Holiday Cheer

I was lucky enough this holiday season to have spent it not only with my loving host-family, but with my amazing boyfriend Jeff. Jeff’s visit lasted from the 16th of December until the 29th, and I tried to fill it with as much excitement and travel as possible in the short time we had together….

A Dose of Reality with a Side of Undue Stress

This past week (November 28th to December 4th) I spent in Archidona, Napo and surrounding indigenous communities. Dubbed my orientation week for my placement which begins in January, was a very interesting experience. I got two main things out of it: A very eye-opening look into life in small indigenous communities of the Amazon and…

Northern Highlands Field Trip: Otavalo, Cotacachi, Cayambe, and Mascarilla

(Warning: this post is pretty academic) This past week (November 3-6) our program had it’s second field trip, this time to several communities of the Northern Highlands. The theme of the week was social movements and indigenous resistance in the region, which we were able to explore pretty thoroughly. The field trip to communities of…

Viva Cuenca!

I spent this past weekend (November 31-2), in Cuenca, celebrating Cuencan Independence, Dia de los difuntos, and All Souls Day. Technically speaking, Sunday the 1st is All Saints Day, wh ile the 2nd is Dia de los Difuntos and All Souls Day and the 3rd marks Cuenca’s Independence from Spain. The weekend constitutes what was…

Let’s go to the Jungle! Vamos a la selva!

Last week our program had it’s first out of Quito field trip! From Sunday to Thursday we visited Tena and Shandia, which are just on the edge of the Amazon. Tena is a city, as weird as that sounds, and Shandia was a very small town or pueblo. It was a pretty rough drive down,…

Papallacta

This past Monday (October 12), me and a few of the girls took a day trip to Papallacta. Papallacta is known for its thermal waters which are heated by Volcan Antisana and glacial waters from the mountain runoff. It it a town on the main (paved) road between Quito and Tena, only about 2.5 hours…

Thanksgiving in Ecuador

A tradition in our program each year is for the students to prepare a Thanksgiving feast for our families. I feel that this is an incredible opportunity for us to give back to our community in Quito, and thank them for the love and support they give us every day. Those that know me, know…

Que lindo es Mindo!

Last weekend me and the girls (well, most of them) went to Mindo. Mindo, Ecuador is located just about 2 hours from Quito, in the Cloud Forest. Mindo, though it is still relatively high altitude it is closer to sea level than Quito. The Cloud Forest is one of the most biodiverse regions, and is…

Mitad del Mundo and Centro Historico

This past week I sure kept myself busy. I wrote and handed in a paper (EARLY!), spent some time with friends after school a couple days, and even went to Mitad del Mundo and Centro Historico!¬† I could have gone away this weekend to a different city or town in Ecuador but with my ankle…

Otavalo Market, Cotacachi and Centro Historico

Centro Historico — Old Quito Friday night (11th of September), Emily’s host mom offered to take us out to Centro Historico to explore the colonial centre of Quito. I am a sucker for colonial architectural style, so my¬†favourite part was taking in the surrounding buildings in the Plaza de la Independencia (Plaza Grande). We walked…

I hung out with friends!

You see, I know that doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment but, believe me, it is! I have been living with my host family for almost a week now and I can say they are truly great. I am quite enjoying the cultural and linguistic opportunity! As much as I love this family though,…