Thursday, May 8, 2014

Whiteman Students PEDAL adventure in Ecuador

After spending a month in Ecuador, the Lowell Whiteman Students finally have returned to Colorado.  For the first few days in Ecuador, the students explored Quito, camped the famous crater site, Quilotoa, and got to know their home stay families in Quito.

Only after one night of rest, PEDAL for Change took the students on a bike tour deep into the Amazon where they volunteered for the Quichwa community, Sinchi Warmi, for a week building cabins and stone paths.

Mosquito bitten, sunburnt and with amazing attitudes, the students headed deeper into the Amazon to Cuyabeno for a 6 day safari.  They saw sloths, gators, monkeys and Anaconda snakes.

Upon return to Quito, the students spent the last few days volunteering at a center for students with special needs.  They also went to an artisan market and spent the last day rock climbing.  But enough from me…. Let's hear what the students have to say.

A blog on leaving Sinchi Warmi from Josh Paquette '16!


Today we left Sinchi Warmi. It was very emotional, and there were a
lot of sad faces. We took a group picture, and then left for a new
adventure. We biked 40km over steep and rocky roads. It was a little
warm, but the scenery was gorgeous – at times we could even see a
distant volcano wrapped in clouds. I also saw a line of ants carrying

When we got to the end of the biking, we all thought we had to hike to
a campsite and set up tents. But the leaders were joking, and we
actually had a surprise boat ride to an ecolodge that was really nice.
The group played guitar around the campfire and we napped on our porch
with a hammock. It was a fun and relaxing day!

A blog from Noah Zedeck '16, in Ecuador! 4/15/14

The people at Sinchi Warmi have put us to work! We have done some
challenging work, but it has been satisfying.

After our usual 7:45 breakfast, we climbed into the back of a truck to
go collect rocks at the beach for the path that we our building here.
After piling an enormous pile on the beach, we had to make a line and
throw the rocks to each other to get them up a hill. Once over the
hill, we again had to toss them down a line to get them to the road.
After that, we put them in the truck, brought them back, unloaded
them, and put them on the path. Not only was this tiring, but the
Amazon is extremely humid so we were drenched in sweat. Working with
the locals has been fun. Additionally, when we returned from our last
beach collection, we were greeted with a heap of fresh sandwiches made
with local breads and South America's traditional "queso fresco," or
fresh cheese. We also had the opportunity to try Inca Cola, a popular
South American soda that tastes like bubblegum. After our work, we got
to relax and learned how to make traditional Kichuan bracelets with
some of the local women.

Our group has been great, as we all get along and make the most of
every situation. I am excited to spend a few more days here, and I
will be very sad to leave the people here that I have grown so close