Ecuador Bound!

This year's 8th grade class will be traveling to Ecuador!  This is the first South American destination for the TPS Spanish trip - past trips have been to Cuba, Costa Rico, Mexico, Puerto RIco, and Spain. Students will spend the year learning about Ecuadorean history, culture, geology, ecology, and endemic species – as well as solidifying their Spanish conversational and comprehension skills.

Here's a taste of the itinerary for the trip, which will take place in March. Students will have plenty of opportunity to put their Spanish to use. "City and country" experiences will abound!

Day 1. Quito. Arrival at hotel and orientation.

Day 2. Quito. After a "gondola ride" up Pichincha Mountain to experience a spectacular view of Quito, students will be taken on a city tour.  Themes for the day will be the history of Quito; the geology of Ecuador and the Andes; and religion, politics, and power.

Day 3. Pacoche Reserve.  Students will spend the day hiking in the Pacoche Reserve, which is located within the conservation area recognized for its large number of endemic species. They will also explore local cultural traditions and activities.

Day 4. La Isla de la Plata. Students will travel by boat to enjoy an unforgettable "mini Galapagos" experience, discovering the wondrous species that can be found on La Isla de la Plata, located 17 miles off the coast of Ecuador. A highlight will be seeing blue-footed and masked boobies, which will peer curiously at students as they pass within a few meters of them. After lunch we will go for a snorkeling time in the afternoon.

Day 5. Agua Blanca. Today students will explore ancient civilizations of Ecuador. They will visit the community of Agua Blanca, where they will go to museum devoted to pre-Inca civilizations of the area, and they will experience natural hot springs before lunch. The day will end with a flight back to Quito.

Day 6. Otavalo. Students will visit the famous Otavalo Market, where farmers, artisans, and peddlers from all over South America come to sell their colorful offerings. At Parque Condor, a rescue center for birds of prey, they will see a demonstration of falconry. Lunch will be in Puerto Lago, at the foot of Taita Ibabura, where students will have a spectacular view of San Pablo Lake.