Showing posts from 2017

The End is Nigh!

This blog post is a bit late concerning the events our final week here in Ecuador, but better late than never right! So here goes, the events of our final week in beautiful Ecuador, from cheering at a soccer game, to completing out studies, and saying our farewells.

Sunday afternoon- July 30... El Partido!

This partly cloudy morning, we all met up at the IES center so that we could walk together to the Estadio Olimpico Atahulpa. First things first, we needed to gain some team spirit and what better way to do that than to get some futbol jerseys right outside the stadium. El Nacional was pitted against La Universidad Catolica, and we chose to root for the more favorable Nacional team. Red jerseys sprung onto our chests and we headed inside for a good time of cheering and s'more more bonding. Once we found a place to sit, the game got to a quick start as the jugadores moved that ball around the field. Since there was some tight security, we didn't bring any snacks inside....howev…

ReCap of Our Good Times in Ecuador

And so, our time in Ecuador comes to an end. After the final dinner and our final goodbyes to the amazing staff and to our wonderful Professor, we leave to our respective plans for the night (some to make it last longer, some to prepare for the days of travel to come). Everybody finishes up their packing, some head off to the airport a day early to travel to other parts within South America, and everybody starts to feel the nervous jitters of the Last Day. 
I spent my last day with my two friends and neighbors, and we went to visit the last few sights within Quito that we missed. Throughout our outing, we recounted our adventures in Ecuador with a nostalgic tone, fondly recalling tale after tale. To recap our adventures: \ The first week was a busy busy week. Everybody landed at different times, and were escorted to their respective and respectable host families. The next few days were filled with all sorts of activities, from meeting the wonderful staff at IES, to playing soccer, to …

Dia 2 en Bonito Mindo!

Written on July 29, 2017

After such an exciting and thrill-seeking day yesterday, many of us were still tired, so we decided to take it easy the next morning.

After breakfast, we decided to check out the famous Mariposario in Mindo. Mariposario Nathaly was
only a few minutes away from our hostel so it was an easy walk to get there. As we entered, we were welcomed by Francisco, the owner of the Mariposario, who also gave us a tour. We started the tour by looking at the life cycle of the butterflies. Here, Francisco showed us butterfly eggs that belonged to different species. He told us that every morning he goes to check the leaves of the plants and flowers to collect the eggs. He then went on to show us what comes after the eggs, which were some huge caterpillars. He told us that depending on their species, caterpillars can range from very tiny ones to larger ones. After the caterpillar stage, he showed us the stage before the caterpillar fully forms into its cocoon. We were able tou…

That Trip Was Gnarly MIN-DO! (pronounced 'mean'-'though')

Written by Jasmin Hernandez Santacruz “Mindo es lindísimo!” (Mindo is very beautiful). I must have heard this phrase from my host-mom at least ten times as she urged me to take advantage of our free weekend to visit Mindo, a small town which is approximately an hour and a half from Quito; and this past weekend that’s exactly what we did. I think I speak for the whole group when I say that our two-day trip to Mindo was just the perfect taste of this hidden gem.
Our planning for the trip began on Wednesday afternoon. As soon as class ended, everyone put on their travel-agent goggles and began to plan for our trip. After a couple hours of phone calls and web surfing, the trip to Mindo was officially scheduled and planned, everyone hurried home to pack.
The first task for Day 1 was to meet at the Ofelia Terminal at 7:30am to catch the 8:00am bus to Mindo. The price for a one-way ticket was a whopping $3.10 and after everyone had purchased their ticket, we boarded the bus and were quickly on…

Is It North or South?

Ecuador is an extremely diverse country; full of different cultures and experiences. Though Spanish is the official language, Ecuador recognizes fourteen indigenous languages; four in the coast region and ten in the Amazon area. Ecuador is also a country divided into four unique geographic regions. The first area is the coast or “La Costa.” The second area is the highlands or “La Sierra,” where we met the San Clemente community. The third is the Amazon region and the fourth is “La Region Insular,” which consists of the Galapagos Islands, most famous for their role in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. 

Of the hundreds of things to do in the Sierra region, one of the most advertised for tourists to visit is Ciudad Mitad Del Mundo (Middle of the World City). This monument is around 27 kilometers or 17 miles north of Quito, Ecuador’s capital. It takes approximately one hour to get there in car and almost two hours in bus. Out of the thirteen students in the class, eight of us visited t…

Aventuras en La Amazonia - Tena, Ecuador

Nuestra tercer semana en Ecuador! 
This past week we were able to explore another region of this beautiful country, the Amazon, in Tena, Ecuador. Many of our excursions on this trip have been a first to most of us, especially everything we did in the Amazon region. Here we hiked to a waterfall, went on a motorized boat ride, floated down a river, visited the AmaZOOnico, and went caving!
Saturday, July 22, 2017:
We hiked in the Rainforest Reserve Colonso, our goal was to hike to a waterfall. A couple months ago with the strong rainfall there was major damage to certain parts of the rain forest, caused by the falling of many trees. This lead us to taking a non-traditional route up to the waterfall. This new path away allowed for us to explore other parts of the rain forest, by having us hike up the stream way of the water, through large rocks, muddy areas, sand mountains, and many fallen branches. This hike allowed our team of students to support one another along the pathway. It also ga…