Last Ecuadorian Adventures :(

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As we counted down to the final days of our trip in Ecuador, we visited the island of Isla de la Plata. This journey began by waking up early to catch our boat, which would be an hour ride across the Pacific Ocean. Isla de la Plata is an un-inhabited island, due to the lack of freshwater on the island. It is also considered the Baby Galapagos, due to the wildlife that can be seen. While on the boat, a group of spotted dolphins started following us, which was super amazing. Upon arriving towards the shore, we saw many sea turtles swim underneath us, and even watched one hatch and make its way to the ocean! We then went on an amazingly beautiful hike, and saw so many blue footed boobies! They are so rare and were everywhere on the island, dozens upon dozens! We learned that the males have smaller pupils than the females, so we were actually able to differentiate the two! We saw an extremely rare masked booby too, along with several babies who were learning how to fly! Nazca boobies also flooded the island, along with some frigates higher up! It was incredibly cool to see all of these rare birds all over this island. We saw one just about every step we took.

Today was our very last company visit, and it was a great one. We visited Hacienda Victoria, which is the biggest exporter of cacao national worldwide. It was an incredible farm, and we were amazed to hear that they built it all in the last twelve years! They showed us exactly the cacao bean processing from the plant to shipping. We learned that each of their customers needs a specific process based on the taste that they want. Hacienda Victoria only has around 120 employees, that they make sure to take really great care of, such as sending their children to school or giving them opportunities on the farm. It was awesome to finally see the full circle of how cacao is farmed and eventually made into its products. I really enjoyed this company visit.

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