Signing off from Cusco

It’s been an amazing three months! It is with a heavy heart and excitement for the future that we bid farewell to our 10 terrific students, each who brought something unique and valued to our little nomadic group. From the humid coasts of Ecuador to the high and chilly mountains of Peru, this semester was truly filled with adventure, laughs, and challenges for all of us. Talking about permaculture, practicing… Read More

Macchu Picchu – We Made It!

We made it! It was an epic hike, over the Salkantay pass at 15,000 ft, camping below massive mountain peaks, and pushing our bodies to complete 4 days of hiking. Our troop of 10 (plus a guide, cooks, mules and mule drivers) had a great experience. From high mountain peaks to the jungle, we traversed through an amazing array of ecosystems. It was an unforgettable experience! We met the final… Read More

Student Directed Travel: Peru

This past week was our student directed travel week. After spending the day in Cusco, we hopped on a very enjoyable ten hour overnight bus ride to Arequipa. We spent two days there relaxing at our hostel and exploring the beautiful city. At 3 am on Monday, we got on a bus that took us and the rest of the group that we would be hiking with to Colca Canyon.… Read More

¡Hola from Qenco!

This week we went off the map and then a little further to Qenco, a village quietly nestled in a mountain at 12,000+ feet. Enduring the rain, wind, and mud, we were rewarded with picturesque mountain views and opportunities to hang out with llamas and 100’s of sheep in the morning and at sunset. We also spent time working with our host families on various projects to fully engaged in… Read More

The History of Ollantaytambo

This week we were welcomed into new host families in the small town of Ollantaytambo, which is the jumping off point for many treks to Machu Picchu. We partnered up with Awamaki, a local NGO whose purpose it is to aid and empower women in the area through business endeavors and workshops. In addition to having homestays, this week marked the final week of Spanish classes for our group. We… Read More

Transitioning To Peru

Written By Saffron We said “chao” to Ecuador and proceeded to miss our connecting flight from Lima to Cusco. The six hours of waiting in the Lima airport for the next flight to Cusco made our arrival to the inkan sun city all the more exciting. We have been in this bustling city for four days now. We arrived on halloween night and the streets were teeming with people, music… Read More

Learning About Sustainability

Written By Grace & Saffron After a stunning bus ride up and around and through the mountains, we found ourselves in the small town of Pucara at Finca La Fe. Pucara is located on the western slope of the Andes in the Intag/cloudy forest region. This region is known for ecological diversity and being suspended in cloud vapor the majority of time. During out time at Fina La Fe we… Read More

Time In Peguche

Written By Daniel and Mira We finally made it out of Tena, the protests ended by some random miracle, as the government agreed to place subsidies back on gas prices. This week, we were more than eager to continue on our program and travel to the indigenous town of Peguche, outside of the city of Otavalo. The week has warmed our hearts, minds, and spirits as we did homestays with… Read More

Time In Tena

Written By Meredith & Tyler On Sunday we left Banos and travelled to the city of Tena in the Amazon. We arrived late in the afternoon and got settled into our beautiful new hostel, previously picked out by Ava and Joey. The next day we met up with Stephanie from Amazon Learning and she taught us all about the Amazon and what they do as a company. Following her presentation,… Read More

Hello from Baños!

Hello from the Highlands of Ecuador! This past week we took an 8 hour bus ride from Tabuga to Baños in the mountain region of Ecuador. We had our first hot showers since arriving, as well as access to restaurants, nightlife, and as we are sure most of you know, the internet and telephones. Baños is named after it’s thermal baths, natural hot springs that flow from the volcano at… Read More

A coffeelicious week in Tabuga!

Bienvenidos a nuestro blog de Finca Mono Verde! Welcome to our blog from Finca Mono Verde! This week we lived together in a bamboo castle surrounded by coffee crops, chickens and three adorable dogs. While we continued to practice our newly learned Ecuadorian slang, we learned about environmental conservation, effectively utilizing natural resources, permaculture, coffee production, local businesses, indigenous culture, and remembering to close the lid when using compost toilets.… Read More

Becoming Bananeros in Las Delicias

Hola from Las Delicias, Ecuador! We’ve had an amazing jam packed week down here in Ecuador! Leaving Quito, we took our first long haul bus toward the small town of Santo Domingo, watching Spanish-dubbed Hollywood movies played on the bus and ogling at all the snacks offered by the local vendors each time we stopped. We ended our journey in the small town of Las Delicias where we met up… Read More

Inti Group Check-ins

My time in Quito so far has been very interesting thus far. I love observing the architecture and the local’s behavior. I think we’ve all learned a lot everyday we’ve been here. This includes a lot about ourselves, the members of our group, and the city and culture here in Quito. My habits have really changed since we’ve been here. This includes what I do in the morning, what I’ve… Read More

Ready To Go!

Bags are packed and ready to go… We soon will be heading south to the land of beautiful mountains, fuzzy llamas and donkeys, and mouth watering foods. Together we hope to experience growth, transformation, and lots of laughs over the next few months. Enjoy your final days with friends and family before we embark on this epic adventure! See you soon!… Read More

Arajuno Jungle Lodge

By Ellen Zimmerman Hello everyone! We just finished our week in the Amazon, where we stayed at the Arajuno Jungle Lodge. It was started by Tom, our contact, as a eco-tourism and conservation project inspired by his Peace Corps service. It is on the Arajuno River, a tributary of the Amazon. It is only accessible by a fifteen-minute boat ride from the nearest bridge. Our days were all structured similarly,… Read More

Hostel Livin’

By Tatum Nadherny Allllrriiggghhty then we got a lot to cover, so get comfy folks (and excuse the excessive use of parenthesis, there were a lot of plot holes that needed more details). And here. we. go. After our week in the Amazon, we headed back to where it all started in the city of Quito….and promptly splurged on all available snacks and chocolate. It did not take long for… Read More

Cosechas en Peguche

By Alexander Nemzek Greetings everyone, Picking up from where Audrey left off last week, we had one last day of fun in Morochos before heading to Peguche. In our last day with Pete as our contact, we hiked a slightly grueling trail around the mountains that encircle Lake Cotacachi, but thankfully the beautiful views gave us motivation to keep going. Later that night, we had the opportunity to purchase 100%… Read More

From Banos to Morochos

By Audrey We have been very busy this week. For our final night in Banos, a bunch of us went to karaoke. However, we didn’t stay out too late because we had to catch our bus to Otavalo at 4am. Otavalo is known for the huge market with lots of crafty goods including alpaca ponchos and sweaters (which most of the group took advantage of while using our bargaining skills).… Read More

Just Gringo Things

By Eliza Sharland Hola! After a week practicing our coffee picking skills at finca mono verde we hopped on our 8-hour bus ride to Banos. we were all sad to leave the hammocks and the constant healthy competition for them but when we got to Banos we were all peering out of the bus in awe. The landscape here is mountains covered in jungle that drops to rivers. On arrival,… Read More