I cannot believe it has been 3 years. Three years since I first walked onto campus as a bushy-eyed freshman ready to take over. I was determined to travel and now I am here… This co-op to Ecuador is the combination of goals that I have had since before I arrived here 3 years ago and I am proud to post about my last co-op here at Antioch.
Currently, I am working as an Environmental Intern for The Tandana Foundation. They are an Ohio-based organization with branches based in Mali and Ecuador. Tandana’s goal is to help communities and other non-profit organizations in their target area through environmental and health solutions.
As an Environmental Intern, I volunteer and assist in three different gardens here in Ecuador: UNORCAC in Cotacachi, La Joya in Otavalo, and a health center in Quichince. In Cotacachi, I help to maintain ‘La Jardin Etono Botanico’ and I assist in preparing school lunches with the food from the garden. At La Joya, I assist teachers with child management and help maintain the medicinal garden at the school. In Quichince, I am helping the health center to create from seed their first vegetable garden.
With these experiences, I am gaining more skills in environmental sustainability and conversational Spanish. My time at La Joya is also allowing me to gain materials for my Spanish Capstone project on Alternative and Augmentative Communication. This is a continuation of my French Capstone that will culminate in my Senior capstone project on AAC Awareness across different borders. In return, I am sharing my knowledge so that when I leave they will be able to care for their gardens with fewer worries and unknowns.
I cannot say how much it means that I was able to complete two different cultural immersions in France and now in Ecuador. Working with Tandana has been a wonderful experience that has provided more structure to my time here in Ecuador. I hope to finish out this co-op with many more stories to tell and pictures to share.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about my time here in Ecuador. Currently, I do have a Facebook and Instagram where I post more of my experiences here in Ecuador. If you are interested you can find me @is.that.so.random on either site. I hope that this can inspire you to do a cultural immersion co-op of your own.
Stay safe, stay sane, and stay awesome!