Experiential Learning in Ecuador & Galapagos Islands

2017 Experiential Learning Trip

Our March 2017 Experiential Learning trip is designed to provide a real-world understanding of the natural history of the Galápagos Islands and learn about Ecuadorian culture. Guided by their Broadreach and local guides, students and faculty chaperones will learn about Ecuador’s history, geography, and vibrant traditions. The Galápagos Islands offer a unique environment of endemic species and rich biodiversity. The group will learn about diverse animal habitats that make these remote islands so special. As students explore the islands, they will gain a greater appreciation for the local species and the conservation efforts used to maintain their ecosystems.

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Click here to learn more about our Experiential Learning Program.

Thursday, March 9

Middle Earth

After a breakfast of fresh fruit and scrambled eggs, the group had a bumpy bus ride through the busy streets of Quito where they were able to observe the bustling life of the city.

After a stop at 0′ latitude…aka the equator…was an absolute blast, they saw replicas of Amazonian anacondas and giant tarantulas, and shrunken human heads. On the equator line, students learned to balance an egg on a nail, and many of us struggled to walk in a straight line due to the gravitational imbalance. They learned about the mystery of the equator and the Coriolus Effect.

After lunch, they toured historic Old Town Quito, observing a church painted in gold and decorated with a myriad of beautiful, religious-inspired artwork. They saw the historic, towering statue of the Virgin Mary, who guards all of Ecuador. The day concluded with a trip to a restaurant overlooking the city.

Friday, March 10

Markets and Steams

Students explore local marketplace and hot springs before returning to their hotel to pack for the journey to the Galapagos Islands.

Saturday, March 11

To the Galapagos!

An early flight to San Cristobal, and “amazed” by the gorgeous wildlife of the island. Visited the Interpretation Center followed by a hike through the tropical forest to learn more about the island’s unique biodiversity. After a gorgeous yet very hot hike, students took a journey to the beach where they were able to snorkel and greet friendly fish and sea lions.

After an evening stroll through the town of San Cristobal, the group gathered at a lovely restaurant where we celebrated one of their teacher’s birthday.

Monday, March 13

Boat Adventure Day!

The crew set out early in the morning on a boat to visit Isla Floreana (Floreana Island),  accompanied by a pod of common dolphins jumping right alongside the boat. Once at the island, they rode open sided trucks, called cabra (goat) buses.  After some fun time on the beach they headed up to the highlands and saw giant tortoises, the inactive volcanoes and a cave once inhabited by pirates. While hiking, they also saw a rare spotted owl. All the while, learning about the history of the island.

The day continued with a relaxed afternoon and a lunch of handmade tamales and fresh vegetables. The group went snorkeling and saw many fish as well as a few sea turtles. On the way back, they stopped at a rock formation inhabited by several bird species such as Oyster Catchers, White Boobies, and Frigate Birds. After dinner with their local guides, they spent an hour walking the streets of the small town on San Cristobal and were able to shop and have free time.

Wednesday, March 15

Final Days in Galapagos

After breakfast, two groups headed by boat for Kicker Rock (which is also sometimes called Leon Dormido, or Sleeping Lion). Before arriving at the main attraction, students spent time at a secluded beach with shallow, light blue waters. Students learned about the surrounding vegetation and how the 2010 earthquake and tsunami damaged the area and killed much of the animal life and mangroves. Students swam in the waters while others sat on the front of the boat taking in the view.

At Kicker Rock, students were given a safety briefing and then dove into the deep waters which were 300 ft in depth. Students snorkeled for several hours. The sea life was abundant and included Galapagos sharks, sea turtles, sea lions, and jellyfish.

Upon their return they headed for dinner at their local guides’ house for a delicious home cooked meal that included fresh basil and Galapagos tomatoes, and fresh garden green beans from her garden. They enjoyed homemade quinoa and black beans, and a finale of banana cupcakes with coconut icing. The evening concluded student led rituals and students were all awarded a Galapagos spirit animal. Several students spent time in town experiencing the culture one final time.