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Andean priest and spiritual leader, Don Fabian Champi Apaza. Photo by Tom Pablo, Andes & Amazon Semester.

Instructor Intro

Hola a todos!
I am so excited about this new adventure that I can hardly contain my tropical happiness!. I live in a beautiful place in Colombia called San Gil on the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes, just 7 hours north of Bogota and 5 hours from the border with Venezuela. I am surrounded by rivers and canyons that simply take your breath away. I live on a farm surrounded by an ever-changing dry forest, one of the most unique ecosystems in the Andes, created by the influence of the hot winds of the canyons and the cold winds of the nearby cloud forests, high peaks and moors, yes! The dry forest has seasons, and so we get to see how the leaves of all the trees are lost when the dry season or summer starts and how they come back to its lush green stage during our rainy or winter season.

The Andes is just like that, so enigmatic, so different, so unique. Home of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, because in every altitude you find different environmental conditions that allow nature to just go crazy and creative. I promise you will never get bored, you will most of the time be in awe by what you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch.  Being present and mindful will be your real challenge. Trying to grasp and keep in your memory what you live is for me the biggest of all quests. You will need to get in contact with your own human nature, in order to allow the outside to transform you; all of us will need to make some room in our minds to enrich our lives with the love, the kindness, and the beauty we are about to experience. Our invitation before you leave home is to embrace with love and respect the difference in cultures, food, social structure, political ideas, spiritual concepts, history and just everything that makes these communities so unlike yours. These things will be very valuable for your creation of a new idea of the world.

Since I was 16 I have lived in more than 10 countries.  Those that I have been able to explore the most are England, Hungary, France, Spain, Costa Rica, Panama, Thailand, and Australia,  places so distinct from what I was used to but so similar at the same time. In every place I went I always had an epiphany, a moment of realization that I wasn’t just part of the world, the world was also part of me. To this day, I continue to add to my life as many experiences, new things, new places, new cultures, new people, that push my growth and allow me to connect to who I really am and continue to challenge my own capacity to embrace difference and acceptance.

Traveling the world has been my main professional venue, experiential education my passion, dancing my freedom, painting my expression and soul encounter my goal. I can’t wait to accompany and be a witness to your own transformation. I can’t wait to live with you the magic of the beautiful Andes and the Amazon, home of wonderful people and incredible creatures… my home that will be yours too.

How about you? Tell us more using the Yak Board, tell us why you chose the Andes and the Amazon above anywhere else in the world for your first soul journey?

Nos vemos muy pronto!

CAROLINA VILLAMIZAR