We went to school at 6pm…
Today, we got to visit two schools, Escuela 9 de Octubre and Escuela Martiniano Guerrero. These two trips were the complete opposite and brought a completely different experience. Our visit to Escuela 9 de Octubre had a heartwarming impact on me. As I walked in, I saw the enlightened smiles of the young children at the sight of a foreigner. What this school taught me the most was how truly appreciative the kids are of everything they have.
During this trip, we got to ask a lot of questions regarding the possible changes that could be made to the school in order to make improvements. While two girls played on the worn-down playground, I approached and asked, “¿Qué cambios te gustaría hacer en tu escuela?” (What changes would you like to make in your school?) They answered, “Queremos mas profesores.” (We want more teachers.) When you hear this you can’t help but to feel your heart sink. The innocence and passion these 3-12 year-old kids have towards their education is truly seen in the answer to this question- one that could have had a materialistic turn to it, but no. An experience and simple conversation with these kids that may not have all the resources they need ignites the feeling of wanting to help and make improvements for them because you know that they will appreciate any help. This is what started our design for our CAP (Community Action Project) project today because we became passionate towards helping such an appreciative group of kids.
Then, we had the other side of the education spectrum while we shadowed students in Escuela Martiniano Guerrero. We went to school with students at 6 pm! Why so late? Well, Escuela Martiniano Guerrero offers afternoon classes to an older age group whom are mostly adults that simply, due to life circumstances, were unable to get an education that is required to lead a “successful” life here in Ecuador as well as other parts of the world. While shadowing, we got to hear many stories of adults who were unable to get an education at an early age. One story however changed my perspective. Gabriel, a 20 year old, lost his vision two years ago. As you can imagine, losing any of your senses changes your life completely. Through jokes and laughter, he expressed the difficulties that his loss of vision brought, yet his positivity radiated. One thing that will always resonate with me is when he said, “Todos tenemos un proposito.” (We all have a purpose.) Being in Escuela Martiniano Guerrero you are able to see how the students live by this because you see their determination in getting their education, no matter their age.
Shoutout to Don Fernando and his brother for driving us to both schools, Director Jose Sanchez of the Escuela 9 de Octubre, and Vice Director and Teacher Jorge Ona from Escuela Martiniano Guerrero. Thank you for welcoming us into your schools!
To my family: Los quiero mucho <3
Tomorrow’s Leaders of the Day are Emir and Dalilah. They are two super cool people who will lead us through a special trip! Please look out for their blog post tomorrow evening.