As a group, we successfully completed day two of the CAP (Community Action Project)! We finished way more than we anticipated and we could not be any more proud of our work. We are practically finished with one mural with three more to go!
At the beginning of our day, we woke up at 6:25 am Ecuadorian time, and made our way to breakfast at La Estancia where we were once again welcomed to a lovely meal by a lovely staff: Butter croissants, fried plantains, ham, cheese, and eggs is what got our day started! However, we had to wrap up breakfast earlier than usual at 7:30 am in order to make it in time to attend the Celebration of the Solstice that Las Gradas hosted. This included traditional clothing and dances that the community participated in to come together in unity and “greet the sun.”
When we arrived, we all decided on the background colors for each mural. As groups switched off to see the celebration, those that stayed behind, got started on painting the background to all four murals; baby blue, lavender, salmon and teal. Our dear friend, Don Justo was unable to help us today as he did yesterday, but his work was highly appreciated. After, the group agreed to continue the colors of the Ecuadorian flag on the stairs and the leftover white was painted grey. Everyone was on a roll when we started to feel raindrops, but luckily, it quickly passed and the sun began to shine. With one of the murals, details were already beginning and it could not have looked better!
Once again, Ana did not disappoint with lunch! She packed us each beef fried rice and as always, she had something special for our vegetarian friends. After lunch, we continued our work and nearly completed one mural by the time we left. Clean up was quick and easy, then we made our way to the bus where we jammed out to early 2000’s throwbacks like young Justin Bieber and Ke$ha. When we made it to the hotel, we got ready for English tutoring- our final day. It was a rewarding experience being able to teach students that were so passionate about learning English. At the end of Emily’s class, a student of hers came up and gave her a hug with a bag of beans saying, “I will miss you!” She has never been so grateful to receive something as simple as a bag of beans. Lucinda’s students took continuous photos on their phones of her and Ellery as they departed and said their good-byes. We are all grateful for such a great learning experience!
The very first time we visited Las Gradas, it was a bit difficult because they had so much passion and energy as a community, but you could tell they did not have the resources to provide everything that they would like to for the kids. At the risk of speaking for the group, we all seemed to come to the realization that we are here to leave our mark with a positive impact on their small community. Seeing our initial sketch on paper transformed onto the wall of Las Gradas primary school is invaluable.
Keep the comments coming family and friends 😀
– Lucinda D. & Emily N.
P.S. Hey Mom and Dad, it’s Emily. Just wanted to say that I love you and to remind you I will be home on Monday. And say hi to my sisters. I got them gifts XD. Hi Uncle Chu Thi! Love you!
P.P.S.- Hi Mom and Dad ummm miss you 143, tell the girls I got them something nice. And Cisco I love him! That’s it.