Today a few of the students from Genesis took us on a tour of Cerro Seco. When you think of Bahia, the first thing that comes to mind is the coast. It was really interesting seeing a different part of the city and being able to experience a jungle-like atmosphere.
Cerro Seco is a tropical forest biological reserve centered in Bahia and is a part of only 2 percent of Ecuador’s original dry forests that still remain intact. Once we arrived at the starting location, we were all a little surprised at how steep the hike was going to be. It was a really nice day out, so we were definitely up for the hike. The hike took about an hour and a half with a few stops along the way to look at all the views. There were three students with us who told us about Cerro Seco in English. They gave us quite a lot of information about the reserve and the volunteer programs offered. The reserve offers the potential for volunteer work, research, and development of community based projects. There is a variety of plant life, 72 species of birds, 23 species of mammals, seven species of reptiles and four species of amphibians. The reserve provides facilities to visit, guided tours, camping areas, cabanas to sleep in, and rest areas for visitors. The area is managed by a board of directors sponsored by the Ecuadorian government and native guides maintain the trails and viewpoints on a daily basis. The kids did a really good job speaking in English. You could tell they were a little nervous, but they definitely did really well. Cerro Seco was such a beautiful hike; the views were amazing and the wildlife was so interesting to see. It was a really great experience being able to see such a rare forest with so much history and beauty.