Alana Gonczar (Forest Sciences)


BSFS – La Hesperia Reserve, Ecuador

For my third Co-op work term, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Ecuador where I am working on a cloud forest nature reserve called La Hesperia. This reserve is financially supported by various projects, including sustainable agriculture and the small-scale production of coffee and chocolate. For my position, I work on various tasks related to these projects, learning everything from how to milk goats, collect seeds from native tree species, make coffee and chocolate from scratch, and sustainably build structures out of renewable materials. More than anything, this position has helped me to develop my language and communication skills, since it often involves communicating with people who are not native English speakers. This position has also allowed me to learn more about sustainable practices, such as organic farming and eco-construction, as well as what goes into running a nature reserve, and I am very grateful to Co-op for providing me with this opportunity.

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