viernes, 9 de octubre de 2015

Buenos Dias,

My name is Timothy. I am a 25 year old American, from San Francisco. I spent the Spring of 2015 working at LEAD Adventures. I’d always been interested in South America, but Ecuador really appealed to me because of the diversity of its regions and its culture. For such a small country, it packs a big punch. From Quito, you are pretty much in an ideal location. It is centrally located for you to check out the Andes, the Coast and the Amazon in one day’s time. And a short flight can take you to another world of the Galapagos. These distinct regions have to be experienced for the full Ecuador Experience. LEAD Adventures provided me with the opportunity to live in and appreciate all of Ecuador’s splendor.

From Day 1, the staff at LEAD Adventures made me feel welcome. Enrique, Esteban, Sandra and Luis brought me onto their team as one of their own. They took me out to eat and invited me to do activities together to make my transition as easy and fluid as possible. Some of my favorite memories are going out as a group to watch the local soccer rivalry between Deportivo Quito and La Liga. The enthusiasm of the fans and the excitement in the stands was like nothing you could imagine in the States. I can vividly remember another time during a Copa Liberatodes match when a fan in the stands started handing out torches to pass around randomly to other fans. A couple of my buddies and me grabbed one and I can remember thinking, ‘Only in Ecuador!’

While we were working hard to achieve some specific marketing goals, I also did my part to show new volunteers around and help out in the office. There is a familial atmosphere for dealing with the customer in the office. If any problem arose with anything, the staff were quick and helpful in giving safety, informational, banking, entertainment, or travel advice as if they were giving it to a close a friend or sibling. It’s just the nature of their characters. Certain things that only a local could know were made available to all travelers so that they could have the best volunteer experience possible. LEAD Adventures has a level of experience and expertise from having helped so many other volunteers over the years that makes them a great company to work for, but an even better company to travel with.

For all that Ecuador has to offer, it almost seems that you would need a lifetime to truly experience it all. While I explored the Andes, and the Coast, and the Amazon, I was unable to make it to the Galapagos. Though I wanted and still do to visit this paradise, I concentrated my time on the mainland. Quito was my base. It in itself is easy to lose oneself in. But from the capital city it was easy to move around and explore the other parts of the country. I went to an animal shelter in Ibarra and the famous Otavalo market in the North. A couple of hours drive to the South, I was able to hike up the world’s tallest active volcano, Cotopaxi. To the east, I visited a friend to take a tour of the Amazon near Puyo. And on the return I managed to visit the peaceful allure of Banos. And out west, the beautiful sunny beaches of Montanita, with their upbeat nightlife were calling my name as well. All of these places were unique in their own special way. And there are so many more it makes me want to start to plan my next trip back.

Anyone that is even considering Ecuador or South America for that matter, LEAD Adventures provides the truest, fullest, travel experience you could imagine. There are other companies out there. But from everything that I took out of my time in Ecuador, LEAD Adventures more than fulfilled my expectations. It was an amazing time that I will not forget. Even the part where I tried Cuy (Guinea Pig).



Gracias LEAD Adventures: Enrique, Esteban, Sandra, Luis, Rita and her family, my roommates, and everyone else in the office, and all the other volunteers I met along the way.

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