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Frequently Asked Questions

Wait, there aren't tarantulas at the fieldwork site, right?

Correct. No need to worry; you are not going to run into a tarantula (or any other large, terrifying spiders) during any part of your stay in Ibarra, or hiking nearby. That photo on the home page was taken in the Amazon rainforest, where a guide went specifically looking for a tarantula and brought it back. While we're on the topic, mosquitos are also few and far between in Ibarra, along with snakes, giant bugs or rodents. Ibarra is high in altitude, so the most scary things you'll see are common house spiders and maybe a few lizards while you're hiking.

What kinds of international experiences do you offer?

We offer Level I and Level II fieldwork opportunities for Occupational Therapist and Occupational Therapy Assistant students, in accordance to their program requirements. We also  work with students who wish to complete a doctoral project at CRECER. We also offer volunteer opportunities to Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists and other healthcare professionals. Additionally, we arrange group tours and international immersion experiences, which are often incorporated into Level I fieldwork experiences.

​When can I go?

Trips are arranged for individuals and groups at times that are mutually convenient. Previously, CRECER has run programs throughout the year.

​Are there any opportunities for a short-term experience?

Trips of any length can be arranged although a minimum of 10 days is best. No matter how long you stay, you will wish you had more time. Airfare is the largest part of your expense, so get your money’s worth by staying as long as your schedule permits.

How much does it cost?

Airfare is the biggest expense and can range from $700 to $1200 depending on when and where you depart as well as the airlines. It's best to start looking at fares in advance, but realize sometimes the prices drop closer to the date of your trip. Like most international flights, it's kind of like gambling trying to get the best price.

Housing costs will depend on where you stay. Hotels will be about $50/night. Hostels are $8-20/night/person, depending on how many people are sharing a room and with shared bath. CRECER has student rooms available for $50 a week, or $200 a month. Food costs vary, but average $5 to $15 per day, depending on whether you eat out or cook at home. Spending money will vary by individual. There are great bargains on leather and woven goods in the towns near Ibarra.

Group rates include housing, tours and land transportation, and at least two meals per day. Rates range between $900 and $1200 per person, for a 10 day trip for a group of 3-12 people (smaller groups are more expensive.) Rates vary and do not include airfare.

For exact quotes or more information about what your experience in Ecuador might cost, please contact us.

What will I do?

Trips are arranged to meet the needs of each individual/group based on their areas of interest and school requirements. Depending on when you come and what you’d like to do, you could work in an established program or help to develop a new program. Established programs primarily include work in our outpatient center, but also may include time at an adult day care center, local nursing homes and other community organizations. Level I fieldwork is generally a structured itinerary, whereas Level II fieldwork is more unstructured, with weekends free for exploration.  

Read more information about completing Level I and Level II fieldwork education with CRECER.

What is there to do in and around Ibarra?

Ibarra is a large city with plenty of places to visit and interesting sites within a day's trip. These include:

  • Hiking Cubilche, Imbabura, and other nearby mountains

  • Laguna de Yahuarcocha

  • Shopping: the famous Saturday market in Otavalo, clothing in Atuntaqui, leather goods in Cotacachi, woodworking in San Antonio de Ibarra

  • Chachimbiro Hot Springs

  • Visiting large and small local markets

  • Taking salsa lessons

  • A large selection of local food and shops

  • Many churches and museums

Do I need vaccinations?

Unless you are planning to go to the beach or the rain forest, the standard vaccinations that you get to work in health care settings are sufficient. Yellow fever and Malaria are not a concern in Ibarra, Quito or any of the other higher elevations. If you desire to travel extensively in Ecuador you should contact the international travel office at your university or the local Health Department, or your personal physician to get your vaccinations. Explain that you need vaccinations for international travel.


The situation is constantly changing, please communicate with us directly for the most up to date requirements.

Do I need a visa?

No, you do not need a visa to visit Ecuador. When you go through immigration, they stamp your passport with the date of entry and you are allowed 90 days(including the day of arrival, even if you arrive at 11:59pm it counts as a whole day). If you want an extension beyond the 90 days, it will cost $50 to apply for a visa and $230 to receive it (fees often change, so check for the most recent information). Additionally, the process itself can take a couple of weeks. We recommend planning your fieldwork or volunteer experience and traveling within the 90 days, unless you have an extended amount of time to do significant traveling after your time at CRECER.

I've been looking at online weather reports.  Does it really rain everyday in Ibarra?

No, the weather is generally sunny with a few clouds.  It does rain occaisionally but showers are generally short-lived, and rarely interfer with activities.  The temperature varies from the low 50's Fahrenheit at night to the mid 70's during the day.

How do I get from the Quito airport to Ibarra?

If you are traveling with a group coordinated by CRECER we will take care of all of your transportation from your arrival in Quito.  If you are arrranging your own travel you have options.  There are two international airports in Ecuador. It's easiest to fly into the Quito airport. We can arrange a driver to pick you up, which costs $55 for a car 2-3 people or $120 for a bus to hold 4-10 people. If you'd like to spend a few days in Quito before coming to CRECER, it's also relatively easy to navigate the public transportation—you can take a taxi or bus to Terminal Carcelén, (north of Quito) where there are buses every ten minutes to Ibarra.

What's transportation like in Ecuador?

Ecuador's bus system is fairly extensive and inexpensive, including local city buses and interregional buses (buses between urban centers). Once you get close to a particular point you can also hire one of many taxis to take you to the specific point which you want to arrive.

Transport in Ecuador
How To Airport
To do Ibarra
What Will I do
Short Term
What Kind International
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