The sights and sounds of Ecuador: Abroad with the Honors College
"Open your eyes to all that is around you. What you are going to see in the next few weeks could change how you view the world."
It was one of the first pieces of advice from Carolina “Caro” Barona, the implacable Ecuadorian guide who would shepherd the WWU Honors College’s Ecuador summer abroad program through countless sights, sounds, and experiences this past July. It was also one of her most prophetic.
“I can’t think of any two weeks that have made a bigger impact on my life than these last two,” said Honors student Ayla Bilyeu, a psych and pre-med major from Monroe, at the group’s last dinner more than two weeks later.
So what happened between that first bit of advice by Caro and the joy-and-tear-filled last gathering?
Snakes. Alejandro Murillo, the world’s most amazing bus driver. Andesite (lots and lots of andesite). Parrots. Soccer matches in the jungle. Piranhas. Spider Monkeys. Four-hundred-year-old churches. Chimborazo. Tarantulas the size of dinner plates. The studio and imagery of painter Oswaldo Guayasamín and the words of Ecuadorian author Maria Virginia Farinango. The gentle, forgiving gaze of a 150-year-old tortoise the size of a refrigerator. The Night Bus. Watching the sun set over the Rio Napo. The phrase, “Is your buddy here?” Grubs for lunch (imagine a wriggling Vienna sausage). And, most importantly, a group of 21 Honors students who, thanks to COVID, barely knew each other at the start of the trip – and who by the end had bonded into an unbreakable circle of friends.
Teach-in on the Uprising in Iran set for tomorrow at 4 p.m. in the VU MPR
Join faculty, student, and alumni panelists to learn more about the uprising happening in Iran and some of the history that has led to this powerful resistance. The teach-in will be held in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room and will be followed by refreshments and time for community-building in the Multicultural Center. This event is co-organized by the ADEI Unit of Enrollment and Student Services and WWU's Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Education.