created on: Aug 16, 2010 | Puerto Libre, Ecuador
A brief but detailed account of our time in Puerto Libre
On our arrival into Puerto Libre we were made to feel extremely welcome and at home in the small community. We did not commence our work straight away, but were allowed a few days to be shown around Puerto Libre and surrounding areas.
We were educated on the region and the reasons for our work here. We were shown the work already undertaken by the Local Environmental Association and what future plans were being developed. “It was amazing to be apart of such a movement!”
As Puerto Libre is a r...
created on: Aug 05, 2010 | Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands lie about 1000 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The Archipelago is made up of 19 islands. Only five of the islands are inhabited by people. The Galapagos were declared an Ecuadorian National Park in 1973 and were included in the World Heritage list in 1978. The islands became famous as the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution because the animals on the islands evolved in isolation from other species. The Galapagos have been called a “Unique living museum and Showcase of evolution”. Well known species such as G...
created on: Aug 05, 2010 | Guaranda, Ecuador
Sangay National Park in Ecuador became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983. . The park includes ecosystems ranging from the glaciers at the peaks of Tungurhua and Sangay volcanoes to the low lying tropical rainforests of the Amazon basin and everything in between. The park is an important refuge for animals such as Andean spectacled bears, tapirs, ocelots, Andean foxes, brocket deer, puma, Andean condors, over 400 bird species and more. The terrain protected in this national park is some of the most rugged and remote land in Ecuador.
created on: Jul 22, 2010 | San Pablo, Ecuador
The village of San Pablo del Lago lies nestled in the Andes at the base of Imbabura Volcano near the shore of Laguna San Pablo, 7 or 8 miles from the famous market town of Otavalo and about fifty miles north of Quito. Colegio Nacional San Pablo, the school where I taught, has more than 900 students, most of them indigenous, who come from San Pablo and neighboring villages. The school is divided into six grades – three “basic” grades (8th, 9th, and 10th), and three “bachillerato” grades (11th, 12th, and 13th) when the students select a particular academic program. Clas...
created on: Jun 25, 2010 | Quito, Ecuador
Quito is a city of around 1.5 million people nestled in a high Andean valley. The city is only kilometers from the equator yet boasts views of snow-capped mountains. This city has been continuously inhabited for thousands of years starting with the Quitu people in the first millenium. the Quitu and Caras people dominated what is now modern Ecuador. The Caras lived along the coast and the Quitu dominated the highlands. In 1462, Tupac Yupanqui and his Incan army of 250,000 conquered the city and incorporated it into the Incan Empire. In 1526 the Spanish Conquistadores arrived in what is now Ecuador. By that...
created on: Jun 23, 2010 | Paris, France
UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. The organization was established in 1945 and is now based in Paris, France and has 193 member states. UNESCO works to build peace and end poverty through education, the sciences, culture, and communications. In 1972, UNESCO adopted the World Heritage Convention which recognizes the need to preserve both natural and cultural properties, and established the World Heritage List identifying sites of natural and cultural importance to the world. Currently, this list includes 689 cultural, 176 natural, and 25 mixed sites in 148 cou...
created on: May 17, 2010 | Beijing, China
After graduating from university, I had long since been planning to do something drastic before starting “real world” work or graduate school. I wanted to break out of my sheltered bubble, what with the same established friends, places, and monotony of day-to-day activities. On the recommendation from a friend, I began looking into various teach abroad programs. ELI was well-reviewed. To confirm any lingering reservations, I messaged several members of the facebook group – which addressed any issues I had. The ELI associates were also enormously helpful, promptly respondin...
A couple weeks ago I talked a bit about the origin of the English word "thug". I want to again take apart a word that we use quite frequently (although hopefully not TOO often) that also has its roots in an older "gang". The words "assassinate" and "assassin" are derived from a group operating in the Near and Middle East throughout the Crusades, reaching their peak during the Third Crusade.
The word "Assassin", for which the group was named, is derived from either "Hashshashiin" meaning "hash users" or "Hassasiin" meaning "followers of Hassan". It is quite possible that both term...
I always find it fascinating how an idea can be a good idea, but only in the hands of a truly charismatic or business savvy person can it truly blossom. Red Bull was exactly such an idea. Now a worldwide product that truly spawned the energy drink craze, Red Bull had been around for years before making it big. Krating Daeng (literally red bull in Thai) is a product produced in Thailand and used primarily by blue-collar workers. It is a syrupy sweet, non-carbonated "shot" of juice which provides a burst of saccarine caffeinated energy. In Bangkok, the product is especially pop...
Communication forms have evolved drastically over the centuries. In our modern world, communication has taken on such a transitory, instantaneous form, that we forget that pre-internet, pre-cell phone, pre-television, the transmission of important information had to occur very differently. Prior to the printing press, and prior to mass literacy, transmitting information via written form was rarely an option. Many societies developed rich oral traditions. An emphasis on memorization became the basis of history and religion. In Muslim tradition, in fact, the Qur'an is meant pri...
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