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Environmental Journey

Written by Lewis Kendall

Lewis Kendall '14 in the rain forest of Ecuador

At the end of January last year, instead of making the usual drive back to Ithaca to begin a new semester at college, Lewis Kendall ’14 packed his bags and hopped on a plane to South America.

After hearing stories from many of his friends about studying abroad, he decided to pursue one of his greatest passions outside of writing: environmentalism. He contacted a volunteer organization called UBELONG that works with a local organization named Jatun Sacha, which funneled him into a volunteer position in Ecuador.

Kendall spent more than three months at three separate biological reserves around Ecuador. As a volunteer, he helped maintain a garden that housed many extinct or endangered species of plants, preserving them for future generations.

“I was numbed by the fatigue of working long hours, but I began to feel a clarity in my mind and body that I had never experienced before,” he said. “With the differences in language, culture, and place, I was so far outside my comfortable norms that I was forced to leave my old self behind and start anew.”

View a slideshow of images from Lewis Kendall's journey:



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