Ecuador 2016

Art, Altitude and Raptors

  • June 12-24
  • Quito, Cuenca, Otavalo.
  • We will work with, and visit, a Lasallian school – Colegio Hermano Miguel while we are in Cuenca.
  • Instructors: Ms. Megan Longman; Ms. Beth Braun; Dr. Bonnie Ploger (Hamline University)
  • Students will be eligible to earn 4-semester hours of Hamline credit.


Pictures from the Ecuador 2016 trip

Sunday, June 12, 2016
Today we all arrived at the airport at 8:00am, and our plane was delayed for 30 minutes. Thankfully, we all got through security without any mishaps, and got to Dallas more or less on time. Dallas was really humid, and you could almost see the thunderclouds forming. We all explored the airport, got some food, and played some card games. We then boarded the plane, only to see that there was pouring rain and lightning. Our flight was delayed again for three hours, and we were forced to get off and then get back on the plane at the correct time. We finally arrived at the airport in Quito at 2:00am. Although we were all really tired, we were excited and ready to explore the city.

Monday, June 13, 2016
We went to Oswaldo Guayasamín’s house, which is now a museum. This was the view from the area in which we had lunch (the lunch was great!), it was an open area in which we could see most of the city.

After Guayasamín died, he was buried under the Tree of Life, a pine tree in front of his house. His best friend, Jorge Enrique Adoum, was buried there too after he died.

This is Isabel wandering around the garden in front of Guayasamín’s house. She was taking pictures of the interesting things in his garden.

We were walking around in the morning after we arrived and we stumbled upon a small stand that sold sweets and other treats. This stand was really close to the stand and they had great treats!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016
-Iglesia De La Compañía De Jesus:
This is the first place that we encountered on our adventure today!! This church was absolutely amazing, it was covered in gold leaf, had many intricate details, and tons of cool statues.

-Museo Civdad: Fundación De La Ciudad:
This is the second place that we walked to today. This museum was focused on the history of Ecuador! Our guide was also very interactive.

-Casa Del Alabado:
This was the third destination on our tour. It was a very gorgeous art museum. There were a lot of sculptures and artifacts with a lot of cultural and religious significance.

-Virgen de El Panecillo:
This was the last stop on our journey today. It was beautiful, and there were also little shops to look at which was really fun! This statue looks over the whole city of Quito.
-All in all, we had a fantastic day!! We all absolutely love Ecuador and we’ve all bonded and gotten to know a little more about each other too!! We can’t wait to explore the city of Quito more 😸
Isabel Doane

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Today was our last day in Quito. We visited the Quito Zoo en Guayllabamba. The zoo had lots of different exotic animals. There were owls that flew on our backs and monkeys that threw their food at us! Some of the students found a secret balcony that showed an amazing view. You could see part of the city and beautiful landscapes.

We had lunch at at an amazing restaurant with traditional Ecuadorian food.
Our next stop was Musao Inti-Ñan. The line of the the equator. We learned about the kinetic balance between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and some history on how the equator was found. We also go to do fun tricks and games. One trick was to balance and egg on a nail right on the middle of the equator.

Another amazing day!

Thursday, June 16, 2016
The schedule for today began with getting ready to leave the Hostal at 3:30 am so we could catch our plane to Cuenca. Then once we arrived in Cuenca, we would go on a walking tour and explore. However, traveling does not always turn out according to the plan.

Due to heavy rain, our plane to Cuenca was moved to 6:00, 9:20, and 10:20 am-only to later be cancelled. Instead of flying directly to Cuenca, we flew to Guayaquil -a city on the coast-and took a bus through the mountains to Cuenca. It seems that our flight plans on this trip so far have been consistently delayed, but this did not stop us from having fun.

We were able to see the mountains and visit another city-something that we did not anticipate. We were also able to catch up on sleep on the plane and on the 3 hour bus ride. We even ate pizza and watched the USA vs. Ecuador soccer game for dinner once we arrived in our new hotel. Despite having some setbacks in the plan, we arrived safely in Cuenca due to our awesome and helpful tour guide and we can’t wait to explore more tomorrow!

Friday, June 17, 2016
We went to visit the students from Hermano Miguel DeLaSalle. Once we got there we met the Vice Principal and the Principal of the high school. They introduced us to the school and the school structure. They have morning and afternoon school. The morning students pay for the tuition while the afternoon students don’t. The afternoon students still get the same education and supplies as the morning students. After the presentation we met the students that we were going to shadow. Once we met them we went to meet Brother Christian. Later we went out with the students of the school and they showed us around the city. We were split into groups and went our separate ways. Some went to Turi, where there’s “extreme” games and some went to the parks and got ice cream. Later we went back to the school and had lunch, which was amazing. After lunch we went to the hostel and waited until 16:00 when we went out with the same students we had met at the school. Some went to Turi (the ones that didn’t go during the school day) and some went to explore the city. We were back at 20:00 and it was a successful day.

Saturday, June 18, 2016
Today we went to Ingapirca, an archeological site which told the story of the Incan and Cañari people. We learned more about the people and were able to see how they lived. Even though it was rainy and muddy, we still had a great time.

The next place we visited was a marketplace called Azoguez. We saw the different kinds of food that they sell and the competitive set up of the market. This friendly competition is due to vendors with the same products for the same price being right next to each other. They also sell unpackaged meats such as pork and chicken, which they cut up right in front of you in order to cater to what each customer wants. This marketplace was where we are lunch.

Our last group stop was Chordeleg, a town which is well known for its gold jewelry. There were many jewelry stores with different options and sales.

We went out around Cuenca in smaller groups during dinner time, and had the option to visit the music festival. The music was played in all of the parks around Cuenca, with each park playing a different genre of music with different artists. It was a nice way to end a busy day.

Sunday, June 19, 2016
Today we went on a city tour with Andres. He took us to the Central Bank museum and showed us the Ecuadorian currency from throughout the years. Then we explored the outer areas, and discovered so many amazing things. We saw a huge garden full of; peppers, corn, quinoa, tomatoes, and squash! Then we saw llamas, alpacas, and many beautiful birds that had been rescued. Then we went to lunch and after started on a scavenger hunt throughout the city of Cuenca. We went to church later that evening and the ceremony was just gorgeous. It was only about 35 minutes. We had a really good last day in Cuenca! Now we’ll be off to Otavalo!!

Monday, June 20, 2016
We left the hostal at 9am and got to the airport at 10. We got to the airport and checked in our bags and luggage. Once we got past security we shopped in the gift shops then waited for our plane. Andres told us the plane was delayed so we decided to take a bus. Once we got on the bus it was a 2 hour drive. On our way we stopped and got lunch in Guayaquil and it was really hot. We also got really good ice cream. A little while later we stopped at a gas station that was closer to the hotel and everyone got snacks and drinks. Once we got to the hotel we got assigned our rooms. Insides the rooms was a really nice fire place and heated pillows!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Today was officially our first day in Otavalo! When we arrived at our resort last night, a fire was lit and we had bags of boiling water wrapped in mini towels inside of our beds. We stayed at the resort throughout the morning and did many activities with Doc Bonnie. Such as, drawing on rocks with volcanic stone, making our own masterpieces with nature, and sketching and journaling. Then we had lunch and went to Peguche Waterfall and went on a little scenic hike. It was such a gorgeous sight. While hiking, Doc Bonnie spotted a small juvenile hawk, and we all had the opportunity to look at him/her through her binoculars! When we arrived back at the resort, all of us ventured on a tour with the owner. It was very interesting hearing about all of the historic facts and artifacts of the monastery. Soon after we had a delicious dinner, and some people watched the big soccer game afterward. It was a very calm day and we all had tons of fun!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Today is our last day in Ecuador!!
All packed and ready to go, we were off on our snazzy bus to the market! The chaperones gave us about three hours to shop. The market was completely huge, you could honestly spend a whole day there! Our tour guide, Andres, also taught us some awesome bargaining skills! Then we went to lunch, and went to our last stop: condor park. This park was so beautiful and all of the condors and raptors were so unique. We had the opportunity to look around and also watch a condor/raptor show. I know each and every one of us had an amazing time on this GAP trip and sadly we are leaving tonight, but it will be good to be home.