University School students visit Ecuador

A delegation of 9 students, faculty, and administration traveled to Ecuador on an exchange visit with Colegio Americano de Guayaquil in September.  Students from University School attended classes at Colegio and participated in a variety of school trips.  Faculty and Administration from University School worked with teachers and observed in classrooms.

During the week students and faculty participated in school activities.  In the afternoon and on weekends the delegation toured Ecuador.  Colegio Americano is located in downtown Guayaquil.  School begins at 7:15 and ends at 2:30.  After school activities at the school begin at 3:00. 

Guayaquil is the largest city and the main port in Ecuador. It is a combination of the old and the new.  There were many historical sites to visit in the city.  On the first weekend our individual families took us to one of the many beach towns.  There students were able to see many different types of plants and animals.  Some of us took a boat out to see the whales just off shore. 

The next weekend the group traveled to the Ecuadorian Andes to the small town of Banos, and then on to  Chimborazo, an inactive stratovolcano and Ecuador’s highest summit.  Students camped in tents at the base of the volcano one night under a full moon.  Needless to say the views were spectacular and the way of life in the mountains very different from the big city of Guayaquil. 

During our visit we discovered that the people of Ecuador we met on our travels were very friendly and kind to us as we tried new foods and a different language.  South American is rich in animal life, plant, and blooming flowers.  To experience such a different part of the world was fascinating.  Our hosts and host families have become lifelong friends – ones we hope to see again.