Hello everyone, this is Akua and Isatou we were leaders for the day of July 20th, 2019. Yesterday we had an early wake up call at 6:30am, because of this Akua and I had to wake up at 6:00am. We made sure that everyone came to the breakfast table on time. Breakfast was delicious. We had yogurt with fruit and granola with a side of eggs. We also had cholas with the choice of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and a glass of guava juice.
Our seminar yesterday was about poverty and how poverty is different around the world. Later on, we went to Parke Sucre and Parke Maldonado, where we worked with children in the program called Manitos Trabajadoras. We helped them sell their cotton candy, desert cups, gum and toys. Helping meant, walking around the park and approaching people asking if they would buy from us. Most of the items were between $0.25 and $1.00, but they were really hard to sell. Some people would just walk by us and ignore us. It was really hard, but the children always stayed in high spirits.
After selling, we ate lunch which consisted of chicken with rice and salad. We sat in the park and ate with the children. Next, we got to play games with the children.
This was awesome, because they work so hard every day, and rarely get the chance to be children. We jumped rope, played ninja, kicked the soccer balls and participated in a group bonding hula hoop activity.
During our time with them, we had the opportunity to talk to the children about their favorite activities, what they want to be when they grow up and their favorite movies. It was a nice way to connect with them. We have a lot in common!
When our activities at the parks were over, we transported back to La Primavera to debrief and have a conversation about deconstructing poverty as a group. After seminar, our day was not over! Colby, prepared us for English tutoring, which we will have on Monday. Each glimpser was placed in a group and asked to prepare lesson plans. We are looking forward to it. At 7:00pm Dinner was served, it contained rice and chicken and if vegetarian, chopped up tofu. We wrapped up with the nightly meeting!
One thing that stood out to us the most was the difference of poverty in Ecuador and the United States. In the United States, if you need any extra help you are provided with programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, however in Ecuador, you have to independently navigate the lack of resources. While we were having our discussions with the children of Manitos Trabajadoras, we met a girl named Carolina and she’s 17, just like us. Because of Manitos Trabajadoras, she has learned to collect bottles. This allows her help provide for her family. The program was able to teach her good work ethic and help her find mentorship. In the United States, especially in New York, it’s easier for teens to get support, there are many programs like SYEP, Global Glimpse and CIEE that was able to help many kids to get as much support as possible. Our day deconstructing poverty was life changing. The three key takeaways as glimpsers we took away were to: 1. Take advantage of all opportunities, 2. Always aim high and 3. Be mindful of others.
Thanks for reading,
Isatou and Akua