The birthplace of poets and great men, the “Athens of the Andes” has a history, culture, and architecture so rich and well preserved it’s been declared both a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as the Cultural Capital of the Americas. Cuenca was originally a Cañari settlement known as Guapondeleg, which translates into “land as big as heaven.”
Upon settling in this history-rich city, we quickly made friends with students at host school Colegio Alemán Stiehle, where THINK Global School students had ample opportunities to practice their Spanish both in and outside of the classroom. Here, we were able to study traditional Ecuadorian cooking and shamanism, dig the foundations for a school in nearby Chimbarazo Province, and witness the effects of climate change via multiple nature excursions and conversations with scientists. We even had the honor of being the first high school to visit Tiputini Biodiversity Station, where we spent four days meandering hiking trails and experiencing Ecuador’s great biodiversity with top biologists and expert guides.