Students eat a traditional Quechua meal in Sani Village during the 2012 expedition. ©John R. Anderson

Students eat a traditional Quechua meal in Sani Village during the 2012 expedition. ©John R. Anderson

Medical Leader, Dr. Nancy DeTora and Mark Blazis, Expedition Leader, will be organizing the next Amazon Expedition Team on Tuesday, March 29th. Registration with Dr. Laurence Reich will take place at the new Middle School beginning at 6:30 pm. A deposit can be made at that time with a check for $500/person made out to the Amazon Team.

The Expedition will run from April 12-20, 2017, beginning in the High Andes of Quito, Ecuador. After flying down to the lowland rainforest town of Coca, participants will board motorized dugout canoes for the long journey down the Napo River, Ecuador’s tributary to the Amazon and the route Francisco Orellana took nearly 400 years ago to discover the Amazon.

The expedition seeks to immerse everyone in rainforest biology, seeking 10 species of monkeys, up to 80 species of frogs and 500 species of birds including toucans and macaws within one mile of the lodge. There are anacondas, caiman, butterflies the size of a tea saucer, and spiders that can spread a foot wide within this jungle paradise. The incomparably educational adventure is an opportunity to practice Spanish, mingle with rainforest tribes, and learn rainforest biology. No other school in the country does what Auburn has done 40 times.

Most importantly, Dr. DeTora and her assistants will be setting up a clinic for Quichua children deep in the rainforest. Dr. DeTora

Auburn’s Craig Anderson tries out a long blowgun during the 2011 expedition. ©John R. Anderson

Auburn’s Craig Anderson tries out a long blowgun during the 2011 expedition. ©John R. Anderson

established this tradition way back in 1995 when Auburn was the first middle school in the country to pioneer an expedition into this part of Amazonia. She also pioneered the setting up of clinics with medical staff volunteers from our area. Over the years, hundreds of Quichua Indians have been given treatment, some having their lives saved.

The expedition team spends a year collecting items from medicines to school supplies to contribute to the Indian children. All Auburn students who are presently in the seventh grade or older must be accompanied by a parent or suitable chaperone on the expedition.

Numbers are limited by the accommodations in the rainforest, and participants, both student and chaperone, must be physically, mentally, and behaviorally suitable for the expedition. More details will be presented on Tuesday night.