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La Sierra Updates: Cuenca y El Cajas

July 23, 2021

It’s been a week since we arrived at the granja. We’ve been having a lot of fun while working on the farm and continuing to improve our Spanish skills through online classes (partnership with the Xalteva School). Our work on the farm included building rock pathways, painting signs, hoeing the soil, planting flowers, and cleaning up after the cows.

Early in the morning, we were met with a great surprise: a pregnant cow on the farm gave birth to a beautiful calf! It was a difficult process that lasted more than three hours. In just twenty short minutes, the baby was already able to walk.

The middle of our week consisted of three different excursions. On Tuesday, we had an amazing lunch at La Guarida (sidenote: the chocolate cake was incredible!) Later, we visited the Jardin Botanico de Cuenca. Unfortunately, our initial plans to do some volunteer work there fell through because of the rain.

For Wednesday’s trip, our group toured Cuenca. We started our day buying handmade chocolate and jackets from Casa Yangoe. After we ate delicious sandwiches, we stopped at an ice cream shop. Then we all boarded a double-decker bus and drove around the city. The old houses and vistas were gorgeous. The bus briefly stopped at the Mirador Del Turi and we appreciated an unforgettable view of the city. Our next stop was the artisanal market; where we purchased many interesting trinkets; from sweaters to bracelets, there were many beautiful objects for sale.

Our last excursion was to El Cajas National Park where we enjoyed a breathtaking hike despite the freezing weather. After eating trucha (a full grilled fish) at El Prado, we were fortunate enough to be able to spot some alpacas. The majority of us rode home on the bus asleep, satisfied with our fulfilling experience.

Finally, as we approach the halfway point, we hope to create more memories that last a lifetime.

Un Abrazo!
Yuuji, Amukta, Juliana, Daphne, Jesús, María

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