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Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

A&A-B out on trek!

Dear friends and families,

The A&A-B group is currently on day 2 two of their 6-day trek in the high Andes, dropping down into the tropical lowlands.  Yesterday the group ascended to the base of Mt Condoriri, a 4,400 meter peak in the Cordillera Real range.  They camped at an alpine lake, Laguna Chiarkota, and spent some time in the afternoon visiting a nearby glaciar. Today the group will hike for approximately 8 hours around the western face of Mt Huayna Potosí, one of the highest peaks in Bolivia at 6,080 meters.  After two more days of hiking in the high Andes, the group will connect with an original Incan roadway that connects the Andes to the tropical lowlands.  They will spend the following two days descending into the lush montane forests of the Yungas region, observing dramatic ecological transitions along the way.

The group will end their trek on Monday in the Afro-Bolivian community of Tocaña, perched up on a hillside with sweeping views of the Yungas valley.  They will spend three days living with Afro-Bolivian host families, learning about their cultural traditions, helping out in the coca fields, and participating in a celebration with Saya Afro-Bolivian dancing and music (on Teresa’s birthday!).  One of the instructors, Sandy, is closely connected with this community and very excited to share more of her own culture and community with the students.

The team will have very limited connectivity over the coming week, but will be sending us updates via Satellite communication.  I will share tidbits from their journey here as reports come in!