Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Few Words on Ecuador's Geography

Ecuador is the size of Colorado, is nested between Columbia and Peru, and is one of the smallest countries in South America.

Despite its relatively small size, Ecuador has an INCREDIBLY diverse landscape! Within its boundaries are four distinct natural geographic zones:

(As someone who majored in environmental science... this is pretty exciting~!)

    • The Andes (violet)
    • The Amazon (green)
    • The Coast (yellow)
    • The Galapagos Islands (blue)

Quito, the Nation's capital city, is located in the Andes at an altitude of over 9,000 feet and is surrounded by towering mountains and volcanoes!

The Equator lies approximately 18 miles to the north of Quito. I'm sure I will be visiting the site of the "center of the world" during my stay in the country.

About 80 miles to the south of the city, the Tungurahua Volcano has erupted several times this summer and .... just erupted again the 17th of August! The agricultural villages at the base of the volcano were evacuated; hundreds of acres of crops were covered in ash. Predictions of further volcanic activity include a possible larger eruption from the Tungurahua volcano sometime within the next year.

Stay tuned, as this is only the pinpoint beginning for this blog...

Moving to Quito, Ecuador!

An Introduction to My Adventure

Next week I'm moving ...

(a happy and sad face during my last day at work).

from Santa Fe, New Mexico

to Ecuador.

I will be living in the capital city, Quito, and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity International as a "Volunteer Coordinator." I'll be the first "long term" volunteer (longer than a few weeks) for the national organization in Ecuador. See my links (right) for Habitat for Humanity International's website and related sources.

My original plan was to volunteer for 10-11 months, returning next summer in July or August. Due to some Visa complications, the time period may change. (see my next blog entry for why these plans may be changing).

Whatever happens, the setting of my adventure will be particularly interesting due to its geography, politics, and current social movements.

I will use this blog to share my experiences relating to volunteering with an international non-profit, exploring all Ecuador has to offer, and thoughts on the local culture and politics.

Please ask about anything which inspires questions, or if there is anything I neglect in my posts!