¡Hola from Ecuador!
After arriving in Quito, Ecuador we were excited to spend the day exploring this stunning city! Our first stop was the Basilica of the National Vow, where we admired the stained glass work and learned from our guide Iván that it was imported from Spain and the Czech Republic. We continued to climb up to multiple other viewpoints to take in the city in its entirety! Our tour then led us through a variety of plazas and streets lined with impressive colorful buildings, which are unlike those we are used to seeing back home.
Afterwards we went to the “Mitad del Mundo”, or the Middle of the World, where we were able to hop over the Equator line and see several science demonstrations unique to the location. Next, we visited two locations to experience where the Equator was initially measured and where it has recently been verified. After capturing many fun moments together, we finished our adventurous day with some evening activities that allowed our group to continue to get to know each other even better.
Our first service project consisted of a visit to the Quintiliano Sanchez School, which is a public school with approximately 180 students ages 4 to 12. Throughout our three days at the school we helped out in several elementary classes, as well as, other tasks such as beautifying the garden. On Friday, we were even able to attend their “Moving On Up” ceremony and our group was recognized for our hard work and dedication.
Throughout this experience we really got to know the students by engaging in a multitude of games like Duck, Duck, Goose and assisted them with basic math facts during class sessions. Trip members were able to use some Spanish expressions to communicate and quickly learned that it’s possible to overcome most language barriers when interacting with children! We are all certainly making an effort to improve our Spanish skills and are often surprising ourselves with how much we’re able to comprehend.
Further, we have put our artistic skills to the test by designing three different murals reflecting the diversity present within the world around us. We’ve been working hard to complete these projects and have made great strides! Students and families who gathered for the ceremony to celebrate the final day of school admired and appreciated our work, which further contributed to this rewarding experience. We cannot wait to see what lies ahead during our next service opportunity in Latacunga- stay tuned!
Hasta la próxima (Until next time)
The Westcoast Blogger