Oyacachi is located in the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve in Ecuador's Northern Andes region, at a point where the Andes mountains begin to dive into the Amazon rain forest. Like almost every "exotic" destination in Ecuador, Oyacachi is relatively easy to get to. The town is a 2 1/2 hour drive from Quito, with the last hour and a half spent on meandering, unpaved mountain roads.
Although Ecuador is the home of Latin America's most famous nature reserve, the Galapagos Islands, dozens of the country's smaller national parks are underfunded and largely unknown to citizens and tourists.
In cultures around the world, river passages have long been metaphors for journeys into the self. For a group of around 20 Ohio State University students in Ecuador studying Spanish, this proved to be no exception, as they gathered early one morning for a day of whitewater rafting on the Rio Blanco.
"Realism" states that every country will do whatever it takes to increase its wealth and security. Hence, the oft proclaimed inevitability of conflict. Given this maxim and the United States' insistence on forcing "Free Trade" on developing countries, it can only be deduced that Free Trade is primarily in America's self-interest. Otherwise, why would Washington pursue it so aggressively?