Hello friends & family!
We hope everyone is doing well on this lovely Friday. Today was the first day we worked on our Community Action Project (CAP) and it was a huge progression towards success. The day started at seven in the morning and was followed by a delicious breakfast of bread, jelly, and eggs. Afterward, we were on a bus headed to Pusuca La Victoria, the community our delegation is working with. For our CAP, we decided to create a park that would help kids stay active and interact with one another. We felt like this would be most impactful because the community leaders accentuated the importance of making the children happy. In the first stage of planning, we divided into four committees (Design & Planning, Finance, Art/Community Engagement, and Infrastructure/Construction). We coordinated with one another in order to set ourselves up for the delivery of the project. This entailed designing and buying the materials needed to build the playground, allocating funds for a budget, and finding diverse ways to engage the community members.
When we arrived at Pusuca La Victoria, we were greeted by warm smiles and hugs :). We got to work right away and started landscaping areas and welding/painting the swing poles. With the help of our magnificent bus driver Juan, we were able to make considerable progression due to his extraordinary welding skills. By the first half of the day, we had already finished building and painting the swing set, tested it out with the kids from the community, cleared out the area where it would be placed, and laid a solid foundation for the small house that was being built for the children. Seeing the smiles on their faces made us feel warmth in out hearts and satisfaction within ourselves. After a nice afternoon of rice, freshly picked strawberries, and soccer, we returned to our stations. We continued working until half past three when we packed up for the day. We had finished cementing the swing set into the ground and finished the foundation for the play house. On our way back, we had a small group pick up the remaining materials we needed to finish the project. We had dinner at six, which consisted of pizza and sweet bread with colorful sprinkles! During the nightly meeting, we debriefed on our progress and discussed strengths and weaknesses in our group and set up a plan in order to increase proactivity and efficiency. We also had a rapper in town ! Woot woot! (Meaning we passed the torch to our next pair of leaders).
Being Los Lideres Del Dia was an enriching experience that allowed us to expand our leadership capabilities. Leading a group of young adults towards the completion of our CAP made us feel like significant parts of the entire process. We felt incredibly proud to see how our group of glimpsers and the community members became a family in which laughter, dedication, and smiles were shared! Big shoutout to Charito, one of the founders of Pusuca, who is an elderly woman who was hauling more rocks than most of our strapping young lads. She was very inspiring and always positive and welcoming. Another shoutout to Juanito, our bus driver with a wide variety of skills necessary to our project. He was and still is a vital asset to the completion of our project, which is why we plan on naming the small kids’ house after him. One of the proudest moments in our day was seeing the respect being given and received by everyone, seeing our progress span out before us, and getting a feeling of satisfaction in knowing that our work will be appreciated within the community.
Last but not least, I, Emily Aguilar, would like to give a huge shout out to my mommy and daddy for helping me and always supporting me into becoming a strong minded woman. Thank you for everything, I love and miss you guys so much !! I couldn’t have done anything without you guys.
I, Kevin Soler, would like to give a shoutout to my mom and girlfriend for supporting me through my journey in Ecuador. I have become a stronger leader through their supportive compassion. I love and miss you guys!