Quick Contact

Ronald Porter
Director of Service-Learning

Eckerd College
Office of Service-Learning
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711


toll-free: 800-456-9009
local: 727-864-7512


Service Learning

Ecuador: Spring Break 11


View photos from Ecuador

After a full 24 hours of "modern" travel on airplanes, taxis, and public buses, 12 hungry adventurous landed on the side of the highway at Arutam Rainforest Reserve, in the Pastaza Providence of Ecuador. Meet by wood flutes, an impeccable night sky, and three men in traditional Shuar garments, these Eckerd College volunteers began a challenging, rewarding, and most important educational exchange with the Shuar people. After receiving Shuar names and hearing the stories behind each, the group got right into learning the land and culture with a guided hike and soccer game. The next day work began as the group hiked 5kms with metal roofing out to "la Ceiba", staying and working at a building used for jungle retreats. The group spent the next three days hauling wood planks 1-3 kms through the muddy jungle in knee high rubber boots to gather materials to construct a kitchen. With sheer determination and guidance from Enrique (our steadfast Shuar leader), the group hauled over 150 pieces of lumber to the kitchen site. The group also cleared half an acre of land, falling trees and bee hives alike, harvested Yuca and prepared Chica, tried a hand at traditional games, and celebrated with a night of dancing and singing. The work was physically demanding and the group left tired, but accomplished. More importantly then the work completed, or sore muscles, was the connection and education gained from the Shuar. The sharing of cultures over camp fires, the laughs over bruised arms, and the resolve of the Shuar are the true memories that have been taken from the Shuar’s jungle and returned to St Pete.

View photos from Ecuador

Calls for Participation

Academy Prep

Volunteer with Academy Prep

Academy Prep is a unique private middle school program serving 5th through 8th grade students in a low-income area. Students must qualify for need-based scholarships to attend and must have a desire to succeed in a rigorous academic environment. Academy Prep works with students to prepare them for higher education, maintaining relationships with graduates through high school, college, and into their adult lives.

YMCA Reads

Volunteer Mentors Needed

YMCA Reads! is an after-school reading assistance and mentoring program providing opportunities for at-risk and low-income children in kindergarten through third grade to develop the reading skills they need to succeed in school.

Community Action Stops Abuse

Community Action Stops Abuse

It takes a whole community to stop domestic violence. CASA's vision is a community without domestic violence so that home is a safe place.

Edible Peach Patch Project

The Edible Peace Patch Project

The Edible Peace Patch Project is a not for profit organization whose mission is to eliminate poverty as a factor in educational success and diet-related health issues.

Tampa Bay Estuary Program

Tampa Bay Estuary Program

The mission of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program is to build partnerships to restore and protect Tampa Bay through implementation of a scientifically sound, community-based management plan.