I am from the US. wanting independence for people with visual impairments through the use of technology as a tool to expand their horizons. After years of travelling I ended, quite coincidently, in Loja, Ecuador as a volunteer mobility trainer for children, adolescents and adults. I am working with schools and institutes to pass on my knowledge and experience to use confidence and technology to navigate without vision. I can’t describe the feeling tyo be part of a child discovering this beautiful city’s parks, zoo, swimming pools, horseback rides and the many cultural activities often for the first time. I am now looking for mid to long term volunteers that desire to be part of this initiative called En Loja Libre and partake in a considerable impact for people with incredible sensitivity and kindness. Check out some pictures and find more info on the exchange below.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
This exchange will give incredible experience on both extremely rewarding time spent with kind and gentle people, and awareness on the challenges visually independence brings. On top of that you will learn to work with technology and mobility from a unique perspective. I can guarantee an expansive experience beyond vision.
The city of Loja is referred to as the cultural capital of Ecuador.
There are cultural concerts every Thursday night, a language exchange in town on Thursday nights, on the weekends they have a (usually) internationnal concert from their 40 piece orchestra. There is also ballet, museums and great coffee shops and restaurants. Lojanos are energetic kind people with a heart for their city.
For a weekend off, I would suggest the diverse national park called Podocarpus or a visit to the nearby peculiar valley of Vilcabamba, where people are known to live well over 100 years and occasionally UFO’s are spotted. I can’t guarantee any of this but there is great hiking in beautiful nature there.
I am looking for a volunteer who is fluent in Spanish and English, can help with mobility and technology training for blind children and adults and knows or is willing to learn extensively and teach Apple’s accessibility features. The children I work with are between the age of 4 and 16. They are all visually impaired or blind. There are three main activities: 1) 3 times a week we go out in the city for activities with the children. 2) in the afternoon we welcome students of all ages in our training center to teach and pratice the mobility technology and accessibility tools. 3) we update and maintain online media to share our experiences to those interested. Feel free to send me an email for further questions.
We will work and live together in a shared three bedroom apartment with a work area to welcome our guest students. It will be our shared responsibility to keep things clean, shop and cook communicating as a team. You will receive your own room and meal
Transportation is super reliable and abundant in the city and between neighboring cities and villages (Vilcabamba, Zamora, Cuenca ... )
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week