Today was our first full day in Guaranda with the theme of ‘history.’ The day began with a 7:00am wake up call followed with a delicious and filling breakfast at La Estancia. We have quickly discovered that all our meals are at one of the most amazing restaurants in the City. This has NOT gone unnoticed by the delegation! After breakfast, Program Coordinators Joshua & Alex led us through our Culture & Safety Orientation and on an extensive walking tour of our new home. Sites we visited included the Parque 9 De Octubre (which recognized the fight for independence from Spain); Mercado 10 De Noviembre (a 70-year old open market selling fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, cheese, household needs, etc.);

Mercado 10 De Noviembre

Parque Libertador (Guaranda’s Central Plaza next to the Catedral San Pedro and hosts festivals, social get together’s, funeral’s, etc. and is surrounded by the local government offices.);

Parque Libertador

Plaza Roja (originally a pre-Inca site, is the location of Political Mobilization and borrowing from Moscow and the red ponchos of the indigenous peoples is fondly referred to as ‘Red Square’); and numerous local business such as coffee and pastries shops!

Enjoying coffee

Always better when shared by 3!

After lunch we had the pleasure of a guest speaker, Gustavo Fierro, who provided us with a comprehensive overview of the cultural history of Ecuador from the Inca to present. We learned that Guaranda has historically been an important city due to its location both politically and in trade. It was a major stop on the “original” road from Guayaquil to Quito.

Guest speaker Gustavo Fierro

Following our speaker we received an introduction into our English Tutoring program. We will develop lesson plans and activities for students ages 6-adult and will meet our students on Monday.

Dinner was a time to unwind before concluding our evening with a days’ reflection and our nightly meeting. We will be having our first student Lider Del Dia (LDD/Leader of the Day) tomorrow. This will be the first step for the students to take on the role of leader.

After becoming comfortable with our new surrounding everyone is learning, growing and enjoying themselves.