JERSEY CITY, NJ – Saint Peter's University women's cross country/track distance runner, senior Georgie Nicholes, along with other students and professors, took part in a study abroad trip to the Amazon rainforest in Peru as part of an intro to environmental studies class.
Nicholes explained her experience in the Amazon. "In a one sentence summary of my experience, the trip was a once in a lifetime experience. I am so glad I made the decision to take part in such an adventure. Me, my fellow students, and even our professors learned a great deal about the wildlife and the everyday lives of the native tribes. We were able to experience the culture of the Amazonian people for ourselves and were taught how the people use nature to their advantage. For example, we spent time with a shaman who taught us about different plants that are used for multiple remedies and how some even help people better connect spiritually to the world around them. For me, the most memorable part of the trip was the time I spent bonding with the four other Saint Peter's students who also went on the trip. We forged very strong friendships during our short stay in Peru and shared experiences that we will never have with anyone else. Our day of service was also a great experience. It was very eye opening to be in the tribe and see the difference between our lifestyle and the lifestyle of the people living in the Amazon. Everything was molded and shaped by the ever-changing weather of the rainforest and the harsh conditions found there. The people also live in great poverty compared to the students attending Saint Peter's and yet they found happiness in the smallest things. However, the most interesting part about our service day was how easy it was to connect with the tribe's people despite the language barrier. Aside from my phobia of insects, I was completely at peace amidst that atmosphere."
"The research I conducted on my own was eye-opening on its own and very informative," Nicholes added. "It enabled me to go into the Amazon with a plethora of prior knowledge and helped me better connect to my experiences there. I learned a great deal about the difficulties the Amazon rainforest faces from human encroachment and how outside forces affect the tribes living within the Amazon. I can only hope that with more knowledge being attained by many people and research groups going into the forest to collect data from various studies, a solution to the preservation of this natural treasure will be found."
To learn more about the research conducted by Nicholes and Saint Peter's University, read the full release: Students Conduct Environmental Research in the Amazon Rainforest