Hey everyone that’s reading, just want to let you know that we’re doing alright. Actually, better than alright. We’re doing great! Today was our Living Like a Local day, and we were all overwhelmed with such love from the communities we spent time with today. As you may know, we’re staying in a more urban area of Constanza, but after a fifteen minute drive, we arrived at a mountainous community called Canada Las Palmas. All of us had unique experiences with various families. However, we all had something in common which was the warm welcome we received. Right when we got off the bus, we were greeted by hugs and kisses from one of the local families, and we were immediately accepted as one of their own.

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We were broken up into groups and led to our families for the day. We soon learned about their living situation. It was not like the warm showers, the great amount of space, and freedom to use to electricity that we often take for granted. Many in this community are living in poverty, however this did not prevent them from spoiling us as one of their beloved. We were offered coffee, their only chairs, and the best that they had to give.

We helped with their daily chores such as mopping the floor, sweeping the dust, and cleaning what little mess they allowed us to do. Though, most of the day was spent playing with the kids and listening to the locals and what they had to say. Their stories humbled us as details of violence and poor living conditions touched our heart, which helped us reflect on our lives back in in the states. Although, their past may seem sad, today they do not live in the sadness. We discovered that the families here were happy and content and shared a strong sense of unity. Their joy derived from the community which could only be described by a quote made by one of our fellow glimpsers. “Yes, people lose loved ones in their lives but, whatever they lacked the people filled up the missing parts.”

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Similar experiences, occurred in the next community, Los Embasadores. We visited a school and listened to adults and children tell us about the needs in their communities. Like in Canada Las Palmas, here we were also greeted with a warm welcome, and quickly bonded with the people. The objective of the visit was to find out what they wanted done as a project to benefit the school or where they live and be sustainable. This was the first step to our community action project which you will hear more about in the coming days.

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In addition to the visits, we were actually co leaders for the day also known as El Lider Del Dia. We both thought it was a very fun learning experience. It was a great opportunity to learn how to be great leaders. We were in charge of making sure the group was safe, hydrated, and motivated because we had a long day that included bucket showers and simple meals, a reality challenge that pushed us to immerse ourselves with the locals. Some tips that we took from this experience that we can use in the future are being more professional and assertive, while continuing to be punctual and compassionate.

Thanks for reading.