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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Peru: Southern Coast and Lima

A visit to Las Islas Ballestas in Paracas brought views of tons of seabirds, sea lions, and Humboldt penguins!

I ended my travels in Lima the night that Colombia celebrates the Immaculate Conception.  This photo is from the Colombian-consulate-sponsored candle-lighting ceremony in a lovely city park in Lima.

Peru: Exploring the Sacred Valley

My favorite Andean Cactus

Visiting the ruins at Moras and Moray with fellow Pitzer-grad and Medellin resident, Sonya

School field trip to the ruins

A women's weaving cooperative outside of Pisac

Peru: Inca Trail and Machu Picchu

For three weeks between November and December I visited Peru-- I can't wait to go back!
Ready to Hike (just like the Incas!)

After 3 days of hiking and camping, I arrived on Day 4 at Machu Picchu!!

The Incas had a clear eye for design

Requisite handstand at the ancient terraces

Do you see all the incredible movement and shapes that I do when I see these landscapes?  Inspiration everywhere!

Friday, October 28, 2011

La Ciudad Perdida

A little history lesson: In 700 AD, the Tayrona people found their way to a beautiful piece of mountainous rainforest where they built a city full of temples and homes made from stone and palm thatch.  They lived there peacefully until the Spanish conquest brought disease and violence their way in the 1500s.  The city was then abandoned and overtaken by the surrounding plant-life.  In 1976, grave robbers hunting for gold discovered what was soon named the Lost City (Ciudad Perdida).  The Colombian government sent in archeologists to study these ruins of what is known to be Colombia's oldest indigenous civilization.  It is now a destination for adventure-seeking travelers to the Sierra Nevada National Park.  
Hammock Camp!  A very cozy place to rest our sore muscles at the end of each day 
Those hiking clothes never had a chance to dry in that rainforest climate! 
One of many hiking breaks in the river

A Kogi village still used for community ceremonies

Serena and Me tired after along up-hill haul

One of many trail waterfalls; posing with our fellow adventurers!

Where the rainforest becomes farm fields 

Parque Tayrona

Colombia's most gorgeous beaches are on the Caribbean coast, contained within the boundaries of Parque Tayrona.  This national park sits right next to the Sierra Nevada National Park, home to the country's highest peaks.  This close proximity of snow-capped Andean peaks and white-sand, tropical beaches makes the region very unique and stunningly gorgeous.  I took advantage of a week of student vacation to head north with my friend Serena to explore the park and beyond.

Arriving by horse on the park's muddy trail
I can't resist a handstand opportunity on the beach!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Colombia Dance Tour, Part IIII

Images from the Fables performance, and rehearsal process, for the Botanical Garden Show.
Karen as the dancing Camel.

Alexis as the Ostrich in Love

Amy and Alexis as the Brave Lobster and her Coward Crab friend.

Rehearsing with the flowers for the final show

The Trees bowing after a successful performance

The forest animals!

New friend! Alirio, my "tio" here, and Gils made friends over drinks at our favorite bar a t the end of the tour.    The dancers were happy to share the stories from the trip and talk of possible plans for future tours.

The last night in Colombia.  Their tour included performances at universities, malls, schools, and international mainstages.  They did workshops with almost 100 school children in the cities of Medellin, Manizales, Pereira and Armenia.  I know they touched the lives of thousands of people in their short time visiting my South-American second home.  I am proud of the work we all accomplished together and am endlessly grateful to the people who helped us make it happen, especially all of our new partners and friends at the Colombo Americano.  Here's to planning the next ACDT adventure in Colombia!

A Colombian Dance Tour, Part III

After performances, sight-seeing, and soaking in the thermal hot spring of Manizales, we took a 2-hr. van ride to the even-smaller mountain town of Pereira.  He I am at the city-overlook with one of our Colombo-Americano coordinators, Lina.  Throughout the tour, the Colombo's staff in all of the cities we visited were knowledgeable, talented, and enthusiastic hosts who cared for all of our needs and the experience smooth and comfortable for all.

In Pereira, we did a children's dance workshop with a group of at-risk youth from a community of families displaced by violence in the Pacific-coast region of Choc√≥.  This small workshop was full of energy and Giles, and the other ACDT dancers, did an excellent job, as always, of helping them all feel like confident dancers.

Karen dancing with the students in the workshop.

In the "audience" watching all of the choreography projects that came out of the kid's workshop in Pereira.

Giles and Amy dancing with their group at the kids workshop.