Composting Toilets

What up yall this week has been a blast. the organic farm called rio muchacho was an amazingly wonderful place. everybody loved it. We had a full five days there at rio muchacho. we did something new every day. A reguler day consisted of waking at six and doing the morning chores, varrying from cleaning the pig pens, helping with breakfast, cutting grass with machetties and fedding the horses, or… Read More

“Im a G in the jungle”

We left Otavalo a week ago for the Alto Choco Forest Reserve in northern Ecuador. Ramiro and Carolina, Ecuadorian mountain man, and a Swedish woman, our two contacts there, met us in town to get us started. We ended up in our own small van following a rocky road through the mountains driving through thick clouds to get to the town of Santa Rosa. We got out at the start… Read More

Otavalo Take Two

Hey all! We are back in Otavalo for another weekend in the city. We have just returned from a week in the Cloud Forest, teaching English and computer skills to little kids. They were all absolutely precious and it was incredibly rewarding. As far as English goes, we taught the kids numbers, the alphabet, colors, days of the week, months of the year and basic greetings like hello, how are… Read More


Hello from Otavalo! We have safely arrived in the beautiful city of Otavalo. We had a nice late drive last night, and were able to see a bit of a sunset, I think the first since we have been here! We woke up this morning, and had a nice start of the day by walking around the HUGE, market. I think a few of us are slow trailing things behind… Read More

¡Huevos Rancheros!

Today is our last night in Ecuador, we are going to go put our Salsa Dance Moves to the test. Hopefully all goes well, Haha . We have spent the last couple of day finishing up our last week of Spanish School. Learning all about past tense verbs, it has been a difficult week, if I might say so my self. On Sunday the group, went to Mitda Del Mundo… Read More

el panecillo & the basilica

Standing so close to El Panecillo, the angel, the virgin mary, who looks over all of Ecuador brought us all closer to the city and it´s energy. The statue is amazing, standing tall above our heads, we strain our necks to look up at her halo of stars. She stands atop a serpent, holding it´s neck with a chain. Certainly majestic, she watches over a magnificent view of the city… Read More


After spanish classes for three days, we´re all beginning to sound a little more like South America. Yesterday, we had the chance to walk through the huge market with our spanish teachers. Though only around ten in the morning, the smells of delicious Ecuadorian food made us all a bit hungry. It was hard to concentrate on the names of all the fruits and vegetables that were stacked together. Piles… Read More

First Day in Quito

hola familia y amigos! Last night we arrived in Quito! After a bus ride in the rain, watching Samuel L. Jackson movies in spanish, we came into the city, passing the equator monument, to get into taxis to go to our new homes. Excited and nervous, we arrived to meet Rosa, the director of the language school, and mom to Tessa and Amanda. Tired, we were grateful for generous meals,… Read More

atempt #2

After a previously failed blog attempt, onyx and I (karen)are out to actually post our regards to all the fam an friends back home. we have come to realize that our espanol es horible y nosotros necesitamos practicar mucho, mucho, mucho mas! all is well in the world and Mino is a completely lovely place. Onyx is fellin swell and says hola partir de Ecuador y yo entrigo mi miros.… Read More

Greetings from Mindo!

Hey all, Amanda and Tessa here reporting in from Mindo, Ecuador.. in the cloud forest! It´s been amazing so far. Yesterday, after some group dicussions and activities, the group hiked up to a zip line company near the hostel and we spent a few hours enjoying 13 different zip lines, letting us fly over and through the amazingly gorgeous canopy of the cloud forest. Later we got to enjoy time… Read More

First Day in the City

Hey guys, this is Paul and Jenn. Its our first day in Mindo, we are currently doing a scavenger hunt around town for some fun. It has been raining alot but it still very warm. It is a beautiful day today partly cloudy with some sun. Yeserday the group ziplined through the cloud forest, on 13 different zip line courses. It was beautiful veiw from that high up, it rained… Read More

The SAM group sends its love!

We’ve just received a call from Heather letting us know that they’ve all safely arrived in Mindo (outside of Quito) after a couple hours’ ride in a minibus. Everyone is healthy, happy, and ready for adventure. (They will not have internet access for another 2-3 days at best, so they wondered if we would post for them so you all can know that all is well and they send their… Read More

Welcome to the airport!

Well, it is indeed official. Another South America Carpe Diem group has come together to find themselves embarking on their journey. The entire group is together in South America and they’ll be boarding a plane South to Ecuador “prontisimo.” We’re sending them off with great wishes and blessings aplenty for a phenomenal semester!… Read More

First post of spring ’09.

Hola from Portland, OR, and welcome to the South America spring ’09 blog! We are very excited about the upcoming journey and have spent the past week here at Carpe Diem HQ going over all the final details. We are looking forward to meeting you all on Wed. Feb 11th at 10pm at the TACA airlines counter in LAX. Enjoy your last few days in the states and we will… Read More


Its Stacy here again to give a real quick summary of the Galapagos before we all come back to the states and tell you all about it ourselves! This week in galapagos has been pretty much the best time of my life. The moment we climbed off the airplane and dumped our stuff off on the boat we spent our nights on we were ushered off to see the giant… Read More


Hey everyone! This is Stacy here to catch you all up on our adventures. So after our language schools / chaotic countryside indigenous children elementary school adventure, we headed to the coast to visit a spiritual retreat called Sumai. There, the plan was to spend a week recuperating after our final language schools and learn some things about yoga as well as native shamanism. When we arrived, however, we found… Read More


Hello family and friends, Well, just to let you guys know we just finished up our first week in Quito, Ecuador. The first night we stayed in a hostal together then the next morning we started our spanish classes. It was kinda an intense first day because we got split up right away and took a test for like an hour. This test would determine who our teacher would be.… Read More