Today was awesome!

The day started off at 8:30 (most people woke up before that though) and we had an amazing breakfast of cheese bread, ham, and hard-boiled eggs. There was some jam added to the meal last minute due to numerous requests, making breakfast a little more fun. The juice for today’s breakfast was papaya and I have to say it was delicious!

Following the wonderful breakfast, we began preparing for a visit to Love On (an Ecuadorian organization that focuses on education) with a mental warm-up providing background on the current state of Ecuador’s education system and realities. We arrived at Love On and were greeted by the head of Love On, Paúl, as well a teacher, volunteers, and even a current student! Paúl explained how Love On was created because he saw a lack of education and leadership skills in children which caused a lack of future opportunities. The goal of Love On is to help its students to pursue education while also facilitating an environment where every child—no matter their situation—can be responsible for their learning and have greater opportunities.

We left Love On and headed back to La Primavera for a lunch that I wish I could have again! It was a chicken soup, fish and onion salad, and jello with juice that was very good. We had an hour of free time, which unfortunately led to the loss of a soccer ball over the wall (luckily it was back later). Free time was followed by a short seminar about the community we will focus our CAP on, El Molino. After learning about how Community Day will go and what we will be doing/asking we got some more free time to spend at the accommodation. The group played some soccer, did some games, talked, and some took naps. That was followed by a great dinner of chicken, lentils, and a piece of cake (the lack of soup was a first).

After dinner we quickly headed over to Escuela Martiniano Guerrero to sit in on adult night classes. The group split into three groups to observe and interact with different classes. We talked about some Ecuadorian culture (dances, food, environments), why people ended up attending the night classes (injuries, economic status, parents, jobs), and we got to share information about the U.S. while assisting in English language exercises. We were able to understand more about the circumstances which have led people to these situations, the ways we could support El Molino if they have similar issues, and how we could take this experience into our own lives by valuing the position we are in.

After that we finished up the day with a Nightly Meeting to reflect back on our day and I passed the torch of LDD to Eduardo. Looking forward to tomorrow’s early start of 6:15!

– Micah S.