Today’s Indigenous Worldview Day started off as an early morning, especially for us Líderes del Día (LDDs). After wake-up calls and breakfast, we took our bus to Tagma San José, a rural indigenous community 15 minutes outside of Guaranda. There we took a nature walk led by Carlos Rea, a community member, where we learned abut how they use the plants and herbs in their surroundings in their daily lives – for healing, for purification, for allergies, and even for glue!
The morning concluded at the local daycare center for the community where Carlos led us in an Incan ceremony where we surrounded a fire atop the Andean cross (the Chakana) and shared our individual wishes for the betterment of the world.
Lunch at the community was made extra special because members of Carlos’ community left their work to make us a meal that included their own crops they had grown on the mountain.
During free time once we came home, we got to split up into three groups and explore Guaranda with each of our GGLs. Everything…did not go according to plan. The power went out (so hot coffee and computers at internet cafes were not an option), the bank had too long of lines to exchange our bills for smaller bills – so we got to be creative in our exploration by visiting churches, buying local snacks at the supermarket, having a slice of cake at a café, and one group was even given a crash course of Spanish phrases in the main plaza by GGL, Evan.
We came home for two seminars. The first taught us Glimpsers about our community partner, Fundación Betesda, which provides mental health and rehabilitation services to those who are in high need, specifically meeting needs that the local government cannot. The second seminar focused specifically on how the Community Action Project we design can support the work that Fundanción Betesda does. We then made sure to prepare by having specific questions ready for when we meet representatives of the foundation.
After dinner, we came back to our hotel to pass the torch to tomorrow’s LDDs. Each of us Glimpsers has to perform a talent in order to “prove” that we are ready to be LDDs, and tonight Kiara sang a song from the Civil Rights movement where she had us stand and sing in a chorus in an activity that brought us together. What a way to end the night after a day full of of minga (Kichwa for unity within the community).
On Day 1, our Program Coordinators Camilo and Steph said that Guaranda always has a reason to party. As we were typing this post, a random parade walked down our street! We believe they were celebrating Baby Jesus, as seen in the picture below.
“Hi Mom, Dad, and Jemma! Love you. Miss you. Having a great time here.” – Oliver
“Hello Krall family! Miss you a lot. Kaitlyn, I hope you have fun at camp!” – Sarah