Today is our last day in Cotopaxi. Everyone packed their luggage and worked together to get it on the bus after breakfast. Once we loaded the bus, we headed to the Cotopaxi Volcano. First, we stopped in front of the volcano and got a group photo with the National Geographic flag. Then, we drove up further to the parking lot. We got off the bus and prepared for our steep hike up to the base of the Cotopaxi Volcano. Even though the  distance wasn’t that far, the volcano was extremely steep and there was less oxygen because of the high altitude.

Photo by Sophia S.

Photo by Sophia S.

Everyone got to the base at different times. The base is at an altitude of 15,953 feet. As we arrived, we each got delicious hot chocolate. This gave everyone time to relax and take photos. A student brought an American flag with him up the volcano.

Photo by Sophia S.

Photo by Sophia S.

In honor of the Fourth of July, everyone signed the flag and hung it up on the wall of the base camp. Heading back down the volcano was much easier. It was hard not to slip, but everyone did great. On the bus ride back we stopped at a park to have lunch, then  continued our journey to Quito.

Photo by Sophia S.

Photo by Sophia S.

We arrived at the hotel and started to sort our packed items, choosing what we wanted to bring with us to the Galápagos. Everyone came together for pizza and circle time. We discussed positive things we wanted from our entire group in order to be a supportive community.

Photo by Sophia S.

Photo by Sophia S.

After everyone shared their thoughts, each person wrote something on a sheet and we created it into a flag, which we will now hang up in each place we stay at in the Galápagos. When we finished, we packed and went to bed early to rest for the long day ahead of us.