Although we had an early wake up of 5:30, our day was enjoyably exhausting. We hopped on the bus an hour later than we had planned, which is a big delay for us since we are on a tight schedule every day.  But having Juanito, our amazing bus driver, come an hour later was a blessing in disguise, because we later found out that if we had left when scheduled, we may have been stuck in traffic do to a mud slide that happened before we got there.  Our initial plans were to visit the Pailon del Diablo, which is a beautiful waterfall near the town of Banos. We also had a beautiful lunch and cave excursion planned, however the mudslide prevented us from going.

But our Plan B was just as good! We stopped at a very scenic bridge, got some pretty good profile pictures and then headed to the town of Banos.  We took a quick peak ast the Iglesia de la Virgen de la Agua Santa, a church made of volcanic rock.  Many students took time to pray and enjoy the beautiful architecture that the church had to offer.

I’m sure many of us could have spent a longer time at the church, but there was something more exciting ahead of us.  We went to a sacred waterfall that had awesome scencery to take pictures.  Some got more soaked than others trying to capture the best picture.

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We concluded our stay in Banos with a visit to a pure sugar cane production shop.  We enjoyed more candy, delicious juices, and a local snack that consisted of corn and pig skin.  The juice we drank had several medicinal benefits including the prevention of prostate and breast cancer.  The bus ride back to Riobamba was two and a half hours long which people mostly slept and enjoyed good conversation.  The best surprise was having Hector wake us up bearing ice cream, which was amazing.  The remainder of our day was focused on English tutoring and preparing for our next themed day of Living Like a Local/Dollar a Day Challenge.  Overall, it was a really great day due to the flexibility and positive attitudes of the students. We look forward to more adventures like this one.


“Dad-24 cents a minute is too much for me! I probably won’t make any calls. Sorry.” -Jay

“Mom-I called because we’re allowed to go into the city during free time now, but I’ll call forsure on Monday. Bad-I tried to sound it out! You knew what I wanted to say ): Ann- thank you for leaving a comment! It made me so happy! I love you all so much! <3” – Laynie

“To Arjun’s family Alondra: I wish you could see the view today in person! The waterfall, the verdant green mountains, the misting rain… it was so beautiful. I also had some sugar cane juice today! It really reminded me of India. Tangentially, the blog wasn’t posted last night because the internet went down. I love you!” -Arjun

“Still haven’t gotten any news from that conference. I’ll let you guys know when I get an email! Miss you guys!” -Emanuel

“Hi mom and dad! You can comment on my post if you want! LOL. I went to a beautiful church today and saw a gorgeous waterfall! I also taught more people English! XOXO” -Erica

“Hi mom and dad! Teaching English is so much fun, the students are so enthusiastic and eager to learn, and it’s such a great experience! Love you guys!” -Marcus

“Hey fam and friends! Today we went to the Amazon! We saw a waterfall. The water sprayed onto us, which is supposed to be good because it is holy water. And we were blessed! Can’t wait to show you pics!” -Abbie

“Hey mom, dad, and Ambar. Today we went to a city named “Banos” and went to the gate of the Amazon, I took so many pictures!! Love you guys <3″ -Jordan

“Hey guys! Today we visited a waterfall and it was so nice and pretty. Can’t wait to show you guys the pictures! We’ve all been watching the Copa America and I’ve been rooting for Colombia because of Teo and James. Love and miss you <3” -Leslie