Giving Back with Wilderness Adventures

By Wilderness Adventures March 5, 2014

2013 Community Service Successes at Home and Abroad, Part 3


Ecuador Galapagos Service


In this two-week trip, one group the Wilderness Adventures students work with is El Arca, an animal rescue center located in the Upper Amazon Basin.


El ARCA promotes the conservation of wildlife in the Amazon by offering healthy and beneficial living conditions and rehabilitation for rescued animals before reintroducing them to their native habitat. At El Arca this past summer, the students’ main project was the construction, cleaning and painting of a cage for a wounded eagle. The students not only built this new cage, but they also collected yucca and sugar cane to feed sloths, tapirs and pigs. The group was able to enter the cages of different animals to help in the feeding process, as well as hold and take pictures with an 80lb boa constrictor!


In addition, they had a ball painting a community center for a nearby Keechewa indigenous community. In appreciation of the WA group’s effort, the community celebrated by sharing a traditional song, dance, and medicinal ceremony with the students. Leaders Mari Houck and Geoff Zovickian explained “following breakfast, we headed to a local school where we were greeted by all of the students, as well as the president of the town.  The students danced a traditional Ecuadorian dance for us, which some of us joined.  We played games with the children, including tag, duck duck goose, and soccer.  We then helped paint the school white in preparation for a mural the students would later paint on themselves. It was an amazing experience and everyone had a great time.”

The group’s next project brought them to the highlands of San Cristóbal Island in the Galápagos, where the students had the educational and rewarding opportunity to engage in a reforestation project. Here, they worked on eliminating invasive blackberry bushes and replacing them with plants endemic to the island. The students were also able to prepare food for the tortoises that come close to camp to eat.


To find out more details about the Ecuador Galapagos Service trip version 2014, follow this link: