Today was our first day waking up in Guaranda!

We started the day (after breakfast, of course) with a complete tour and scavenger hunt of some of the major historical and cultural landmarks of the town of Guaranda! Each Glimpser got a picture and they had to be on the lookout for when we passed the landmark in their photo. Our program coordinators, Stephanie and Camilo, gave us an excellent history lesson at each stopping point. Some of the major landmarks we saw were:

1) A statue of Simon Bolivar, the leader of the movement for independence from Spanish rule in Ecuador as well as the surrounding countries Colombia, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela (these nations were briefly a single country often referred to as “Gran Colombia”).

2) Two of the cities main universities, one of which is where our Glimpsers will be teaching English classes to local students!

3) The city’s main supermarket, where independent vendors sell fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and other foods. Our Glimpsers formed groups and were able to meet some vendors and buy fresh fruits and vegetables!

Later in the afternoon (after some free time and bonding) we did our first planning session for students’ English lessons. We discussed how to design good lessons, learned a little bit about the students we’ll be teaching, and broke out into groups of 3 or 4. Each group will be responsible for teaching a class of 12-13 students. We ended with our groups beginning to plan their first lesson.  Our Glimpsers will teach two hour lessons Monday thru Friday next week!

After dinner, we ended the day with some time to get to know each other a little more deeply. Students split into their “reflection groups” of 5 students, and held intimate conversations about where they come from and who they are. We’ll continue to have these conversations throughout the trip.

Lastly, as we end every day with Global Glimpse, we had our nightly meeting. We started a discussion on what we’ve learned about colonialization, fights for liberation, and indigenous cultures and began thinking about how students can take what they’re learning back to the US. Jonathan, Denise, and Cara passed the torch to our first student leaders of the day (“El Lider del dia”) Kaia and Jakob!  They set the bar high for showing off their talents, too. Kaia did some impressive rapping while Jakob accompanied with some masterful juggling!

Now all our Glimpsers have gone off to bed to rest for our Indigenous Worldview Day tomorrow!