Hi! My name is Becky. I am a 25-year-old teacher from New York. This past September, I started my first full year as an English teacher in Ecuador. I graduated from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry with my Bachelor’s in Natural History and Interpretation. I worked as an environmental educator in New York State Parks, and the Center for Science Teaching and Learning for three years until I discovered the volunteer abroad opportunity with the Arajuno Road Project in Ecuador.
Becky at the Esperanza Dam in Manabi, Ecuador.
I was comfortable in my job in New York. Everyday I was teaching kids about science, animals, and conservation, and going home to my parents and a home-cooked meal at night. When I first read about the volunteer responsibilities in Ecuador I felt excited, and apprehensive. What an adventure—moving to a country where you don’t know anyone, where English is a foreign language, where your culture, language and traditions are unknown to your neighbors! It was risky. I remember thinking, Should I leave a stable job to move to the Amazon for a year? Will I like it? Will I be able to live so far from my family? Is it safe?
I sent in my application for the position and began asking advice from my family. They said, Why not? You’re too young to settle down in a job for the rest of your life. Travel while you can, learn while you can, enjoy it! A week later I bought my ticket to Ecuador, and two weeks later I was on the flight!
Becky with Gizmo, an Eastern Screech Owl at Connetquot River State Park Preserve, New York.