Nossi College introduced our first study abroad trip to Ecuador in 2018. With an itinerary to check out the local scene and connect with the community, this group spent eight days on an international adventure. Nashville powerhouse photographer (and luckily also an amazing Nossi instructor), Sheri Oneal and 12 eager photo students share their journey.
The images are gorgeous, students were a little sunburned, but everyone came back on top of the world after this amazing adventure. Below are photos from photo students and excerpts from Sheri Oneals’ blog. Read more of Sheri’s blog here.
As our journey comes to an end, we are very grateful for the experience and especially, the honor of being the first Nossi College of Art study abroad group!
“It was really nice to feel a bond with the folks over there, but also with the students. We learned a lot about each other.”
“There are things about each of us that no one may ever know, but our stories and experiences often help others feel connected.”
To discover more about the pros and cons of travel and how cultural differences made for the best memories throughout the journey, visit Sheri’s website here.
[Photography by: Alexandra Cale, Emma Wilson and Michiah Posey]
This day was particularly special because we knew it was our last day exploring Ecuador and we were determined to enjoy all we could, even along our 4-hour drive back to Guayaquil, where we will fly back to Nashville tomorrow. For our last day of travel in Ecuador, some of us woke up early for a stroll on the beach, which was surrounded by the most beautiful landscape.
After, we packed up the bus for our last sightseeing visit in downtown Bahia de Caraquez soaking in as much culture as we could. We found this much-needed culture from the lively downtown market that hosts local varieties of fresh meats, fruits and homemade peanut butter.
Our last adventure was a 500 step journey to the top of the Las Penas Lighthouse which gave us a fantastic 360-degree view of the city of Guayaquil. Read more here.
Photography by: [Students Dancing, Main Image – Kathleen Munkel, view more of Kathleen’s work here] [Left Picture, Below: Jason Lyell; Right Picture, Below: Christina Emfinger – view more of Christina’s work here.]
Day 6 began and ended as an emotional, yet impactful day for everyone as we visited impoverished neighborhoods that still suffer damage from the 2016 earthquake. We then visited the local school, Bahia de Caraquez Sri Sathya Sai Baba only to see the most loving and happy children – despite their living conditions in the surrounding neighborhoods.
At the school our afternoon was packed with traditional dancing, incredible photo opportunities, music, and a beautiful exchange of cultures all of us will never forget. We were so moved by the realization that these children lived in the houses we visited earlier, were all from poor families with few if any material possessions yet were happier and more grateful than we could ever imagine.
The time at the school was an incredibly moving experience and we are so grateful for the hospitality shown by everyone at Bahia de Caraquez Sri Sathya Sai Baba. OH and you don’t want to miss our student, Jason Lyell teaching the students a fun “burpees” exercise, for a full video and all the action from the rest of day 6 visit Sheri’s website here.
[Below water photos by Jaime Rock]
We took a boat to the channel to visit areas that suffered large amounts of damage from the 2016 earthquake. After photographing for several hours we rode to the small town of San Vicente to shoot street photos of the locals, check out Sheri’s website to see awesome shots of San Vicente locals. Read more about Day 5 here.
[Below hiking photo by Gabbie Karademos, water picture by Sheri Oneal]
Bright and early, we began our day with a walk to the lively Puerto Lopez fishing village pier in the Ecuadorian Manabi Province. We enjoyed walking along the beach as we studied fisherman coming and going for their daily catch…Once we arrived to the island we visited the ecological reserve Machalilla National Park where we hiked up a mile long loop of stairs to Los Acantilados.
[Below photo by Sarah Patino]
We were off to the Manabi [Providence] via the Spondylus Route “Ruta del Sol” (Route of the Sun) visiting fisherman villages along the way. We stopped at the Santuario Blanca Estrella del Mar near the ocean side where we saw a cross in the distance, a local vendor setting up along the quiet highway and the shoreline from a cliff where we could see for miles. Read more here.
[Above photos by Jason Lyell]
In the morning we grabbed a quick breakfast at the hotel and headed to an art college specializing in photography named the L.EX.A. Institute. Our host, Chantal Fontaine is a promoter, Artistic Advisor and member of the Board of Directors at the Institute. She picked up an interest in photography from her father as a child, with more than 35 years of experience, she has specialized in seminars and photography workshops held in Costa Rica, Mexico, Brazil, Cuba and Ecuador….Her crew spent half the day educating us about the culture and history of Ecuador. Read more about Day 2 Adventures!
Our mission for the 8-day class was to capture the personalities of the people, the culture, landscape and the terrain which included the lifestyle, food, and habitat while on our journey…and Ecuador paparazzi assignment of sorts. We were super excited because no one from our Nashville group had ever been to Ecuador and we had no idea what to expect. Read more about their Day 1 Adventures!
Below – images by Eric Dulberg, Alexandra Cale and Kaitlin Pointer