Today didn’t go as planned with the itinerary we received from the night before. It was supposed to be Deconstructing Poverty Day at Salinas, Ecuador, but as some people weren’t feeling well, an executive decision was made to stay in Guaranda. This was the best decision for everybody to recuperate and recharge their batteries for CAP Day #1 (which begins tomorrow).

The day began at 7:15 in the morning and when everybody was ready, we proceeded to head to La Estancia to have a fulfilling breakfast. Once everyone was done eating we headed back to Hostal Bolívar to go over the schedule for the rest day. Most people went out to explore the city and others stayed behind to rest. A group of students went to Salinerito to buy chocolates and everyone had pack into the tiny store as it was a very small place, but walked out happy as they left with big bags of chocolate. Because it was Sunday, a lot of shops were closed and it became difficult to find stores to buy souvenirs, so many went to Akí (a grocery store) to restock on snacks for the flight home. Once everybody was back from shopping, Joshua put on a documentary for us to watch called, “The Importance.” The story is about a court case of a same-sex married couple fighting to have their child be legally recognized by the government of Ecuador in 2011. At the end of the film, the couple was still fighting for their rights, but had not been successful. Fortunately, as of 6 weeks ago, the couple was finally able to have their child take on both of their last names and be registered with the two mothers.

Afterwards we had lunch at LA ESTANCIA! The food as always, was delicious and some of us got the opportunity to have lunch with the women of Simiatug Samai named Elvia and Lidia. They are from a community called Simiatug which is located 45 minutes north of Salinas. When we walked back to Hostal Bolívar and were up in the seminar room, Elvia began to talk to us about the organization and its greatest challenge. A Swiss volunteer named Cornelia, who wanted to help the women of Simiatug improve their family economic situations using their pre-existing skills which are crafting artisan goods and sewing. Although Cornelia helped the women start a business, she began to take advantage of them and did not pay them what they deserved. Cornelia then took more than half of the women of Simiatug Samai to start a new organization called Simiatug Llakta and left with all the client contacts and economic market knowledge. Despite having to start over, the women of Simiatug Samai have been able to maintain a market presence and provide work for their business partners. They are proud of their resilience and do not plan on giving up any time soon! Once the presentation was over, the students were able to shop for artisanal crafts the women have created.

Presenting Elvia and Lidia with gifts from Global Glimpse

Students shopping artisanal crafts from Simiatug Samai

Between shopping and dinner time, we were given time to relax before dinner. Catalina, Kimberly, Fabian, Noah, Aleta, Alfonso, Aisha, and Kylie played an intense round of cards with a game called War. At La Estancia, dinner was spaghetti with garlic bread and peaches in syrup as desert. YUM! Kimberly said the dinner was DELICIOUS! As usual, we had our nightly meeting and now most people are going to bed. Until next time family! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog!

Ciao from Guaranda Ecuador 🙂

Alfonso, Aleta, Aisha & Kimberly photo shoot