The Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute
The reason for this little Ellensburg page is to tell you about a really cool place called the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute (CHCI). It’s certainly NOT what Ellensburg is most known for! (That would be the Ellensburg Rodeo.) Ellensburg is a small university town in Central Washington. It's about a 2-hour drive over the Cascade Mountains from Seattle. I've read about some nice walks/hikes around here, which I hope to do in the future. A lot of vineyards in this part of the state, too.
I was very surprised to discover the first chimpanzee ever to learn sign language, a former space program participant, was living right here in this little desert town.
CHCI is a chimpanzee sanctuary, and they offer workshops to the public to learn more about chimpanzees and about communications between our two closely related species.
I’ve always enjoyed learning other languages so I can interact a little with others on my travels. In some ways communicating with chimpanzees seemed more exciting - in other ways, it seemed fascinatingly similar!