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  Intensive Beginner Spanish and Healthcare in Quito, Ecuador  




Slideshow above includes photos from all CFHI program sites in Ecuador. Click on the bullet on the right side-menu for program-specific photos. 

  • Nearly 60% of Quito's population lives in extreme poverty.
  • The general mortality rate in Ecuador is 4.1 per 1,000 inhabitants.

Experience the rich culture and history of Ecuador's vibrant capital city, Quito,  located in the Andes mountain range. This program is a perfect fit for those with little or no Spanish language skills and an interest in healthcare and global health. Gain practical experience and proficiency in this vital skill used everyday in today’s healthcare setting. Practice Spanish skills in local NGO’s, hospitals and clinics and learn about health care delivery in low-resource settings. 

CFHI’s Intensive Beginner Spanish Programs are unique in that participants begin with volunteer placements rather than clinical rotations. In this program, receive increased Spanish language instruction in preparation for entering healthcare settings. During the first two weeks, take 50 hours of intensive beginner Spanish classes focusing on basic grammar, conversation and medical vocabulary used in patient histories and physical exams. After language classes, volunteer at local non-profits that work with vulnerable populations such as orphans, underprivileged school age children and families, and domestic violence victims. 

The last two weeks will focus on practicing Spanish skills during clinical rotations at local healthcare facilities such as community level clinics on the outskirts of the city serving low-income populations, or government hospitals delivering free high-level diagnostic, specialized, and emergency care. Other rotations include a public maternity hospital where high-risk pregnancies are managed, and a military hospital focusing on internal medicine and surgery. Participants will come away with more confidence communicating in Spanish within social and professional settings, as well as a holistic view of healthcare systems in Quito and how Ecuadorians access these services.

Become immersed in Ecuadorian culture and language while living with a local family in Quito. CFHI participants may also organize weekend trips to destinations such as Tena in the Amazon region, known for its waterfalls and adventure sports like kayaking and zip lining, the town of Mindo and its subtropical forest, and Otovalo, an indigenous community with a bustling weekly market.


clinical rotations 

Learn More
Make sure
to review the bulleted sections found on the right side of this page for important Program Details such as logistics and program structure, Program Fees, etc. Read Why CFHI to find out more about CFHI program objectives.
Since this is a new program, please see the "What Alumni Say" section for the Andean Health program, another program based in the city, which will give you a better idea of the day to day activities and what the experience is like for participants in our programs during the last two weeks of clinical rotations. If you would like to speak to alumni of this program via email, contact alumni@cfhi.org for more information.

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