Without further ado I would like to turn your attention to our latest blog. It was written by Tommy who is one of our new boys at Camps. Cambodia was great but after reading this I wouldn’t mind popping off to Ecuador too! Take it away Tommy….

I wrote this blog after a truly brilliant week that was Ecuador 2015.

Me and my colleague Sharon from Camps began our travels on a wet Saturday evening in Terminal Two of Heathrow airport. One by one, teachers rolled through the doors, joining the convoy en route to what would be a week packed full of memories.

It was a long day‰’s travel, first to Bogota in Colombia and then to Quito, our final destination where our journey could truly begin. It is there where we were met with smiles and open arms by two more Camps colleagues, Ally and Richard who took us to meet Jimena, Camps Ecuador superstar whose local knowledge was invaluable for the duration of our travels through Ecuador.

Joined by a local teacher from Ecuador who hailed from Texas, our party grew to 19 strong. After a night in Quito and a thorough briefing about what the week would entail we set off for our first Camp, Kuri Kuchu, high up in the mountain region of Ecuador ‰the scenes were spectacular on our drive up, the arid plains and roving volcanic skylines were truly something to behold.

On the way, we got the opportunity to stop off and experience the hustle and bustle of Otavalo market, the largest Artisan market in the southern hemisphere. After plenty of bartering, many of us left with some great gifts for our folks at home.

Once we arrived in Kuri Kuchu, we got taken around the Camp to get a feel for the kind of project work that took place there. A tree nursery and structural improvements to the school were underway and the teachers were told about likely projects to expect in the summer.

That night we were treated to a cultural dance from the locals, it wasn‰’t long before everyone was up off their seats joining in. It was just a small taste of what students were to expect from expedition, but it set the tone for the rest of the week.

The next stop was to Camp Amazonia, right in the heart of the Amazon. Words escape me of what it was like there so green and so lush you could be forgiven for thinking it was the source of all life in the world.

As well as the scenery, it was the Kichwa people of Camp Amazonia that made the Camp truly special. In the evening, we took a walk over to the village where we got to meet some of the locals we even got challenged by the local children to a game of Pato, Pato, Ganso or Duck Duck Goose as we call it here, quick and nimble, they were tough competition!

That night, a tribal dance was held in our honour and in return, we sang a round of ring a ring of roses, not too bad a version either given the time we had to prepare.

That night, I experienced the most peaceful sleep listening to the rainforest, it was so alive with the sound of nature.

The follow day we were taken on a boat trip down the Rio Napo, a tributary of the Amazon to the animal sanctuary, Amazoonica there we got to see many weird and wonderful creatures who we being rehabilitated to be rereleased into the wild, squirrel monkeys, Woolley monkeys and a trumpet bird named Trumpy to up many of my pictures that day.

It was after this that the group split the trekkers and the Galapagos groups ventured North towards Chimborazo while my group, the Scuba team, headed south towards the coast.

After being greeted by Freddy, the Camp leader we were taken around the local community. What struck me was how happy the locals were despite lacking so many things that we here in the UK take for granted such as clean water and sanitation.

The following day we were then taken to Puerto Lopez, where the teachers could meet the scuba provider. After explaining what teachers could expect in summer, they took us on a boat tour around the coast and even dropped anchor to let us snorkel around a spot of the Pacific full of marine life.

By the end, I can safely say I couldn‰’t quite belief what we achieved in just a week in Ecuador it seemed like I had known my team for a lifetime, many of whom I now consider friends.

The people of Ecuador are a very proud nation, and rightly so their people are very hospitable and the sights that their country beholds are truly epic.