allisonAs a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ambato, Ecuador I serve in an urban high school setting to improve the English level of Ecuadorian teachers and their students and to enhance the school community with more English language opportunities. My Peace Corps experience, like every volunteer’s experience, is unique and one I am happy to share.

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  • The Galápagos Islands on a PCV Budget
    Ok, let me begin this post with a disclaimer: any trip to the Galápagos Islands will be expensive. However, as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador, our resident visa, language skills, and cultural know-how can make this once-in-a-lifetime excursion very doable for under $1,000. Here’s how I did it. Although the...
  • Foto Friday: Orchids in Mindo
    During a recent trip to Mindo, a relaxing cloud forest about 2 hours northwest of Quito, I stayed at Cabañas Armonia y Jardin de Orquídea, a hostel with its own orchid garden. Ecuador supposedly has over 4,200 species of orchids, and the cloud forest is one of the best climates for...
  • Foto Friday: Halloween
    We’re doing English Club again this semester, and this time the focus is on U.S. regions and holidays. For Halloween we threw a themed party with costumes, mask making, babaco (a typical fruit) carving, games like pin the spider on the web and apple bobbing, and, of course, trick or...
  • Fruits of Ecuador: Mora
    Tangy and sweet, mora is a type of blackberry very common in the Ecuadorian highlands. It grows like a raspberry, on a vining plant with bunches of the fruit. For $1 you can buy a quart of the berries at the market. It is most often made into juice or smoothie and...
  • Climbing Chimborazo
    The other week one of my best friends stateside, Erin, came to visit me in Ecuador. She asked to see the sights, especially the kinds of places she could never experience in the United States. Cue Chimborazo: Chimborazo is the tallest mountain in Ecuador, and fun fact, the peak is the farthest...
  • Trust the Locals about the Stingrays
    “She needs to put a candle on it.” The locals of the small beach community I am in are offering their advice, but all I can think about is the searing pain radiating through my foot. I’ve been stung by a stingray while playing in the ocean, and I can’t help...