Alvaro organized our homestays with families in the local community, as well as our volunteer day with Amureci, a women-owned business. We also spent a day doing volunteer work at Asis -- working in the greenhouse on a rainforest reforestation effort, building a new cement walkway, and clearing an area for a new classroom. Here are some shots of the Womderful Women in action. (My job was to haul buckets of water to water the saplings growing in the greenhouse -- great bicep workout!)
We also spent some time walking around the grounds, learning about the plants and animals on site. We made special friends with Nena, a rescued baby howler monkey. Nena accompanied us on our walk around the grounds, sitting on my shoulder with her tail wrapped around my neck. My "necklace" was a bit warm for a hot day!
The cayman who came crawling out of the pond with water lilies on his back was rather amusing:
We also took a half-day of Spanish lessons while at Asis, and learned some phrases that provided helpful with our hoemstay families ("May I help wash the dishes?" "You're a wonderful cook!" "Thank you for your hospitality.") Poor Fernando was conscripted to be the teacher of the beginners' class. It was his first day working at Asis, and Spanish lessons to a bunch of crazy American women weren't in his actual job description. He was a good sport, though.