STUDENTS TO THE AMAZON
Be part of something special
STUDENTS TO THE AMAZON is a unique opportunity for young people to visit this most important of locations, to experience its biodiversity, to meet local indigenous people whose culture is far removed from our own. The journey allows those taking part the opportunity to understand more clearly the impact the outside world is having on the tropical rainforest both good and bad. During the trip students have the chance to search for their own solutions to the situation facing the tropical rainforests.
This specially designed exciting adventure brings many aspects of the national curriculum to life and often has a lasting impact on the individual student as a person. Many say the trip is an exciting and yet humbling experience, many have said it was life changing.
The trip is split into 3 geographic areas with the 4th being our base stop in Quito the capital of Ecuador. The trip takes 14 to 15 days depending on flights and the time of the year. (Please note we can design schedules to fit the needs of your school but the majority of schools use the schedule outlined in this information) Conditions may mean the schedule may have to be adapted but without diminishing the overall aims and objectives of the trip.
The sample schedule for the trip:
Day 1 Flight to Ecuador. We use KLM as it is a reliable carrier and with the help of the company that arranges the flights we are able to keep the costs down.
Day 2 Arrive in Quito. Check in to our base hotel. We have a tour of the old part of the city visiting a number of cathedrals and buildings such as the presidential palace.
Day3 Visit the equator then on to Santa Lucia/Maquipucuna Cloud forest reserve.
Day 4 - 6 Tour the cloud forest, possibly work with the resident biologist and visit the village of Marianitas
Day 7 return to Quito
Day 8 Take a flight to Coca where we take a 3 to 4 hour motorised canoe ride to either the Yachana Lodge or the Napo Wildlife Centre.
Day 9, 10, 11 Tour the Amazon rainforest, visit the local school, if possible work with their students in their organic gardens, share cultures through a series of activities such as cooking and pottery classes.
Day 11 Return to Quito
Day 12 Travel up into the Andes to the market town of Otavalo that is famous for making and exporting Andean clothing. On the way we visit a volcano and stop at the home of a famous musician who explains the history of instruments like the panpipes. We also visit a famous weaver to explain the skills of weaving.
Day 13 Leave for the airport and flight home.
Day 14 Arrive back in the UK
The tour operator in Quito totally supports the aims and objectives of these educational tours and works with us to enable the goals to be met while at the same time understanding that the cost is vitally important when schools are considering such trips. Often we have been told that our trip to Ecuador is half the cost of using a commercial company.
However this does not mean we cut short on any aspect of the schedule and safety is always of the utmost priority.
We have a sample risk assessment form which we can send you should you be interested in a trip.
Our ratio of adults to students is very special and works out at approximately 2 students to every one adult.
If your school takes a party of 20 (the average size for such a trip) we suggest that the school should have 17 students and 3 adults, we then send one person with the group plus we have 2 Ecuadorian Tourist Board registered naturalist guides assigned to the group on our arrival and they stay with the group the entire tour except for evenings in Quito.
At each location we are then joined by 2 local guides bringing the total number of adults touring with the party to 8 adults for a party of 17 students. The smallest group we have taken on a school trip is 12 and the largest is 34.
After a recent student trip I asked the students to give their views on the experience. Here is what some of them had to say:
"It was my dream to travel to the Amazon and this trip has allowed me to see the true scale of the deforestation it has really opened my eyes to the problem. I've seen such cultural diversity and I was really humbled by the happiness that those with so little possessed. This has been the most amazing educational trip and has really changed my life for ever." Anna
"COMPLETELY LIFE CHANGING.......Absolutely amazing, a once in a lifetime experience. A huge eye opener to see how positively people live out here." Georgia
"This trip has been a truly unique and wonderful experience that has opened my eyes to the wider world. It has always been a dream of mine to travel and this has reinforced that dream. It has allowed me to make some brilliant friends along the way. I will always remember and cherish the experience for the rest of my life." Steph
"Fantastic! A real eye opener into different cultures whose lives do not depend on what we would consider a necessity. They rely on each other!" Mark
"A great adventure, completely life changing and makes you realize how much we rely on our families and asks questions like why do we need so much modern technology? Do we need it as much as we think we do?" Georgee
"Completely change my views on things seeing the cultural differences and the different needs of the people in other parts of the world. But the most impacting thing for me was how much they respect their families here and how it makes me feel that in the UK we do have a lack of respect for families and older people. It has been an amazing experience!" Thomas
"Truly amazing and completely inspirational a once in a lifetime experience. I enjoyed every minute but more importantly was learning a great deal about respect for other cultures. I wish the trip was 2 weeks longer" Greg
"This has been life changing. I am to take many things back to the UK. One thing which I am taking back is that how different cultures work. I am definitely going to come back here and visit these fantastic people and wonderful schools." Alysia
"I can't believe how quickly this trip has gone, I have had an incredible 2 weeks learning about different cultures and different ways of life. I have never felt so stress free and will miss this country and the company very much."
If you have any queries please feel free to contact Phil Williams of Plan-It Eco on: Mobile: 07798 802087 or drop me an e-mail on: [email protected]