Our trip to Ecuador this summer couldn’t have been more fun or exciting and I can’t imagine enjoying it with a better group of friends. Everyone in our group was ready to fully immerse themselves into the culture, the environment, the cuisine, and into each other. We started our journey with a soak in a mesmerizing hot springs, to clear our minds and to bridge an ever growing bond between group members. Throughout the trip we strived to expand our knowledge of how big business such as China disrupt the balance of the amazon and there effect on the citizens of Ecuador. In Baeza we explored a variety of different hydroelectric cites at different levels of completion. Our guide, Rodrigo, was happy to share his vast knowledge about the hydroelectric dams being built, like about how Ecuadorians have to pay more for electricity or the increase in mudslides were a result of China’s underdeveloped research of the Amazon. After we concluded our journey in Baeza we then traveled deeper into the amazon where we stayed at the Huasquila Amazon Lodge and could fully immerse ourselves and learn about the power sacredness of the Amazon. We got to hike through lush rain forest and see brilliant waterfalls that I hope to never forget. As we hiked our other guide Luis would name off every plant that he knew describing why it was sacred and what it could be used for. We did so much in the short time we had and embarked on so many different journeys that truly made the trip amazing. We got to play football with local Ecuadorian kids, play pirate will rafting through 3 plus rapids, hike through knee deep mud, brainstorm ideas on how to help AmaZOOnico, and just be able to laugh everyday with some of the most amazing people I have ever met. It’s hard for me to even try an capture every moment of the trip and truly express exactly how thrilling it was, but as you watch my short video I hope to express my absolute joy i felt in every moment.