Hello! –from Cynthia and Dolores!

Being the Leader of the Day (or Lider del Día) on Living Like a Local Day is, to say the least, interesting. For one thing, it was a group effort; the first (in our delegation, at least) two-person leader day took place on this day! This didn’t make the work any easier though. The entire delegation, and consequently its leaders, was split into two groups: one group at the bottom of the hill, and one at the top. Communication was a bit difficult, but overall we both managed well, despite the extra stress and workload.

Today was a very eventful day. To actually experience the life of a local, we had to live life as an actual local. The night before, at 10:30pm, we were cut off from all facilities such as electricity, water, and full meals. An example would be that we took showers with a bucket and used the candle for light. The morning came and the leaders had to wake at 5:30am in order to prepare ourselves to wake the others at 6:30am and to receive our local style breakfast: a hot chocolate and a loaf of bread. I (Dolores) loved the meal. After roll call, we loaded into the bus and got hyped by singing Beyonce and Rihanna.

The Sancocho Soup being cooked.

Bringing the soup down the road!

Once we arrived, we split into two different groups to explore the community, la Canada de las Palmas. Some of the families were up the mountain and down it. Every single one of us experienced, listened, and asked about the lives of a strong but struggling community. While there, we all had each responsibilities and roles to play when assisting the families. We cleaned, prepared food, and learned more of the community by asking personal questions in Spanish and playing games before lunch. Though asking personal questions in Spanish and joining in their activities was difficult, the students demonstrated great respect and joy to this loving community. This experience truly was amazing and I really look forward to creating a project with my peers that can better the community especially to one that is so loving and open to strangers who they bless for being there for them.

Students carrying the Sancocho soup from the kitchen to the community center where we ate together!

We both learned some important lessons in leadership today: never take on more than you can chew; take care of yourself, especially if you’re in unfamiliar terrain; and finally, and most importantly, communication.