Thursday, June 30, 2016
My time in Cuenca, Ecuador is coming to a close! Just two more days and I will be returning to the states. Today, I participated in my last excursion, which was horseback riding. By far, this excursion was the best one so far. Yes, it was my first time riding horse and I was extremely nervous. During the first few minutes, I felt like I was going to slip off the horse. However, I started to feel more comfortable as I continued on my journey. My journey took about an hour and half, but it was worth it. I had fun and now, I can check this activity off of my bucket list. This was a great way to end my last excursion in Cuenca.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
My last week in Cuenca, Ecuador is officially here! I cannot believe I have been in this beautiful city for almost a month. Time flies when you are busy and having fun. Today, I embarked on my last hike in Cuenca. We traveled to Mount Pizarro and embarked on a five hour hike. It was long and treacherous journey, but I made it to the top. Unfortunately, I did not make it to the Lagoon, but at least I can say that I have hiked and chased waterfalls. I have one more excursion on Thursday which is horse-back riding. This will be my last excursion before I go back to the states. I cannot wait for this event, but until then, I will be in the bed recovering from my strenuous hike! Adios Amigos!
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Day 2 in Saraguro was perfect! Continuing our journey, we visited more indigenous communities and a gorgeous waterfall. We also went on a fifteen minute hike up a mountain and ate good food with people from a local indigenous community. Overall, this trip was worth everything. Not only did I get to have fun, but I also learned a lot about another culture. With this being stated, I love Ecuador and I cannot wait to see what the country has to offer me for the last week!
My time in Saraguro, Ecuador was amazing. Learning about the Indigenous Communities in Cuenca was a refreshing and great experience. Departing at 6:30 a.m., we spent two hours traveling through the Andes Mountains. It seemed like eternity to reach our destination, but two hours later, we arrived in Saraguro. There, we learned about the customs and traditions of the Indigenous people. It is fascinating how different the indigenous people live than the Ecuatorianos in the city. Without many resources, the indigenous people have to work very hard just to make ends meet. However, they accomplish so many goals and maintain their traditional roots. One amazing experience I had with the indigenous people was when our group observed the sacred prayer session. During that session, a man blessed us with spirit potion, a juice that apparently removes negative spirits around you. Then, I had the chance to drink another juice that was suppose to heal my body and remove all the bad spirits in my life. Being able to experience this was very interesting because one gets to see how other people worship. Other than this, my experience in Saraguro was great for the first day. Later that night, we listened to a local Indigenous band and got our groove on! Overall, the first day was great and worth it. We learned so much, but enjoyed every minute of it!
Friday, June 24, 2016
Gosh! My time here in Cuenca, Ecuador is almost coming to an end. During my time in this glorious city, I have spent time doing the following: learning and improving my Spanish in the classroom, participating in excursions, and attending Spanish/Dance class. With a busy schedule, I have not had a lot of free time time to explore Cuenca on my own. Today, I did just that! With friends, we ventured out and started to explore what Cuenca had to offer us. As we were exploring, I started to find graffiti art. At times, this art is seen as vandalism, but grafitti is beauty in disguise. It shows talent, skill, and creativity. Next, we found a recreational park on top of a mountain. There was different activities including: a swing that would swing of a cliff, a bougie cord, a zip-line, and much more. My favorite activity was the swing. The swing would swing off a cliff allowing me to get a glimpse of the whole city. The first drop was frightening, but worth it. Being able swing over a cliff and getting a great glimpse of the city, was a defining moment. After the swing, I went on a zip-line and enjoyed the rest of my time with friends. Today was a great day because I was able to explore more about Cuenca with friends by my side. Time is winding down, but I know Cuenca has more to offer before I leave.
Sunday, June 19, 2016
My second week has come to an end! I am halfway through my adventure in Cuenca, Ecuador! Even though time is flying by so fast, I am discovering all the amazing features Cuenca has to offer. Today, I visited Mount Chorro. Mount Chorro is classified as a level four mountain. This means that some parts of the mountain are very steep and a person has to use hands and feet in order to keep moving. Hiking up the mountain was very difficult. There not a lot of oxygen, my legs were on fire, and I kept slipping and falling. At first, I thought I would not make it to the top of the mountain, but I was determined to reach the destination. After a two-hour hike up the mountain, we finally reached the destination, the waterfall. Overall, the hike was worth every sore muscle in my body. I am proud of myself and I cannot wait to see what Cuenca has in store for me. And by the way, I apologize to TLC for not sticking to the rivers and lakes because we were chasing waterfalls.
Saturday, June 18, 2016
What an amazing day! The day started with us traveling to Comjitambo. There, we started to hike up the mountain. It is funny because I learned that I am not in the best of shape today. My legs were on fire after hiking that mountain. However, we made it to the top! As we were coming back down, we noticed that people were setting up for a festival. This festival was for the annual equinox. There was food, drinks, festivities, and much more. I wanted to stay, but it was time to move to the next adventure. Afterwards, we traveled to Incapirca to see ANCIENT Inca Ruins. We learned a lot about the Inca History and their traumatic fall. For example, The Incan Empire fell because of four reasons: there was a fractured empire; Atahualpa, the leader at the time, saw the Conquistadors as friends, not enemies; there was a divide between the indigenous people because some people wanted Huascar as a leader, and finally, there was many illnesses. Other than my educational experience, there were many festivities. There were traditional Ecuadorian dances, people cooking food, and people selling art and clothes. I had a great time and I really enjoyed myself. On to another excursion tomorrow!