On our first day in Ecuador, we visited the equator.
While traveling south from Quito to Cuenca, where we spent most of our time in Ecuador, we stopped at the old home of a previous president. A band called Cotopaxi, named after a volcano nearby, performed for us and even let us participate.
The art students went to the home of indigenous people in the Andes Mountains, who cooked for us, and showed us how they make natural dyes, spin the yarn, dye the yarn, and then weave using a treadle loom
The first night we arrived in Cuenca, we met our families at CEDEI, the school where we took Spanish classes. As my new family, my roommate Margaret, and I were heading home, we heard music and stopped to watch a celebration that was going on outside of a nearby church. The festivities included dancing, singing, and fireworks shot out of the ears of the “vaca loca” (crazy cow)!
Outside of a market, some ladies were cooking cuy (guinea pig), a traditional Ecuadorian food.
Near Gualaceo, Ecuador, some ladies who make sombreros de paja toquilla (Panama hats) showed us the initial stages of making the hats.
This is the view from one of the haciendas that we stayed in.
On our last weekend in Ecuador, we went to El Cajas, a beautiful national park to the West of Cuenca.
This was taken out of the bus window as we headed from Cusco to the Manu Rainforest.
In the rainforest, we planted trees and a variety of other plants. We also planted trees in Trujillo and on the way to Machu Picchu.
Beach soccer in the Manu Rainforest!!
On our way to Machu Picchu, we stopped at a school in the countryside and played with the local children for a couple hours!