Hillary Merwin
Hillary Merwin
Colombia 2013
Hola! My travels are taking me to Bogotá, Colombia where I will be spending six months volunteering with a community development organization called Fundación Comunidad Viva by tutoring children in after-school programs, planning community events, leading camps and much more. Join me on this adventure! Read More About Hillary →

A break

While these past few weeks have been full of afterschool tutoring, planning, meetings with girls in the neighborhood, Pacho English class and movie club and cultural Friday nights, it was a relief this past Sunday to hear that we as a team would be taking a little break.

After returning from Pacho early in the morning on Sunday, Jorge told us to repack our bags because we were going camping. A few hours later we were on windy roads again, weaving our way around the mountains and over rough dirt roads to Cachipay, a city about 2 hours outside Bogotá. It’s amazing how quickly the landscape can change in this country. In just under 2 hours, we had entered a lush, tropical jungle. The temperature rose at least 10 degrees and there was green as far as the eye could see. Absolutely beautiful. One of our friends’ parents owns some property there and we wound up setting up about 5 tents in their woods.

But what made this trip truly special was the fact that we could spend some time together as a team, reflecting on how far we’d come and refocusing our plans and goals for the future.

Sitting around the campfire, we discussed new plans for Pacho, what we wanted the new nonprofit in the downtown area to look like, needs that still needed to be met in Prado, and so much more. I even got to introduce the group to the concept of s’mores (can you believe that’s not more of an international thing?!) and we all stayed up until late talking.

The next morning was a breath of fresh air as we decided to explore the surrounding river. Climbing over rocks in the rain and slipping on huge banana leaves has never been so fun. What a privilege to get to take advantage of the beautiful nature surrounding us!




And here are some pictures from our Friday night halloween party. We tried to make it a “safe” alternative so instead of alcohol, we planned a bunch of  “minute-to-win-it” games. So fun!!



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