Andean Journey

Grades 9 – 12
Palugo, Ecuador

Located at the base of 15,000 ft. Mount Imbabura, San Clemente is a special and unique place like no other. Here, a group of visionary indigenous families have chosen the sustainable traditional lifestyle over the headfirst dive into modernity. They grow 100% of their food, raise children at home and treat each other and the Earth with dignity and respect. Students will homestay with families of the community, participate in household chores, work on the farm and experience a beautiful and simple life filled with purposeful work and reverence for all things. We will practice traditional Andean agriculture including harvesting grains like quinoa and grinding corn and beans on stonemills. We will work with alpacas and cuyes (guinea pigs), cook in the clay oven and may be able to take a turn at the oxen powered plow.

From here we will hike through the “Paramos” (Highland Plato) to the village of Zuleta with stunning views of the glacier-covered volcanoes, immersed in the world of the Andes. Once in Zuleta we will have the opportunity to learn traditional embroidery and leatherwork. We eventually will work our way to Otavalo, one of the largest indigenous markets in South America, and finally head back to our home at Palugo.

While at Palugo farm our curriculum may include participating in daily chores, food preparation and preservation, felting, clay bowls and preparing healing balms. In addition we can arrange a visit to old Quito.