Machilalla National Park

img_0051On Sunday a group of guests went to Machalilla National Park (Parque nacional Machalilla) for a nice stroll and look around. The park is a 750 square kilometer preserve, consisting of beaches, different forest types and both small and large islands. The preserve has a vast array of wildlife including bearded dragons, iguanas, crabs and many other strange and fascinating   creatures.

The day started with a 1.5 hour bus journey north that cost just $3 and then entry to the park was free! Once in the park the group took a 2-3 hour walk through the many types of terrain, admiring the incredible preserve and all its beauty. one guest said it is like something he has never seen before. The beaches were very nice with lovely clear water and amazing scenery. For the journey back the group took a tuc tuc for $1 each which was described simply as fun!

All the people that went said they had a great time and recommended highly, so its one that I think will definitely happen again.

Life at the Cabanas

“its like a community”

the cabanas are a great place to stay a few days or a few months. consider this when paying you are not only getting accommodation for the price you pay, you get a beautiful group of humans that create great atmosphere. it is a place for all ages and very family friendly.

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the facilities are fantastic, they include many assets check out there new website for the full details:  http://montanitacabanas.com/

 

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I hope to see more people here!  🙂

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Our Students Teach Too!

Teaching English to the local children in Montanita

Benefits for the community:

  1. it brings people together
  2. supports families an youth (mentoring, daycare etc.)
  3. improves schools (tutoring etc.)
  4. encourages locals to participate in cleaning, or generally helping out
Benefits for the individual:
  1. learn new skills
  2. experience will be rewarding (potential job ideas, or
  3. you will become closer with the local community
  4. you will be supporting the community you are visiting/living in at the time.
  5. every person counts

 

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Last Wednesday and Friday the students of http://www.montanitaspanishschool.com/ helped the local kids learn English. For one hour on both Wednesday and Friday we taught English in many ways,  through visual methods, including food, balloons, or basic props.

it was full of fun and activities and was highly beneficial for all. it was a good way of giving back to the community in which we are so grateful for.

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Montanita Spanish School Gives Back!

Montanita has always been renown for its great night life and amazing surf spots but lately tourists are looking elsewhere for some other memorable experiences.Local tourism now is increasingly focused on giving back to the community with a more hands on approach allowing tourists to leave a truly positive impact on Ecuador and its indigenous wildlife.

For the past 4 weeks a group of  ‘Gringos’ from all over the world have come together in monatanita with one goal in mind , giving back to Ecuadors world acclaimed marine life! These include five species of sea turtles, twenty kinds of whale and dolphin, hammerhead and whale sharks, manta rays and countless species of fish, corals and molluscs. Most of them only endemic to Ecuador need intensive conservation strategies in place to protect them from threats such as illegal fishing and coastal destruction.

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Above Gringos Gad,Lisa,Kiersten,Lisa,Victor and David chose Acuario Valdivia in cooperation with Montanita Spanish School to leave there conservation foot print.

Acuario Valdivia just outside of Montanita is at the forefront of the conservation effort taking in all kind of sick and dying marine life and raising them back to good health in the hopes of returning them back to where they belong,the wild. The aquarium  opened to the public 16, July 1997 and since august 15 2008 managed by a group of young professionals from Valdivia. Most of the species that come to the facility come from various parts of the coast, by both fisherman and tourists.

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With the volunteer program over and memories made the talk of the school still resonates around the Acuario. From the community activities they did with the local kids to releasing rehabilitated sea turtles.The average day of a volunteer at the Acuario starts at around 8;15 and ends at 2.The work you do ranges from upgrading the general facilities building enclosures, painting fences, cleaning enclosures to food prep and hand feeding young and sick animals.The work isn’t always easy,but highly rewarding.

Humbling is a word that can truly describe the experience for all the volunteers, most of  them all professionals in various trades and fields.The few that just finished school here and were shaped by this experience leave with greater appreciation for nature and the knowledge that their hard work certainly wont go unappreciated either. Many claiming they never expected to get so much out of giving back.

“Hot surf tip for free..”

Summer in Ecuador is fast approaching bringing some world class swell here to Montanita, hopefully! With that comes the floods of surfing tourists eager to hit the beach and join in on the fun. Montanita and the surrounding beaches are great for all levels of surfers, beginner to advanced with loads of beach breaks along with the famous right-hander point break on Montanita main.

The massive influx of surfers, many of them beginners, paddle out each day with loads potential but with little understanding on a basic pop up formula to get you surfing instead of body boarding. With 3 simple steps I can guarantee I will set off surfing on the right foot!No pun intended. Here’s my hot tip for free.

 

Step 1

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Step number one is by far the most important and physically challenging step to master.The step combines a push up with a slide forward. The point of this is to get the upper half of your body directly over yours hands,keeping your weight on the most buoyant part of the board.Your arms need to be fully extended,shoulders pulled back and looking forward and not at the board!

Step 2

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Step two and three work together and I consider them as one step as you cant do the one without the other.With this in mind note that step two is a quick and simple movement and should not be stalled as it will most definitely send you falling over or falling off the back of the wave.

So once you’ve maintained your positioning on step 1 bring your:

-RIGHT FOOT TO YOUR LEFT KNEE  if you are (REGULAR SURF STANCE)

LEFT FOOT TO YOUR RIGHT KNEE  if you are (GOOFY SURF STANCE) 

Use the grip on the side of your foot to lock the foot and leg in place keeping the knee in the air.Note that your pelvis remains as low as possible to keep your body weight over yours arms.Remember keep looking forward.

Step 3

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Step 3

Also known as the pop up position.All there is to do next is get the opposite leg to the front of the board.To do this swing your leg around lifting the same side arm simultaneously allowing your leg to pass and for your foot to land side on.This should leave you standing with your hips facing forward and the recommended 80/20 percent weight ratio.80% front foot and 20% back foot.Extend/stand off the front foot and lift your arms to help with balance and direction.Keep the knees bent and KEEP LOOKING FORWARD.

With these simple steps anyone can be a surfer this summer.Stay safe and see you in the back-line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Little Piece of Ecuador is Moving to Holland!

 

Sometimes when you travel things stay with you. The memories we make, cultures we encounter, tastebuds we acquire, and many other things we experience while traveling are things that become ingrained within us and in fact stay with us for the rest of our lives. It is one of the reasons so many of us love to travel. Paramount among the things we never forget are the many, varied, and meaningful friendships we make.

Recently one of our students, Guusje, found this adorable puppy (heartwarming photo above) walking the streets one night while out on the town. She sat with it and played with it for a few minutes and they made an instant connection. This tiny little puppy proceeded to follow her all the way back to her hostel where it waited outside of the gate the entire night for her. The next day it followed her everywhere: to class, to lunch, back to class, to dinner, and to the hostel again. When this cute little animal was still waiting on the second morning, after walking through town with her to make sure noone had any previous claims, she knew she wanted to keep her. The next few days at the school all of the students fell in love with her and we even named her Dobby, after the Dobby from Harry Potter because of the big ears.

Now after filling out all of the required paperwork and getting all of the proper tests done, Guusje plans on traveling through South America with her. After her travels she now is also buying Dobby a plane ticket and taking this adorable creature with her back to her new home in Holland.

Heres a photo of our student and her  “Dobby-doggy-pack”

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Our home from home!

 

At this moment Montañita Spanish School has got interns from all over the world on various work away from home projects and it has become apparent that short term international internships or work away projects are steadily increasing in popularity. The most interesting part is that even though the interns come from entirely different backgrounds and have entirely different stories they have all ended up in the same place for the same reason!

Tasha (Office intern from England) – Travelling for me is all about the people I meet. I like work away projects because it allows you to have more time to completely immerse yourself within another culture and build stronger relationships with the people you meet. I specifically choose South America this time so that i could learn one of the most globally used languages. Oh and to finally see some sun!

Justin (Office intern from the US) – I decided to work abroad for a number of reasons. I wanted to immerse myself in a new culture and experience a lifestyle different than my own. Other motivations included learning a new language and possibly picking up a few other new skills along the way, including surf, salsa, and yoga. All of this is overarched by my desire to really see the world and my goal is to take myself out of my comfort zone to see life from a new perspective.

Jelle (Office intern from Holland) – I am currently studying Sports marketing and as a part of my degree I have to do an internship for 6 months. I really wanted work abroad so I could learn a new language and experience a different country! A friend of mine was recently traveling in South America so I asked him if he knew a place where I could do my internship. He immediately started talking about Montañita Spanish School and that’s how I ended up here! This is my first week but I look forward to the next six months!

Aydin (Surf intern from South Africa) – Being somewhat of a bushman, South America has always been a place I’ve wanted to explore but I never thought I would get the chance. Now that I’m here all I can say is that it’s everything I expected and a whole lot more. For me it offers a chance to brush up on my Spanish and surf in waters warm enough to not need a wetsuit! I feel that where ever I go I need to stay for as long as possible to immerse myself in the culture. I hope to make a positive impact and inspire people of all abilities to get out on a surf board.

The advice from the interns, find yourself a work away project! Travelling is fun but building a home from home is even better!

If you are interested in our internships you can get in touch through the facebook page or contact us through our website!

https://www.facebook.com/montanitaspanishschool/

http://www.montanitaspanishschool.com/

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