Today’s topics were education and politics. After breakfast, we headed back to the hostel and started a mental warm up. This mental warm up consisted of a discussion about the statistics of the education in Ecuador. The top three barriers to education in Ecuador are ethnicity, location, and gender. Since one of the Question of the Day was “How does the education system in Ecuador compare to that of the US?”, we also discussed barriers to education in the United States. Some barriers included socioeconomic status, parent involvement, ethnicity, and standardize tests. After our mental warm up, we had two guest speakers from the Peace Corps, named Lucy and Nora. Our guest speakers explained to us what their role is in Ecuador. They teach English at a high school in Riobamba. Although they are involved in education in Ecuador, Peace Corps give the opportunity for people to travel to many other countries and be a part of different branches, such as medicine and youth development. Many of us were inspired by the new information we learned about the Peace Corps and might also apply for it once we get older!
Once we wrapped up the education topic, we moved to politics. We started a mental warm up by each reading a card that said a part of Ecuador’s history and we inferred how the locals might have felt during this time. My card explained about the Ecuadorian railroad that took eight years to build. Also because of the terrain in Ecuador, this railroad was considered one of the most hardest construction project in the world. I inferred that most Ecuadorians felt proud of their country for accomplishing something so big. Once our mental warm up was finished, I led an activity for the group. In this activity, I asked everyone to complete the sentence “I want a USA with…” and “I don’t want a USA with…” The group came up with some very passionate ideas, including wanting equal opportunities for both men and women and not wanting student debt. I then asked the group the second Question of the Day, which was “Why is it important for us to be involved in politics?” I received many different answers but mainly those saying that we must participate and be involved in order to change the government for the better.
In the afternoon, we presented our idea for our Community Action Project with Casa de la Mujer. Our presentation included explaining about our painting and gardening ideas for the house. The owner of Casa de la Mujer loved our ideas and presentation. We are all so excited to put our ideas to the test on Sunday and Monday!To wrap up our day, we decided to have an early celebration for Gianni’s birthday. He was super surprised and happy to receive a cake once we walked into the restaurant, Roma Santa. An Ecuadorian tradition is to bite the cake once you blow out the candles. Once dinner concluded, we played tag outside of the restaurant with the restaurant owner’s son, Nelson. Nelson helped to remind us of the childhood that we all missed so much!Today was a great day and I enjoyed being El Lider Del Dia!