I am officially halfway through the exploration seminar and I can honestly say that it has been the best educational experience of my life. In just two weeks we have hiked to over 15,500 feet on the active volcano Cotopaxi, we have toured Quito (which has an amazing historical center), and we have taken GPS data points to help an organic farmer map his farm. We have also travelled to the cloud forest, where we learned more about organic farming and the physical demands of hiking through such dense vegetation (stinging plants and big spiders!). Over the last couple of days we have been near Lago Agrio in the Amazon basin, where we took water samples for the local community which has been plagued for years by the contamination of oil exploitation.
I cannot wait to see what the next two weeks of the trip on the Galápagos Islands show us, since everything this far has really allowed us all to grow not only as students but as individuals.