¡Hola a todos/as!
My name is Ari Migdale and I couldn’t be more excited to be returning to the heart of the Andes this summer as the Project Director in Chimborazo, Ecuador. My journey into Latin America started in 2011 when I was an AMIGOS Participant in Cotopaxi, Ecuador. During that summer, I became deeply interested in the Andes and Andean indigenous culture. Intensifying wanderlust and a few college classes on Latin America later and I found myself headed back to work as a Supervisor for AMIGOS in Panama and then to study abroad in Peru in 2015. In Peru, I studied Andean indigenous culture, history and politics as well as Quechua (the most widely spoken indigenous language in the Andes).
In Peru, I gained a greater understanding of contemporary indigenous communities in a post colonial society and a deep appreciation for a way of life that is intimately connected with natural cycles and local geography. A couple highlights from my travels in Peru include a homestay with a Quechuan family on Isla Taquile (an island in Lake Titicaca), trekking in Northern Peru and the Cusco area, attempting to become a smooth salsa dancer, and exploring archeological sites of the Incan Empire, which extends into the region where we will be working in Ecuador! I am excited to share my love of the Andes as an incredibly diverse cultural and geographical region of Latin America with my fellow Project Leadership Team members and Participants this summer!
When I am not daydreaming about being in Latin America, I enjoy hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, and surfing- so just about anything that is outside! I am also an avid reader and drummer and can often be found in a crippling state of laughter or inducing the same crippling laughter in others!
I graduated last June with degrees in Biology and Spanish from UCLA and have since worked as an outdoor educator in the Pacific Northwest on an urban farm and as a ski patroller in the Tahoe area. I am brimming with energy and excitement to be returning to work with AMIGOS in a region I care deeply about. I am looking forward to sharing the summer with all of you. See you in a few months!
Project Director, Chimborazo, Ecuador