Bellefonte Area students experience Ecuadorian ecosystems
How would you like to snorkel in Tortuga Bay? Or go whitewater rafting on a river in the Amazon Rainforst? What about relaxing in a hot spring heated by volcanic heat in the Andes? Bellefonte Area students and teacher-chaperones got the chance to experience some of those actives during a school trip in July to Ecuador. Bellefonte Area High School biology teacher Chris Freidhoff accompanied students on a Ecosystems of Ecuador trip spending 11 days traveling across Educator with two other groups from Illinois and New Mexico. Students had the chance to go whitewater rafting, relax in a hot spring, stand directly on the equator, eat different food and visit Cotopaxi Mountain. On the Galapagos Islands, others got to snorkel, visit the Charles Darwin Research Center and observe the Giant Galapagos Tortoises alongside other unique species to the islands. Teacher Kevin Harman said the science department-sponsored trip to the South American country also allowed students to study the ecosystems of Ecuador and study habitats of the rainforest, plains and other areas of Ecuador, including that on the Galapagos Islands. Throughout the year, students were also involved in fundraising efforts to help raise money for the Charles Darwin Foundation. Harman said $350 was raised for the research-based organization that focuses on conservation efforts.