Our group in front of Casa Victoria

The view from our hostel balcony

The view from our hostel balcony

We may have arrived late our first night, and we may be all adjusting to life at over 9,000 feet, but the inaugural Global Glimpse Ecuador crew could not be more energized and excited for the days that lie ahead.

After our first day exploring Quito, some first impressions shared:

“Quito reminds me of San Francisco.”

“Wow! The architecture!”

“This has been a really great day….starting with the morning, and that really cool fruit.”

“People here seem more warm and approachable than back in the States.”

“I don’t get really tired….but, like….I’m really tired.”

Needless to say, our days have been busy, yet incredibly meaningful. Today, our program coordinators took us on a walking tour of the historic downtown area of the city, passing through Plaza de la Independencia (and the President’s palace) and several other buildings and churches built in the colonial era.

We ended the tour at Casa Victoria, a nonprofit organization that provides a safe, enriching environment for children from economically disadvantaged families in the area. Mama Alicia, Casa Victoria’s Founder and Director, made us home-cooked pizza with all ingredients bought locally or grown in Casa Victoria’s house garden.¬†Fernanda, one of our program coordinators with an extensive background in sustainable agriculture, reminded us that our food choices make an impact, and invited us to reflect on how we could make a difference by being more intentional with what we ate (the advice seemed to work: at our nightly meeting, one student reflected “That pizza was actually really delicious….I’ve never actually had a zucchini in my pizza before…and that was cool.”). Afterwards, we got into an intense game of futbol: Global Glimpse vs. the kids of Casa Victoria

photo 4 (2)

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The result of a “dirty” header.

Students ended the day with genuine reflections on what they’ve seen or experienced:

On forcing each other to meet new people and have new experiences:¬†“I’m hoping we can all can continue pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone, instead of just trying to create another comfort zone within this space.”

On our society as a whole:¬†“I think before today I had been losing a lot of hope, but today has really started restoring my faith in people.”

We’re tired, and a bit dizzy (and many of us are wishing we had practiced more of our Spanish). But we all couldn’t be more excited for what this country will teach us next.

Excited to reach our host city of Riobamba tomorrow!