Hello Friends and Family!

Today we ate banana pancakes for breakfast, super delicious. We headed to our final English tutoring class at the school. We taught for an hour and fifteen minutes and then wrapped up to conclude with our graduation ceremony. At the ceremony, everyone and their teaching partner handed out certificates to their students to acknowledge the 35 hours of work they all put in this week. We came back to the hotel and had a mental warm up all about social injustice. We took the bus to the city center and met the children at the park. The organization, Manitos Trabajadoras, work with children who work on the streets who are deprived of a basic childhood including food, education, and necessities. It was raining in the park once we got there so we had to come back to the hotel with the children and the staff to play and eat there.

At the hotel, we played volleyball, soccer, catch, frisbee, and colored with the kids. While eating lunch, provided by the Manitos Trabajadoras, we got to communicate with the kids and have great conversations with them. After spending quality time with them, we understood a little more about the struggles they go through in their daily lives and learned not to take the small things for granted. Javier, the organization leader, was an extremely compassionate person, someone with a pure heart. He dedicates his time and efforts to help the children through this non-profit organization and he really showed us a special glimpse of what it is like to be a child struggling with poverty. The kids gifted us really cute, handmade keychains as a way of saying thank you to us, even though we thought we were the ones to say thank you to them. One brave child talked about how he will never forget us, how meaningful today was for them, and for God to bless us, it was really touching.

After an emotional goodbye with the kids, we had free time to prepare for our CAP presentations with Cesar. The CAP project presentation consisted of our three groups (communal house, mural, and the storage house), where we were able to share our thought-out ideas with Cesar and the community president. After a couple explanations and iterations, we were able to come to a consensus about what exactly we will be doing for our CAP project this weekend. After the presentations, we had some free time and then had dinner. Then we had our nightly meeting, where we discussed some deeper, emotional topics about social injustice, poverty, and our families. We definitely bonded through this conversation and really felt like we were getting to know our peers more through them sharing out.

Today was an eye opener for us, we go to understand how people and their struggles are in other countries. How a family, adults and youth, have to work extremely hard just to provide a hot meal on the table every day.

“”Right now we are struggling in our own ways, but we have to remember that we are going to make change later in the future, and once we get there, the only limit is what we want to give” -Jonathon

We look forward to our hike to Volcano Chimborazo tomorrow, especially since it will be Rashad’s birthday!!

Big Love,
Laura & Jonathon

From Jonathon: Shout out to Juanito, my mom, and grandma…thank you for supporting me.

From Laura: Anna, hope your last day at Kaiser is GREAT! 😀