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Ecuador’s Amazon: What’s Happening

Posted by in Events,Typical Ecuador | November 22, 2013
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8x10 Drill HereIf you have seen us out and about lately, you’ve probably heard that we have teamed up with The Virabrations Project and Off the Mat Into the World in efforts to support indigenous and environmental rights in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Whew. That was a mouthful.

What it really means to us is a chance to support the country that so warmly hosts us and our groups each year in a struggle that is both pressing and international in scope. There are hundreds of articles describing the challenges and there’s just no way to summarize it all in one neat little package but I wanted to share some of the main points:

 

THE GOOD

  • Ecuador was the first country IN THE WORLD to grant constitutional rights to the environment. Wow.
  • Indigenous populations in the Ecuadorian rainforest have been incredibly powerful over the past two decades, specifically in their efforts to encourage unprecedented unity amongst not only their own communities, but have inspired sweeping unity throughout the Andes and Coastal regions of Ecuador as well. This unity and passion is what led to the inclusion of nature’s constitutional rights and many other progressive, positive movements in the Ecuadorian government.

IMG_2305 IMG_5423 IMG_5540 IMG_5689

 

THE UGLY

  • “While drilling in the Ecuadorian Amazon from 1964 to 1990, Texaco – which merged with Chevron in 2001 – deliberately dumped more than 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater, spilled roughly 17 million gallons of crude oil, and left hazardous waste in hundreds of open pits dug out of the forest floor. To save money, Texaco chose to use environmental practices that were obsolete, did not meet industry standards, and were illegal in Ecuador and the United States.” -Chevron Toxico Campaign
  • Chevron continues to fight against being held accountable. Their strategy seems to be to keep their competition in court long enough to exhaust the financial resources of those who support the rainforests & communities who call it their home.
  • The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, made an unsuccessful plea to the international community to share responsibility in protecting the pristine areas of Ecuador’s rainforest from oil drilling. He promised that if we all could raise only HALF of what the oil is worth, he could & would prevent the drilling. Unfortunately, this plea came in the midst of economic collapses and hardships all over the world. The international community did not even come close to meeting the goal.

Ecuador Oil Spill Hands Dripping with Oil Oil Spill on Hand Toxic Dump

 

TO SUM IT ALL UP:

While communities in Ecuador have taken unprecedented strides to enact change, the government has included rights in the constitution for the environment, and there has been much hope, unfortunately Ecuador is still a developing nation and their greatest asset happens to be billions of gallons of oil tucked peacefully away beneath one of the most bio-diverse places on our planet.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Simply by being aware of these challenges, you are supporting positive change.
  • Take a moment each day to take five deep breaths and know that one of every five breaths we take is thanks to the Amazon Rainforest.
  • Know about the devastating effects of oil drilling and exploration…and be mindful of your oil consumption
  • Share your knowledge with others. Don’t worry, you don’t have to know EVERYTHING about a situation to feel passionate about the cause. Just choose a couple of points that really pull your heartstrings and get to spreading the word.
  • Grow your knowledge by visiting sites such as Amazon Watch
  • Donate with us or to other organizations supporting the areas you’re most passionate about (for a list of who specifically we’re donating to, you can visit the Partners & Projects page on the Virabrations Project website)

THANKS for reading, for your caring spirit, your curiosity, and for the 5 minutes you just spent reading my ramblings! If you want more info, feel free to ask…we could talk about this all day.

Even More “Why Ecuador”…

Posted by in Why Ecuador | September 30, 2013
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Part of our challenge as a company guiding exclusively in Ecuador is that a surprising number of people have never heard of Ecuador. Until you say Galapagos Islands, many people don’t know much about this incredible country and surely know little of the mainland’s growing status as a vacation destination, let alone its potential for hosting a truly powerful wellness journey. There are a couple of things working in our favor to remedy this:

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Packing for Your Yoga Retreat

Posted by in Misc,Typical Ecuador | July 15, 2013
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Wondering what to pack for your yoga retreat in the Andes? When you’re ready to buckle down and get it done, check out this video and you’ll be finished in no time. If you take nothing else away from this video, the most important piece of advice I can give for anyone packing for South America is BRING LAYERS. The weather can change hourly here so be a comfy traveler and pack smart.

As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions. Happy Travels!

Meditation: A Cooling Breath

Posted by in Meditation | June 19, 2013
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Feeling Tense and Stressed?

This is part three of our four part series sharing simple breathing and meditation techniques you can use anywhere & anytime to refocus your energies and bring your day back on track. This video focuses on Brahmari, a cooling breath that can also help release tension in your neck and shoulders.

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Meditation: A Warming Breath

Posted by in Meditation | June 11, 2013
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Need an energy boost?

This is part two of our four part series sharing simple breathing and meditation techniques you can use anywhere & anytime to refocus your energies and bring your day back on track. This video focuses on Kapalabahti, a warming breath, that can help with mental clarity and increasing energy as you warm your body.

Lead by our Andean Meditation Retreat instructor, Kimberly Braun, this video shares a quick way to regain your balance and take a step away from daily grind and return energized.

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Meditation: Softening the Gaze

Posted by in Meditation | May 26, 2013
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Feeling scattered or out of balance?
Enjoy this quick video, the first in a four part series of simple breathing and meditation techniques to help refocus your day and rediscover your center. Lead by our Andean Meditation Retreat instructor, Kimberly Braun.

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AAS in the News!

Posted by in Uncategorized | April 20, 2013
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Last week, Greg and I sat down with Dave Hodges of the Tallahassee Democrat to chat about how incredible we think Ecuador is and how on earth we ended up traveling there in the first place.  Over a steaming cup of coffee at Bruggers Bagels in my hometown of Tallahassee, FL, we overwhelmed him with details about how you can travel through different ecological worlds within just a few hours. We told him how much fun it is to wear llama chaps and ride along the windswept plains like a traditional Ecuadorian Chagra; how invigorated we feel after waking up in a tropical cloud forest paradise. He patiently recorded our stories of the breathtaking landscapes, hospitality, adventure, serenity, and exhilaration we experience in this incredible country.  And this is what he came up with: Travelers Turn Their Fun into Business

IMG_1581 Cotopaxi Paramo Llama Chaps IMG_0770 Coast Whale Watching Boat

Adventure Yoga Retreats in Ecuador…Huh?

Posted by in Uncategorized,Why Ecuador | March 22, 2013
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Want some relaxation, adventure, exhilaration, and serenity on vacation? Sure, we’ve got some of that…

So, let’s talk about something soulful and emotional: the rejuvenating, healing, relaxing, deeply personal, balancing and exhilarating reasons why we are specifically leading YOGA RETREATS here.

Have you been on a yoga and/or wellness retreat in Costa Rica? India? The Caribbean? Italy? Amazing…I know that these experiences can be life-changing, soul-altering, and self-affirming journeys and I desperately hope you have memories that will last a lifetime. Breathe in and remember those moments…

And now consider that you can experience EVEN MORE in a relatively new destination. Ecuador doesn’t really do yoga…yet. There are a few little surf/yoga retreats on the coast and a handful of eco-lodges popping up in the Andes who offer weekend retreats but we’re thrilled to be offering something exclusive, hot off the presses, and new to the scene: a truly unique adventure yoga experience on the equator.

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Ecuador Yoga Retreats: Peace, Rejuvenation, Exhilaration

Posted by in Uncategorized | February 12, 2013
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Join us for a peaceful, exhilarating, and rejuvenating Active Yoga Retreat along the Ecuadorian Andes. From a tropical cloud forest paradise to the windswept plains of the highlands, we explore the highlights of the Avenue of Volcanoes while taking time daily for yoga practice, reflection, meditation, creative journaling, and more. We are privileged to work with instructors from all across the US who bring creativity, vivacity, and passion to each yoga retreat, creating a unique experience each week. Visit our full calendar of upcoming trips and stay tuned; we’re adding more unforgettable experiences all the time!

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What to do before or after your Galapagos cruise

Posted by in Places,Quito | January 3, 2013
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The destination most visited in Ecuador by foreign travelers is hands down the Galapagos Islands. A destination high on many bucket lists, the Galapagos are a magical, mystical, wonderful grouping of islands sure to provide the backdrop to an unforgettable experience. But we’re not here to talk about the islands this time….sigh….

Many folks we chat with on travel forums are asking questions like:
“What to do with 3 days in Quito”
“Need Pre-Galapagos Itinerary Suggestions”
“What to do before or after my Galapagos cruise”
“Day trips from Quito”
“Post Galapagos Cruise suggestions”
…you get the idea

I have answered dozens of these posts and started feeling like a broken record so I thought I’d record my suggestions here for all to see!

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