As my time in Ecuador has come to a close, I have taken note of the stones I have not yet turned. Of those are but a few that bring such raw awe and excitement as has exploring the back roads of my rural mountainous community. Long treks through any setting will undoubtably do one well, although they simply fail in comparison to mountain journeys. There is a certain sense of frank clarity one can only experience at the top of a mountain. For the journey there compels one to falter in their footsteps and concede the distance for which they fought. However at the top of the mountain, limitations simply melt away. One is reminded that said limitations are but confused feelings. Through countless walks I have been able to confront my confused feelings on countless fronts. In the absence of a heavy conscious, one is left to explore their environment and more importantly, themselves. Consequently, my walks have taken on an identity of their own, one unwilling to submit to the terrors of ever changing terrain. At the end of one walk, another is but on the horizon. This year has been peculiar in that way as the respite from my western world is nearing its final days.
Ecuador - 2017
Jesse Aranda-Comer is passionate about the environment, in particular issues of conservation and preservation. He is involved in organizations that deal with social justice and youth programs. His goals for the year are to learn about Ecuador's history and people, and to broaden his understanding of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America.
John Wayne: Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.