Host brother Pedro’s 11th birthday
Performing with my dance academy “Paradigma Dance Crew” at a Quinceañera
4) Walking through the city of Cuenca
Retreat on the coast of Puerto Lopez. Along with presentations, speakers, and discussions about the various effects of “voluntourism”, we got mud masks, played soccer on the beach, and visited a National Park called Parque Nacional de Machalilla where we saw blue-footed boobies and went scuba diving.
Host mom Balbina’s birthday
Little cousins Sarahi and Chucho cleaning together
Beginning of independent travel: spent the first day climbing the volcano of Cotopaxi, the mountain with the second highest elevation in Ecuador following Chimborazo at 19,347 ft. We made it past 15,000ft
Hiked from one hostel to another for about 6 hours, stopping to eat lunch in the mountains
Hiked and went on horseback from our hostel to reach Quillotoa, a lake that was formed by a meteor. We hiked another hour to reach the bottom where we camped for the night.
Went white-water rafting in the city of Baños, Ecuador.
Visited the “Swing at the End of the World” in Baños
Festivities in Cañar around Christmas time with host sister Francheska
Cleaned Papito’s house (grandpa’s house) for Christmas and spent the day on his farm with his kitty
Found some cool murals in Cuenca with good friends Nati and Mafe
Cholo, our dog, relaxing in the sun
New Year’s Eve! Found a mask of Trump to burn- the tradition is to burn things we want to leave behind in the old year, such as old clothes, and faces of people we don’t like or the faces of people we do like in order to burn away any bad things that may have happened to them. Walked around Cañar to see the various set ups, usually used to critique something, such as the president. As we wait to burn our clothes at midnight, little cousins Sarahi and Chucho sit together.