Jennifer’s Journey to the Middle of the World
Follow along with Jennifer as she travels across Ecuador!
February 13 | A trip to the Amazon
The past few weeks I have been immersing myself with the culture in Ecuador. I have been trying new foods and several exotic fruits, such as maracuya, granadilla, guava, and naranjilla.
My classes in Spanish are going great and I’m learning 120 new words every month! I have made amazing friends, who I have journeyed with to the Equator and Amazon.
Recently, I went to the Tiputini Biodiversity Research Station in the Amazon for a weekend trip and was surrounded by over 2,000 species. I was fortunate enough to have met researchers who spend 8 to 10 hours everyday doing observational studies and writing research papers of their current findings. Aside from the educational aspect, I took several hikes to lakes, rivers, and endless routes of trees. I found many insects, plants, and animals. The most amazing part was being able to connect and reflect with mother nature and what it has to offer. I never thought in my life I would be traveling to the Amazon, a part of the world that is unfortunately being destroyed by massive human consumption and production. I am very blessed to be in Ecuador, a country that is not highly represented. The country has so much to offer in terms of food, culture, nature, and travel.
Stay turned for my trips in Ecuador, Peru, and the Galapagos Islands (where Charles Darwin discovered evolution!)
January 8 | Jennifer arrives in Ecuador
I have been getting to know my host family, familiarizing myself with the neighborhood and university, as well as taking many hiking trips up the mountain. I have also been continuing my cooking adventure by eating, planting, and learning about Ecuadorian food. I just started my first week of classes and can’t wait to improve my Spanish, do research, continue serving communities, and travel the country and South America.
January 22 | From Riverdale to Quito
Jennifer Puac ’21–an honors student majoring in psychology and Spanish (and one of Mount Saint Vincent’s most recent Gilman Scholars!)–has departed for a semester abroad in Quito, Ecuador.
“In Ecuador, I plan on taking a semester of classes in Spanish, while continuing my journey in service outreach. I anticipate to learn more about the culture, while also traveling to nearby locations, such as the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon, and Macchu Pichu in Peru.”
Along the way, Associate Professor of Spanish Mariela Wong guided Jennifer through the competitive scholarship application process.
“I told her that I always wanted to travel abroad, no matter where, in order to pursue my academic and personal goals,” Jennifer said. “I never had the chance to travel, which can be expensive. The scholarship granted me a full ride while paying for other expenses.”
Stay tuned for updates on Jennifer’s journey abroad, as we will be updating this story with her latest adventures.