Heyo Bros,

Today was Deconstructing Poverty day which was probably the most emotional day yet. We focused on not trying to solve poverty, but tried to understand what it is and where it comes from. In the morning we worked with a family run organization called Manitos Trabajadoras. The program offers a safe space for kids to act like children when they often cannot due to having to work from an early age. This program offers meals every Saturday for the kids, and helps them sell candy and toys to help fund the organization.

We joined them at Parque Maldonado at 10am to help sell candy and toys with the children. First, we played Dragon Tails and Human Knot together. After that we split into two groups, to go sell at two different parks. Glimpsers paired up with a kid to sell various treats such as cotton candy or jello. After thirty minutes of selling we got back together and sat down with older members of the program, learning about their experience in the program and just getting to know them. Then we played a little more with the kids and hugged our goodbyes.

The rest of the day was spent reflecting on the experience, planning our CAP project, and tutoring sessions. During the self reflection on poverty many Glimpsers expressed their shock with how happy the kids were. In comparison to their hard lives the kids showered us with love. Glimpsers expressed during the discussion that this friendly outlook on life was something they wanted to carry home with them. These kids face constant rejection and are largely ignored by the public, as we sold with them we got ignored as well. This interaction made us realize that we can’t ignore poverty anymore, in Ecuador or in the Bay Area.

Today is the second day of our CAP project and we are in the design phase. We took all the information and suggestions we heard yesterday at Carlos Garbay and picked which would be best. Considering our budget, time frame, and sustainability of the project we chose to build new pens for the guinea pigs, plant native trees, and to revamp the dusted murals. We can’t wait to start building.

We will soon start tutoring English in two days. Groups rushed to make posters depicting various sports to teach to the students. Lesson plans are underway and will be done by tomorrow.

We must now go because our curfew has been pushed up. Tomorrow is our fun day! Stay tuned.