Ecuador Otavalo

Health & Safety

Upon arrival in Quito, you will attend a detailed orientation that includes a session on staying safe and healthy while living in Ecuador. During orientation, BCA invites an officer from the U.S. Embassy to discuss saftey issues. Students also learn about common health concerns from a Quito-based Peace Corps nurse.

Quito has a number of high-quality medical facilities, and our staff will provide you with a list of clinic names and phone numbers during orientation.

Our on-site resident director and staff are available to you whenever you need medical or any other type of assistance.

Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses

There is a great deal of discussion about the Zika virus. While the Zika virus is present in  Ecuador, neither the US government nor the World Health Organization is advising people not to travel internationally. Additionally, the mosquitoes that spread Zika usually do not live at elevations above 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) because of environmental conditions. Quito, Ecuador is at an elevation where these mosquitoes do not live. Program excursions and independent travel may be in areas where the Zika virus is possible, however.

The best protection from Zika virus is preventing mosquito bites. It is very important that you understand how the Zika virus is transmitted and take all steps to prevent transmission. Please click here to read more about the virus and prevention.

Medical Insurance

BCA requires all students to have major medical insurance before going abroad and asks that you supply policy information on the BCA Certificate of Health, which is signed by you and your doctor. You must contact your insurance provider before leaving the United States to ensure that you are covered while abroad and to learn the procedures to follow if you need medical services.

Travel & Medical Assistance

Student safety is a priority for BCA. We provide all students with membership in On Call International, a leading travel and medical assistance company. On Call services include emergency evacuation, security advice, medical assistance (such as prescription advice or referrals to English-speaking doctors) and medical payment guarantee. Medical insurance is different than the On Call International travel and medical assistance program that is included in the BCA program fee.

Staying Safe

While you are abroad, it is important to follow the same common-sense safety precautions that you follow at home: never walk alone at night, keep doors locked, do not allow strangers into your housing, and never leave bags or backpacks unattended. We strongly urge all students to read the U.S. Department of State’s information regarding travel to Ecuador.