My name is Maria Lourdes Byers, and I was the Lider Del Dia for Day 6: Education Day.
We started Education Day with a visit to the Yaruquies School, a community-empowered institution that caters to the impoverished and areas devoid of education options in Riobamba. The visit was eye-opening, especially when seeing the difference in the physical condition of schools in Riobamba compared to the schools we see in our hometown of Chicago. We inquired about what we as young students could do for the school–how we could better the appearance and physical condition of the playground and outside the campus for kindergarten students ages 3 to 5 (who are ULTRA tiny and adorable!). We observed that although schools in the Midwest are within one of the least funded regions across North America, even lower amounts of funding are going to young students in Ecuador who need and deserve a quality education.
The next part of our day was a visit from our friend and speaker, Julian, who is a professional English teacher, writer, and computer programmer. Julian told us about his high school and college careers growing up in Ecuador and moving to the United States, which was really enlightening to our options as high school students preparing for college as well as kids who may or may not know what they want to do with their careers. Julian also told us more about his English teaching career, which helped us right before we prepped for our own English tutoring at Colegio Maldonado.
After a lovely dinner at Nativa, we had our second tutoring session at the Colegio. As you can see in the photos above, we had a good time with our students and were able to run things more smoothly after learning from the first session.
After leading my colleagues today and seeing their readiness to learn and grow with every challenge, I’ve developed a sense of pride to be working with students from my city that really care about education. Our conversations have spanned the effects of education on students, the job of being an educator, the institutionalized disadvantages that come to certain populations of students (both in the U.S and in Ecuador), the difference one lesson plan or collaborative effort can make, and, most of all, the importance of quality, equitable education for every student across the globe.
Today was a long but fun day. I thank Global Glimpse for each of the opportunities presented to its participants every day in-country and am excited for the rest of what our trip brings!