Alli Puncha – Good morning from the Amazon!
On Sunday we visited a Kichwa market to pick out locally grown produce to cook our own lunch. We organized and cooked a meal for the whole group using the kitchen in Huasquila. That afternoon we hiked through the second largest cave system in Ecuador, las Cavernas de Jumandy. The only light was provided by our headlamps and we passed many interesting animals and rock-mineral formations including broccoli and cauliflower. We meditated in complete darkness while Luis told us the history of the cave and played on his flauta.
The next day we travelled to the lower Amazon and hiked through primary forest to Amazoonica; an animal rescue center. They rescue animals and care for them until hopefully they are able to return to the wild. We saw many animals including ocelots, parrots, toucans, serial killer spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys, an anaconda, and a caiman. Funded by donations and run completely by volunteers from all over the world, the center takes very good care of their animals. We took a canoe ride against the river back to lunch. Later we visited the Kichwa community where we learned how Kichwa people live off of the land and pan for gold, make pottery, and hunt with blow darts.
Sadly this is our last day in Huasquila; we don’t want to say goodbye, but we’re ready for the surprises to come!
-Michael, Lizzie, PJ, Lauryn, Maura, Karl