Festivities, Frogs, and Friendship

Programs for this blog post

Women for Environmental Action

Authored By:

Alessandra Napoli

This past weekend was out first big adventure outside the CIEE campus and we certainly had a lot to celebrate! The girls started the weekend off on Friday afternoon learning how to dance salsa, merengue, and bachata; it was as much a workout as it was fun.

The next morning started early on our way to Bijagua, northwest of Monteverde in the rainforest. From our hotel, we could see Nicaragua! While some girls rested after the long bus ride, others went on a guided nature hike with WIS instructors Ana and Kathy. We crossed the  hanging bridges and saw some beautiful birds: a few Crested Guans, a Collared Trogan, and three rare Tody Mot Mots!!! Plus monkeys, who apparently enjoy the hanging bridges as much as humans do! We also saw the endemic tree jicaro danto, an important part of the ecosystem here that relies on the tapir eating and processing its seeds to grow.

That evening, we went on a night hike in Tapir Valley Reserve. Frogs and snakes where plentiful and we got to see a newly discovered species of frog, the Tapir Valley Tree Frog, officially announced last August! The girls were some of the first 600 people on Earth to see this frog, which can only be found in the wetland area of Tapir Valley. They even had the honor of speaking with and learning from the lead herpetologist who directed the identifiction of this species and one of the women who worked on the team!

On Sunday, we celebrated Sarah’s birthday with cake and tubing down Rio Celeste. Even though it rained the whole time, we had a blast splashing through (small) rapids and swimming in calm pools. (For phone and human safety, no pictures were recorded of this amazing aquatic adventure.) On our way back to campus, we stopped at a wind farm to see up close how impressive wind turbines are (and how windy it is where they are!).

Overall, it was a busy but brilliant weekend!