Update from VT Ecuador Study Abroad

Greetings from the cloud forest!!  We completed the first leg of our adventure in the lowland Amazon rainforest.  Toucans, tarantulas, hoatzins, scarlet macaws, and caiman…just to name a handful of the species we observed in one of the most biodiverse places on earth. The Shiripuno Lodge made us feel at home in the most remote place most folks in our group will ever experience.  The rainfall was epic, even by Amazon standards.  A lifetime of experiences and stories, and considerable personal growth for students as they learn more about their own capabilities by being challenged physically and mentally. Everyone was sad to leave the lowlands, but the next leg of our adventure began yesterday as we ascended into the Andean foothills of the eastern slope.  A photo of the Sumaco Volcano from our drive was a precursor to our adventures to come in the cloud forest (pictured below).  Nine species of hummingbirds before breakfast today…not too shabby.  Look for a sequence of blog posts from the students in the coming days that describe some of our lowland adventures.

Sumaco Volcanoe is an active volcano located in the Eastern Ecuadorian Cloud Forest and Foothills, before entering into the lowlands of the Amazon Basin. Photo by Bill Hopkins.