Graduation Day in Ecuador for TCS Seniors
What better way is there to finish off a semester abroad than by graduating from college? That was the case for 11 students on the 2022 Tropical Conservation Semester, which just wrapped up after 18 action-packed weeks in Ecuador! Thanks to some pandemic-induced delays, a troop of students who might have studied abroad in their Junior year decided to come to South America for their very last semester in college. We couldn’t have asked for a better group, just 24 of the smartest, nicest, most curious and enthusiastic people you’d ever want to share a canoe with! Together, we learned about the Amazon rainforest (where it hardly rained), the Pacific dry forest (where it rained all the time!), the blazingly sunny and Galapagos Islands, and the chilly Andes mountains (where the local expression Ach-ach-AY came in handy, Quichua for Brr!). Birthdays were celebrated, friends were made, salsa moves were (sorta) learned, and everyone enjoyed a newfound love for learning and exploration! But all good things must come to an end, and five months after we embarked on the semester, we faced our final days together. But we couldn’t let the Seniors depart without some pomp and celebration, so we borrowed gowns and caps, printed up some “banana leaf diplomas,” and had a graduation ceremony of our own. Who doesn’t love to throw a hat in the air?!
We are so proud of our students, and wish them the very best in their future endeavors. I can say without hesitation that the world is, and will be, a much better place for having all of them in it. Welcome, class of 2022, to the rest of your lives … the monkeys of Ecuador patiently await your return!
If you want to spend your final semester in the tropics, consider joining us in Spring of 2023, when the Tropical Conservation Semester returns to the jungles and mountainsides and beaches of Ecuador!