South America

Wendy’s first trip to Latin America was in 1967 when she visited Brazil and Peru with a college friend who grew up in Rio. Then Rick and Wendy traveled to Peru, Chile, and Buenos Aires, Argentina to see their daughter Diana who spent 8 months living in Chile and touring elsewhere on the continent. They traveled on business to Peru, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Savador for TechnoServe, the organization for which they had volunteered in Africa. Since then, they’ve vacationed in Ecuador and the Galapagos as well as Mexico. They’ve traveled to more countries in Latin America than Rick has in Europe!

Ecuador’s Avenue of the Volcanoes–Still Actively Building the Andes

Ecuador

Journeying from the jungle–visit Ecuador’s Amazon Basin Jungle in El Oriente (The East) to view our adventures there–to the mountains on the same day meant totally readjusting our minds and bodies again.  We left the Napo River (2,500 ft.) for the Andes at 12,000 to 15,000 ft. elevation. The weather transitioned from 150% humidity and 85o […]

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Ecuador’s Amazon Basin Jungle in El Oriente (The East)

Ecuador

Traveling to the jungle from Quito meant many changes: leaving Quito at 9,400 ft. to be at less than 2,500 ft. altitude in Ecuador’s El Oriente (Eastern in Spanish) Region was only the first.  Then came flying for about 30 minutes to Coca (pop. 20,000) along the Napo River; taking a ten-minute bus ride to […]

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Galapagos Archipelago’s Boobie, Frigates and More

Ecuador

Rick, Wendy and Carolyn loved observing how all the animals were “ecologically naive” –no fear of predators–so they could get very close. While Giant Tortoises are the Galapagos’ emblem, Wendy’s  #1 priority was to see the Blue-Footed Boobies.  “Booby” may be derived from the Spanish “bubie” or dunce, possibly because Spanish sailors saw them waddling […]

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Galapagos Archipelago’s Tortoises & Other Animals

Ecuador

Famous Giant Tortoises: Giant Tortoises have been especially vulnerable for centuries since sailors took them for meat on-board whaling, military, or pirate ships.   Sadly, these animals had been kept alive on their backs for up to two years to serve as a source of protein… On Santa Cruz Island, Rick, Wendy and Carolyn visited Giant […]

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Galapagos Achipelago’s Geology

Ecuador

About 1,000 miles west of mainland Ecuador lies the unique Galapagos province, 97% of which has been protected, since 1959, from any use except tourism and science.  It is where Charles Darwin stayed for 5 weeks during the survey voyage of the HMS Beagle and which stimulated his eventual theories of Natural Adaptation and Evolution.  […]

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Ecuador’s Bellavista Cloud Forest

Ecuador

About 100 miles northwest of Quito lies a huge mountainous cloud forest region at about 9,000 ft. altitude. Bellavista private preserve has an eco-lodge, scientific station, steep trails, and hundreds of birds, insects, and exotic semi-tropical plants within its mountain-side jungle.  This required a full-day visit since the drive to the cloud forest took almost 3 […]

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Ecuador: Incredible Geological, Ecological & Biological Diversity & its Key Cities

Ecuador

Ecuador is a relatively small country compared to most of its South American neighbors.  In fact over the years both Peru and Colombia have stolen border lands from Ecuador.  Straddling the Equator that gives the country its name, it has such a range of animal species that it is one of the 17 mega-diverse countries […]

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Peru: Visiting Businesses in the Andes

Peru

In May 2008, Rick and Wendy visited Peru—their third time—on a business trip for TechnoServe.  Prior trips to Peru had included both pleasure–mainly visiting Lima and Machu Picchu–and a volunteer work project for Rick.  This was part of their visit to five countries in two weeks to observe some of TechnoServe’s projects in Peru, Nicaragua, […]

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El Salvador Recovering from Civil War

El Salvador

In order to create more jobs and income opportunities for the rural poor, El Salvador is boosting its agricultural exports. Besides TechnoServe helping farmers in key sectors to sell to export markets, it also runs entrepreneurship programs that empower people to create thriving businesses in a variety of sectors.* In May 2008 Rick and Wendy’s […]

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Honduras Successes: Ancient Indian Cocoa Grafted to Modern Cocoa

Honduras

A major challenge for Honduras to move nearly 50% of its population out of poverty, is to increase its competitiveness in key areas while diversifying into other markets where it can leverage competitive advantages. Established only in 2003, TechnoServe Honduras is helping rebuild, modernize, and increase profitability of key industries–e.g., dairy, vegetables, palm oil for […]

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