Hello Friends and Family!

Today we visited Manitos Trabajadoras, a project that works with working children of Riobamba. The project began 10 years ago, created by Fabricio Espín, and is continued on by his siblings Flor and Javier. The project works with underprivileged children who are often left behind in society and overlooked. It aims to better their lives through organizing donations, lunches, and activities for them.

We shadowed these children and helped them during their jobs, which included selling cotton candy, toys, handmade bracelets, and spumoni on the streets of Riobamba. Afterwards, we shared a lunch followed by a game of duck, duck, goose. Our game was cut short however by unexpected showers, so we decided to host our speaker Javier at the hotel, where he explained the importance of the project and our role, as well as challenges posed by conflicting government ideology and lack of resources. We were able to give the project school supplies donated by Glimpsers and winter clothing provided by the Pittsburg Unified School District (Courtesy of Aleksys), which they greatly appreciated.

After spending time with Manitos Trabajadoras, we had a special birthday dinner at Roma Santa for Jackson’s Super 17.

Our group as a whole was greatly impacted by our work with Manitos Trabajadoras, and we engaged in an in-depth reflection surrounding the experiences we shared during our Nightly Meeting. Many of us were moved by the children’s enthusiasm for their work as well as the things we take for granted most of the time in our own lives. We were also impacted by the level of passion that the participants in the program showed for the children and their community. Seeing children, many of which were under the age of ten, having to provide for themselves and sacrifice a part of their childhood made us realize the privilege that we have considering the communities that we come from. It was a fully eye-opening day for all of us on RB1B. For the kids, they appreciated the attention and love from us that they are not used to receiving from people in the streets of Riobamba. From them, we learned humility and compassion, opening our eyes to the life of a working child, and although we worked with them for only an hour and a half, We are grateful that they were willing to open their heart so that we could open our minds.