APRIL 3, 2017 | South America - INTI
Saludos from Pucara, Ecuador! Our last week here in Ecuador has been filled with knowledge, adventure and inspiration as we traveled through the Intag region, learning from several communities and taking long hikes through bio-diverse forests. Arriving into Pucara, we were enthusiastically welcomed with a big celebration filled with games, music and dances. After the ceremony we were pushed further out of our comfort zones, once again, by being divided into individual homestays. What started off being a scary idea to most of us, ended up becoming a great experience. It was a nice opportunity to practice our Spanish and build stronger relationships with our host families, as well as experiencing living and traveling on our own.
Throughout the week, we worked within the community on projects such as volunteering on Pete’s farm and collaborating with community members to help build a new bench for the futbol field there. As we worked, we learned a lot of environmental science facts on the western slope of the Andes, where we are, which happens to be the steepest place in the world.
During our free time, we practiced our dance for the departing ceremony that was planned for us on Thursday. The dance was nicely choreographed by a few of us girls and was awesome. We ended up performing to Waka Waka by Shakira, and finished off with the Cupid Shuffle including community.
On Friday, we said our goodbyes in Pucara and headed over Junin, a small community who’s members have been fighting mining in their area for over ten years now. While there, we learned a lot on the issues with mining in the area and were able to hear from the perspective of families that have been affected from the conflict. The next day, we hiked up the cloud forest, for hours, through one of the most bio-diverse places in the world. We were able to see the different, very beautiful, cascade water falls in the area where exploratory drilling has been occurring, and first handedly witnessed the impact it has on the environment.
Now we’re ending our week at a beautiful hot springs resort, with just few days left until our next adventure to Peru! Hasta luego!