Us Glimpsers woke up this morning very excited to see what the day had to offer! We stopped by La Estancia where the cook, Ana, generously made us a delicious breakfast to-go so we could save time and eat it on the bus ride to the community of San Juan de LLullundongo. After about half an hour in the bus going up a rocky mountainside, we arrived at the community. Immediately we were greeted by the breathtaking views of the hillsides, covered in lush green crops. We were lucky to experience a clear sky, which allowed us to see all of Chimborazo, a volcano in which the tip of it is the closest point on Earth to the sun because of the way the Earth is shaped and where Ecuador is located.


When we got off the bus, we went down a hill to meet our speaker, Angel, who is a leader in the community and helps keeps things running smoothly. He taught us how to make adobe bricks, used to make their houses, which we spent the next couple hours making. We had to shovel dirt on a hillside, carry the dirt in sacks up the hill to another site, smooth out the dirt by hitting with sticks, add water and stomp the mud to mix it, and finally put it in molds to get it in the brick shape. It was very hard work, but everyone had a great time and was open to getting their hands dirty. It was eye opening to experience how hard the people of the community work to make something that we in the US can easily buy at the store or hire someone to do for us.


After many long hours in the sun, we headed up a very steep mountain to the nursery where we were graciously given a huge meal consisting of soup, rice, chicken, and potatoes from the women in the community. The people have very little to live off, yet still were kind enough to give all 28 of us a full meal. We’re continuing to see that type of hospitality all over Guaranda, which is why we’re all quickly falling in love with the town! We also got to meet many of the children in the community, who were so sweet and full of love. They made fun for themselves out of the simplest things, like passing a potato around, which was very admirable.


Once we got back on the bus, everyone was super exhausted. We got back to the hostel and had a little time to change our clothes and freshen up for our first night of English tutoring! We headed over to Verbo Divino, the school where we will be doing our week of tutoring. There was some disorganization at first with the class rosters, but once everyone was in the right rooms the teaching really took off! There are 9 different classes, and 2-3 Glimpsers teaching in each one. Each class is a different level of difficulty, so the Glimpsers who are fluent in Spanish can teach students who know no English at all and the ones who know no Spanish can teach students who are almost fluent in English. After talking with everyone after the classes were over, we realized everyone had very different experiences. Some said it was a disaster, and some said it was amazing! But either way, it was just the first day and we have the rest of the week to improve on our teaching methods 😉.


For dinner, we went back to La Estancia and had what Roberto and I would consider the best meal so far! We were served chicken lasagna, and tres leches cake for dessert. So delicious! After filling up our stomachs we headed back to the hostel for our nightly meeting to reflect on what we experienced throughout the day.


Overall, today was fantastic! We love visiting all of the communities and being able to be a part of their culture, even if only for a day. The locals are extremely generous for allowing us to visit them and take part in their everyday lives. I can definitely say that even after these first 4 days I’m already way more grateful for the life I live in California than I was before I left for this trip. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the trip has in store! Thanks for reading 😊

–  Anna y Roberto