Ensemble in ECUADOR
at its purest!
The jungle guides met us upon arrival
at a path that would lead us into
La Amazonía. Our group of youth and adults were given variously
sized ponchos and rainboots to distribute among ourselves, “just in
case”... And it’s a good
thing! We were hit with a downpour merely several minutes after pulling on
our gear. Given our positive attitudes, the rain proved only to fed our
excitement and sense of adventure. We split into groups- a Spanish
speaking half to be led by a young indigenous man and the other half to be
led by an English speaking Ecuadorian- and began exploring!
In the jungle, we learned about various plants and their medicinal or economic purposes to the habitants of the region. We also encountered various insects, some large, some small, and some edible! Our guide was very knowledgeable, providing our group with facts about the Amazon rainforest and answering questions. I was amazed to learn that the rainforest accounts for just under half of Ecuador’s total surface area and is only populated by less than 5% of the population. After getting drenched from head to toe, despite our raingear, we decided it couldn’t hurt to jump into a nearby creek. My Spanish-speaking group and I splashed in the waters until it was time to head back for dinner.
We all regrouped to tell stories, have
a good laugh at our soaking bodies and enjoy a hearty meal of soup, fresh
fish, veggies and other indigenous goodies. After the wonderful,
home-cooked dinner we got the chance to watch some monkeys play, talk to a
tropical bird, and even hold a boa constrictor!
Following such an exciting and
eventful day in the jungle, it’s needless to say that we all slept
remarkably well that night.