“A lot of little people, doing little things in little places, can change the world.” – Eduardo Galeano

Community Action Project, Day 3

Question of the Day: What have you learned from working with the community? Who is one person you will miss seeing? 

Bittersweet. That is one word that we would use to describe our last full day here in Guaranda. Today marks the inauguration of the school of Educacion Basica of San Juan de Llullundongo, so our delegation traveled back to the community to spend time with the kids and celebrate our unity in finishing our project.

Completion of the Community Action Project

Before we came together, the school seemed to be overlooked by its surroundings and some students felt that the outside appearance didn’t reflect all the heart the community poured into it. By painting it a vibrant yellow, we were able to put the school on the map, allowing it to be noticed from miles away. We spent the day playing soccer and ecua-volley, really soaking in the last few moments we would have with them. After exchanging dance moves and words of appreciation, we were presented with a plaque that expressed deep gratitude “for a job well done for the good of the institution.”

Throughout the Community Action Project days, we exemplified the three C’s (commitment, courage, and compassion) by maintaining high spirits even when we faced miscommunication, sickness, and reluctance to step out of our comfort zones.

With regard to the quote of the day, we came to the conclusion that as individuals alone, we may not have been able to create such a lasting impact. However, together, through minga (community gathering), we were able to complete something much more sustainable. Having been a very emotional day for the majority of us, we were able to find strength in vulnerability and comfort in the presence of one another.  On that note, tonight during our final nightly meeting, our feelings were running high as we embraced our growth as individuals, as well as a family.

Our experiences have shaped our perspectives on the importance of daily face-to-face interaction and taught us that no matter the amount of apparent differences, there is always a common thread that connects us. We learned that it’s okay to lean on others for support and that sometimes tears signify strength. Our time with Kichwa communities opened our eyes to new ways of looking at the world and never before did we look at the Earth and thank her, and never again will we not do so.

Big Love to:

  • Our Program Coordinators, Steph and Camilo – for making Guaranda feel like home for these past two weeks, for taking care of us, and for providing such an enriching learning environment.
  • Our GG Leaders Brendan, Brittney, and Carlos – for always treating us like their own and being so selfless each day.
  • GU2A delegation – for their inclusiveness and the bonds that we have built through laughter and tears.
  • Pachamama – for providing us with the gift of natural resource and the beauty that surrounds us.
  • Tour guides and guest speakers – for their insight and opening our hearts and minds to the possibilities of our capabilities.

“They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds.” -Unknown