I had never been to South America until October when I was lucky enough to spend a week visiting our camps in Ecuador.
The diversity was the thing that struck me the most about this beautiful country – one minute you are in an overpopulated city, the next you are driving down mountain roads with snow-capped peaks on the horizon and then suddenly, the Amazon Rainforest appears! You can’t get bored in Ecuador!
Halfway through the week, I awoke from a doze on the bus to find that we were surrounded by the most stunning mountain views; we had arrived in our highest camp… Kuri Kucho.
The sun was shining on arrival which meant the air didn’t feel as cold as usual. We sun-blocked-up and got taken on a tour of the camp and local community with a man called Nesta.
Nesta is the headteacher of the local school as well as a farmer. He also gets involved in continuing the traditional dances and rituals that his community have grown up with. He taught us a lot, including the project work that Camps has worked on in his school, the feelings of the community towards this project work and how this has impacted their lives. He showed us how he milks his cows every morning, and he joined some other locals in a traditional dance that we could all get involved with.
Local traditions with regards to food are interesting here…their delicacy is guinea pig! We all got to try a bit if we wanted and as with most meats, you could compare the taste to chicken. We also enjoyed a lovely warming quinoa, potato and vegetable soup with garlic bread, porridge with fruit for breakfast and chicken with corn on the cob, rice and more potatoes. Ecuador loves their carbs!
I really didn’t want to leave Camp Kuri Kucho. Although it was very chilly at times (I wore layers in bed!) there is nothing quite like brushing your teeth whilst looking out over snow-capped mountains and hearing the cows moo in the distance.
Massive thank you to the team in Ecuador – I will definitely be back!