Ecuador Service Learning Trip

About the Program

Are you motivated to create change in your community and the world? Leaders for Change is an international service learning trip open to eight current 7th and 8th grade students at UCW and eight students from the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Apply to join us for a life-changing trip from July 27 to August 6, 2016.

Work on community development projects in Pucara, Ecuador this summer: build additions to a local community center, test Pucara’s wetland waste treatment system, and pick coffee for a local cooperative.

Immerse yourself in another country, culture, and language. Visit significant cultural, historical, and natural sites, including the Otavalo Market, Andes Cloud Forest, and Lago Cuicocha.

Develop your leadership skills and discover what it means to be a global citizen. Share your experience with your home community in Chicago.

Family Informational Meeting:
Tuesday Feb. 9th @ UCW 5-6 pm
Application Available: Feb. 9th (see Ms. Walz)
Application Due: Feb. 19th

Participant Resources

Administrative Information for Parents/Guardians

For UCW students: current 7th and 8th graders. For Lab students: current 6th, 7th and 8th graders.

Applications are due Friday 19 February 2016. Completed applications should be delivered to Ms. Rebecca Walz, 8th grade ELA & Literacy Teacher, in room 220 or in her mailbox in the main office.
A complete application includes the following:

  • Application Form
  • Extended Response Questions
  • Two (2) Recommendations
  • Parent/Guardian Permission Form

Acceptance & Registration
Final acceptance into the program is dependent upon approval of the application, recommendations, and receipt of all necessary releases. UCW students will be notified by the end of February whether they have been accepted into the program.

The actual cost of this trip is $2,100. Each participating UCW student is expected to contribute $750 toward the cost of the trip through a mix of fundraising and family contributions. This cost includes everything except travel to/from O'Hare International Airport, passports, trip gear/clothing, vaccines and local spending money.
Participating students will work with trip chaperones to plan and carry out group fundraisers. The money raised from each fundraiser will be split evenly among all students who participated in the planning and execution of the fundraiser. All applicant families understand that student fundraising is part of the process.

Payment of Fees
Upon approval of students’ participation, parents and guardians agree to pay corresponding fees. UCW families will be invoiced via FACTS Management Co. Payment schedule and due dates are:

  • March 1: $50 deposit (nonrefundable)
  • April 1: $150
  • May 1: $150
  • June 1: Any remaining balance*
* Students who actively participate in school based fundraising opportunities will have those monies applied to their account balance.

Payment of Fees
The $50 deposit (due March 1, 2016) is non-refundable. If you cancel your trip for any reason within 60 days of departure, no refund will be given.

The Leaders for Change: Ecuador Service Learning Trip presents students with a unique and enriching travel opportunity. However, if under-enrolled this trip may be cancelled. You will be contacted if the trip that you have registered for is cancelled. Full refunds will be given for cancelled trips.

Authorization for Medical Treatment, Parent Releases, and Student Contract
Insurance, Emergency Medical and Release Forms will be required at a later date and given to students who are officially accepted into the program.
All participants should be up-to-date on routine vaccines before the trip. These vaccines include measles- mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. Current tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A vaccines will be required for this trip.
For more information about vaccines required for travel in Ecuador, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We will not be in a tropical zone.
More info about vaccines

This program is educational in nature, and our group leaders and chaperones have organized and planned pre-trip meetings. Attendance at these meetings is required. The dates are: March 10, April 7, May 12, June 2, and July 25.

Trip Leaders & Coordinators

Ms. Hannah Evans
The University Of Chicago Laboratory Schools
1362 E. 59th St. Chicago IL
Blaine, S222

Ms. Rebecca Walz
UChicago Charter School, Woodlawn Campus
6420 S. University Ave. Chicago, IL 60637
Room 220