Travel, lodging and most meals are included in the $1100 brigade fee. Plan on extra cash to cover the price of any souvenirs, going to bars or ‘discotecas,’ and extra adventure tourism like zip-lining or cable car. Prices in Ecuador are cheaper than most travel destinations, so $300 should be enough to cover your expenses. However $100 could be enough, if you’re frugal. ATMs are available, so you do not have to carry cash with you at all times.
Note: Make sure to notify your bank before arriving in Ecuador, if you plan to use your ATM card while on the brigade experience, otherwise your card may not work.
We will be in Quito, where it can get cool, especially at night and early morning, however, most of the brigade will be in the more humid, lower altitude area of Santo Domingo. You will need both light and warmer clothing. Usually a good fleece jacket, or equivalent, is enough for the cold. You will not need any dressy outfits, but we do have one dinner with the Santo Domingo team and partners at a nice restaurant. Scrubs are a great choice for our work at the clinic site, Centro Medico Hombro a Hombro.
Packing light is always a good idea, however you may need to pack some additional items, such as a flashlight, Swiss army knife, small roll of toilet paper (you can buy travel rolls at K-mart, Walgreens, etc.), hand sanitizer, mosquito repellent, sunscreen (when it is sunny, the sun is strong, remember we will be at the Equator) and toiletries (shampoo is not provided). Make sure to bring a thin or quick-drying towel. If you use a hairdryer, bring your own (or arrange to share with other travelers). Other suggestions are ear plugs (if you are a light sleeper) and any medications that you normally take (make sure to check to see if they will be allowed in Ecuador and bring the prescription with you).
Note: We strongly advise you to bring photocopies of your passport, and keep them in a different location from your passport. It is also a good idea to scan the picture page and email it to yourself so you can retrieve it from any internet café or hotel. Here you will find the most frequently asked questions about the Shoulder to Shoulder brigades. We recommend that you read them thoroughly before going to the brigade. Please follow STSG media to keep up to date with your brigade. If you have any other questions, please direct them to the program coordinator Craig Borie at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by our office at 102 Bradley Hall, Lexington KY 40506.