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     75 - 82 Fº


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About This Location

Esmeraldas is a port city located on the northwest coast of Ecuador. The city is home to the majority of the Afro-Ecuadorian population; the province is the most ethnically-diverse in the nation. The main exports are wood and agricultural resources, yet the establishment of Esmeraldas as Ecuador's largest oil refinery has also turned it into an important commercial center. Esmeraldas was considerably affected by the El Niño events of the late 1990s when mudslides caused explosions, fatalities, and environmental damage due to ruptured pipelines. Due to these events, the tourism industry is still recovering, yet Esmeraldas remains of interest to tourists for its beautiful beaches, tropical forests, and handicrafts.

Why You Should Come

The population estimate as of 2010 was 188,694 people, with 66 percent of them living in an "urban situation." In a meeting with MEDLIFE staff members, residents of Esmeraldas reported drug abuse, pregnancy at a young age, and lack of access to medical care as issues that desperately need to be addressed.

How You Can Help

At the moment there are only “Mobile Clinic” available for this destination. The clinic will provide basic health services, and also serve as an opportunity to learn more about community needs and make plans for long-term development projects. See an example of Mobile Clinic itinerary* below:


*Each Mobile Clinic team will be divided into four different groups; groups will rotate stations throughout the week.

Some Extra Activities

Antisana Ecological Tour
This full-day tour departs daily from Quito and, after a scenic three-hour drive, brings you to Antisana, the fourth highest volcano is Ecuador towering at just under 19,000 feet. During the tour, you will explore the Antisanilla reserve and its wall of cliffs.
Visit Otavalo
Otavalo is considered one of the most important destinations in Ecuador for its rich culture and natural beauty. This day-long, private excursion is designed to provide you with an overview of the beautiful Andean landscape and a taste of contemporary Andean culture with visits to the Otavalo Artisan Market and a local workshop in a neighboring village. 
Cotopaxi National Park
This route is surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes and their mystical beauty, which, in ancient times, fed legends belonging to the land's first inhabitants and attracted Spanish conquistadors who later made it their new home.
Quito City Tour
Experience Quito's highlights with a knowledgeable guide and go for a look at both colonial and modern Quito, and visit top Quito attractions such as clifftop Mirador de Guápulo, Independence Plaza, and the Presidential Palace.
Mindo Cloud Forest
Just two hours northwest of Ecuador's capital is the incredibly bio-diverse Mindo Cloud forest, a protected national forest nestled in the Andean foothills. Located on the outskirts of the Guagua Pichincha Volcano, this vast forest in the clouds is home to an abundance of tropical species as one of Ecuador's most visited attractions.
Papallacta Thermal Springs
Only two hours away from Quito in a temperate mountain forest nestled high in the Andean Range hides the mystical Termas de Papallacta. About three thousand meters above sea level, the invigorating hot springs await you in the only Spa in Ecuador that offers mineral thermal water hydrotherapy.

*Prices vary according to numbers of volunteers.