Certified Homestay is an initiative that aims to connect anyone who is about to visit, travel or live in Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico or Nicaragua with a local family, to experience a different and unique way of exploring, learning and living in the country.

In collaboration with our strategic partner, Social Entrepreneur Corps, we build meaningful relationships and opportunities to support communities.  

By living with one of our Certified Homestay families you will experience the culture and the country in a profound way, and will support a family with a new source of income while part of the funds will be directed to our local partner Soluciones Comunitarias to support community empowerment projects.   

How we work - Certification Process

All homestay families have to fulfill certain criteria in order to become certified and the criteria for the certification include:

  • The house is maintained in a clean and orderly state.

  • There is a private room for the guest with the minimum of a bed, a dresser, a light, flooring, a window, and a lock on the door.

  • There is a bathroom with a door.

  • The house has a main door with a lock.

  • The family creates a kind, safe, welcoming, and supportive living environment.

  • The family agrees to provide three meals a day, a constant supply of bottled or filtered drinking water, and the guest should be offered to have their laundry done weekly.

  • The host mother completes training on safe food handling and preparation, water sanitation, keeping clean and healthy homes; furthermore, they learn how to provide language, emotional, and cultural support for guests. This training consists of the following key elements:

    • Emergency Plan and 24 Hour Communication Chain – Who to call and what to do in an emergency

    • Expectations and standards of hygiene and security of the house, and in particular, the room where the guest is living.

    • Specific best practices for keeping a healthy and safe guest (i.e. food preparation and curfew).

    • Suggestions to help bridge the communication gap and language barrier.

    • A formal contract in which families agree to provide the guest with all the services required. All families must undergo continuous training on an annual basis and receive positive guest/leadership evaluations as a requirement for renewing the contract. 

  • The family understands the importance of disinfecting fruits and vegetables and preparing food in a way that keeps in mind a participant’s stomach.

  • The family understands the responsibilities and challenges that come with hosting a foreigner, and is willing, capable, and excited to do so.

" Through my experience in Ecuador, I was able to experience and appreciate a different culture, develop strong and lasting relationships with host families, and positively impact the communities that I worked and lived in. I left Ecuador feeling inspired, and I hope to return in the near future.  "

- Carly B. from USA, Ecuador Homestay

Why Certified Homestay

  • Over over 10 years of experience working side-by-side with college students, professionals, volunteers and homestay families.

  •  Over 1,000 Social Entrepreneur Corps participants have lived with certified homestay families in Ecuador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. 

  • Over 100 guests hosted each year through Social Entrepreneur Corps Impact Immersion programs.  

Our Strategic Partners

Social Entrepreneur Corps, the New Development Solutions Group's social enterprise, provides unique life-changing hands-on professional development experiences in Latin America. As our strategic launch partner, they have been collaborating with our homestay families for over 10 years and have provided a home to over 1,000 interns and professionals.  
Soluciones Comunitarias was recognized by Ashoka Changemakers as a leader in leveraging social business opportunities that are changing the world.
In the past three years, Soluciones Comunitarias has reached over 5000 communities and 50000 people, children and adults, in Ecuador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. By providing them with over 20000 innovative products and solutions, they have helped them overcome challenging obstacles and improve the quality of their lives, through saving money, preventing dangerous health problems, becoming more productive and simply allowing them to be and feel comfortable in their homes.