valuable.

An alternative that some families have preferred in the past is to wrap small gifts for the Fellow to pack and unwrap on special occasions throughout the year. Occasionally, parents visiting the field have also been willing to transport small items for other parents.


Check the table below for the dates during the Ecuador portion of the program. Further below you’ll find information about when your family can visit your Fellow abroad.

Ecuador Program Calendar

Country Launch

Sep 2 — Sep 7

Welcome Week in Quito

Sep 8 — Sep 16

Initial Immersion 1: Homestay

Sep 17 — Sep 19

Reconnect with cohort & staff

Sep 20 — Oct 2

Initial Immersion 2: Apprenticeship

Oct 3 — Oct 5

Reconnect with cohort & staff

Oct 6 — Oct 28

Initial Immersion 3: Putting It Together

Oct 29 — Nov 1

Closing Seminar

Learning Block 1

Nov 2 — Nov 21

In host community

Nov 22

Regional Reconnect 1

Nov 23 — Dec 9

In host community

Dec 10 — Dec 14

Learning Seminar 1

Learning Block 2

Dec 15 — Jan 13

In host community

Jan 14 — Jan 18

Regional Reconnect 2

Jan 19 — Feb 3

In host community

Feb 4 — Feb 8

Learning Seminar 2

Learning Block 3

Feb 9 — March 10

In host community

Mar 11 — Mar 15

Regional Reconnect 3

Mar 16 — Mar 31

In host community

Apr 1 — Apr 5

Learning Seminar 3


Global Citizen Year welcomes families to visit their Fellow during the program if/when possible. Although visiting is by no means required and we understand that many families will not be able to undertake such trips, for those who are able, the experience can be rewarding for both the Fellow and the family, as well as for the Fellow’s host partners in-country.

In order to facilitate a meaningful and timely interaction that accounts for the Fellows’ learning and integration process, Global Citizen Year allows family visits during the times specified below.

Family Visit Dates: Dec 15 — Feb 28

(Excluding Jan 14 — Jan 18 and Feb 4 — Feb 8 when Fellows will be at trainings)