Paige Palomaki - CFANS Study Abroad Program
Our time in the Amazon conducting research at the Villa Carmen Biological station was pretty special for everyone. Everyone was enamored by the nature all around us. We had opportunities to go on a variety of different kinds of hikes of various difficulties. Many adventures were to be had in this beautiful environment. Everyone also enjoyed taking a walk into the small town nearby for fresh fruit or other snacks and to interact with the local people.
Having the freedom to conduct an experiment of our own various interests was a great learning experience for everyone- from those who have been involved in research before to those who had no research experience at all. Overall, everyone fell in love with the Amazon, and being able to learn more about climate change and the environment while directly observing its effects all round us made an even greater impact on our learning.
No matter how much previous knowledge the students had prior to this trip, everyone in the group was fascinated by the Incan culture that we were learning about. With every stop to Incan ruins or sacred sites, everyone became more and more amazed and intrigued with the ancient culture. Needless to say, spending time at Machu Picchu was magical. Learning more about the Incas and their culture at such a special place as Machu Picchu enriched the experience for everyone.
Overall, Peru proved to be rich with culture, old and new, and endless natural beauty.