After being passed the torch of leader of the day last night, all electricity and water was turned off to simulate the lives of the native people in the Constanza community. We did this to step into the shoes and experience to live with limited resources. Living like a local day opened my eyes to the natural way of life with no electronics, gathering your own resources, and no water. Being a leader during this day gave me a new perspective on what it means to be a community; it doesn’t mean to have materialistic objects but to have a strong bond with those closest to you. Not only did I have to gather up all twenty five students, I had to help organize and serve a small mountain community food. What surprised me the most on this day isthe discovery of pre-teen standards. Girls from as young as thirteen are expected to marry a man double their age and have a child. I can only imagine how demoralizing this is to the young girls as they have no other option. As I participated in the daily activities of the families it made me aware that the life this community lives is polar opposite to what we experience at home. The family that I spent my day with had no electricity and had no water for three days. When they did get water the water was dirty and contaminated. This lack of clean water results in diseases and parasites that torment the local people. Sadly, they don’t have the same access to medical care as we de. Despite all of this, these families welcomed all of the Global Glimpsers with love and open arms. Living like a local day really changed my life, I will forever be grateful for all the things I have as I know there are people who are less fortunate and still have a positive outlook on life.

~ Serenity Taylor (#STSAFE)

Being Leader Del Dia has been a very intriguing but also rewarding and life changing experience for today’s particular theme, “Living Like a Local”. We went through the day with no running water, no electricity andhad to take bucket showers like the local people here in Constanza and the other 80% of the world. Waking up very early like an average local at 6 in the morning or even earlier. We had a simple breakfast, which was two pieces of bread and hot chocolate. After that, we traveled to Canadas De Las Palmas, an agricultural sector here in the rural side of Constanza, where we started our day as locals. First arriving at this community, we were received with the most pure love in all of the world despite being total strangers. An old lady of the community rushed to us and said “Mis ninos!!” which means “My children” in Spanish. I was very surprised as she hugged and kissed every single one of us very strongly. Throughout that day we had lunch with the community, and in the community hall was such a strong vibe of unity and love that it was just so impactful. Reflecting on this, it reminded me of my own family. These people have almost nothing, yet they are so grateful for what they do have, and thank the Lord for every blessing they have. Their strong sense of unity and family is what helps them survive in these overwhelming conditions. My family emigrated from Ecuador into the U.S., and my father’s stories of his own hardships when he was around my age all came flooding back. The pure love feeling that I experienced here in Constanza, is similar to that of my family back home. I feel guilty that I never appreciated this love until now, and honestly I cannot wait to show my family the new me. In the end, materialistic things do not matter in this world, when love overrides all.

~ Carlos Rodriguez (“I am the Master of my Fate, I am the Captain of My Soul.”) – Excerpt from the poem Invictus