I have finally arrived to Quito, Ecuador. Traveling to Ecuador was not as easy as I thought it would be. Prior to my trip to Ecuador, I was a bit worried due to a hurricane that was near the coast of Miami where my connecting flight to Ecuador was. I was very nervous because there were speculations of the hurricane hitting the Miami area and that would mean that my flight would be cancelled; thankfully my flight was good to go. On the day of my trip it was very crazy day due to bad inclement weather in Miami. My plane from NY couldn’t land in the Miami airport because the airport was closed. Then once we finally got to Miami, the people from the airport had me running around like crazy. I had to jump from the plane and find my terminal. One thing I learned from this experience is to always keep your cool and ask questions—to several people just to make sure. After all the hassle in the Miami airport, I was finally able to find my terminal and relax till my plane arrived. Once in the plane, I was able to sit back and relax. Sitting next to me was a woman who is a Guayaquil native and she was telling me all the things I needed to know about the city of Guayaquil. I was very lucky to have met this lady because she made me feel more confident and comfortable with the idea of living in Guayaquil.
Once arriving to the Quito airport, I was able to quickly get out of my plane, go through customs, and pick up my luggage to head outside and find a representative from the university whom was waiting for me. Once I met up with him, I was able to chat with him and meet the other students that were already waiting for me as well. We headed back to the hotel and I made it to my room. It was a pleasant surprise to know that my roommate was a student from SUNY Newpaltz. Once I got into the room, my roommate was already asleep and had left me a really nice note on my bed introducing herself and giving me a warm welcome. After making a little bit of noise she wakes up and we soon clicked and became great friends.
The following day was amazing. I was able to meet the rest of the international students, whom are amazing people from all over the USA, France, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Taiwan, and Japan. Everyone is very fun to be around and very friendly. I immediately connected with almost everyone.
Today was the beginning of our week tour of Ecuador. We were able to visit the “Capilla del Hombre” which is a place where Guayasamin, a famous Ecuadorian put to display a lot of hit art work. His art works were really about the different races and the inequality that were found in the country. Through his work we were able to learn a lot more about the history of Ecuador.
Soon after the museum trip, we were able to hit the mall and grab some lunch. There, I was able to converse with the other international students and getting to know them better. After lunch we were able to visit historical landmark of Quito, Ecuador. We went to an amazing cathedral that is the biggest cathedral in all of Latin America. We then tour the city of Quito, visiting the Presidents palace, along with many other historical centers. Soon after our tour we went out to dinner and then hit the dance floor at a salsa club where we all were able to let loose and dance to Latin rhythms.
For the rest of the week we are heading out to different cities and towns of Ecuador to learn more about the country and its culture. We will be visiting the equator, indigenous weavers, Folk musicians, craft markets, and much more.