Ecuador Expectations

Expectations and Requirements

This is an international trip to a developing country. While we feel this trip can be conducted safely, we need to do certain things individually and as a group to ensure we’re maximizing our fun and safety. As such, it is important all potential participants and parents read this section carefully.

  • We are visitors to this town, and in many ways, we will be representing American teenagers. It is imperative we are respectful to locals and fellow travelers alike. We will be conscious of our noise volume, how much public space we’re “taking up” and how we interact with others and each other.
  • We will be together as a big group most of the time, but there will be some free time opportunities where kids can do things in smaller groups with the permission of staff. These will be limited to in-town activities during the day.
  • Once you are checked into your quarters for the night, you may not leave and you may not have any evening visitors.
  • Absolutely no drinking alcohol or illicit drug use of any kind. This does not apply to necessary prescription or approved OTC medicine.
  • As with all Taproot Programs, we will expect students to follow H.A.R.K!


Honoring Commitments

One of our favorite courses ever, Education for Living, taught us that broken commitments are the cause of almost all suffering. One of the things we hope Foundations participants will observe in their year with us is how they feel when they are honoring their commitments versus not. Students can observe rather quickly and profoundly how doing this, even–and especially–with themselves is an important step in knowing, trusting and honoring themselves.

Active Participation

This is very much a get-out-of-it-what-you-put-into-it experience, one with very little risk or downside.  All kids will get challenged, learn and connect to a degree, but in our observation, kids who really engage with the process and people can have transformational experiences. We’d love it if every student who registers comes in day-one open to the possibility of this experience being transformational for them.

Respectful Communication and Interaction

At Taproot, we practice Unconditional Positive Regard or UPR, which means that every participant–student and teacher–treat each other with kindness in all communications and interactions. It’s a very important part of our program because of the psychological safety it provides for people when they can expect people to be nice to them. In Foundations, we believe creating a space and community where this is the defacto interpersonal mode is precious and we expect everyone participating to honor this practice.

Keeping Confidence

This trip is meant to be a safe place for participants to express themselves and strive to be their authentic selves. Students will be invited to embrace vulnerability and share information about themselves that they may not want to share with the wider world. Keeping confidence means that participants agree that the personal information and stories of others are safe with them, and they will not talk about it with anyone outside of the group. Participants are welcome and encouraged to talk with family and friends about their own Foundations experiences, but not to share the personal information of other students. An important exception to this is if a student is worried that a peer is in danger of harming themselves or others; in that case, we encourage them to tell a trusted adult.