My Minimester Trip: Ecuador & the Galápagos

The trip to Ecuador and the Galápagos with Steward was probably one of the most exciting and eye-opening experiences that I have ever had. Since this was my first time traveling out of the country, I was very interested in learning more about the culture of a South American country and its differences compared to the society of the United States. When I discovered that I would be staying with a host family while we were in Quito, I was fascinated by the idea of communicating with

them in Spanish, as they were not familiar with many English terms. The experience of talking with and understanding someone who spoke in their native language was difficult but also wonderful at the same time, since I was able to comprehend most of what my host mother told Alex Wilkerson and I, who was another Steward student in tenth grade who stayed with me.

I would say that my favorite part of the trip was spending time on the beach while we were on the Galápagos islands. Before this experience, I had never seen water as blue as the ocean there. Additionally, we were able to go snorkeling in the middle of the ocean, which was extremely interesting because of the different underwater wildlife that we could see as we were swimming above them. Other animals such as large iguanas and huge tortoises were spread all along the islands in many areas near the water. The weather was so hot and sunny while we were in the Galápagos, which was ultimately the perfect climate to swim at the beach there.

While we were in Quito, I had an incredible experience at the school that we visited and the time that we spent talking to the students throughout the day. Although it was sometimes difficult to communicate with other students, anyone would have been able to notice the connections that we all made while playing soccer and basketball and laughing with them. It definitely showed that people of all backgrounds and languages could come together and have an incredible time! This was a great first time leaving the country, and I could not have had a better trip with Steward!