Today we woke up at 7 and had breakfast at 7:30. After we finished breakfast we had our mental warm-up which was a defrief about the progam we would be working with: Manitos Trabajadores. This is an organization that helps out kids ages 4 to 18 by making school a requirement to be a part of the program. They also provide meals for all the kids every Saturday. After the mental warm-up we got into groups and thought of activities we would do with the kids that are part Manitos Trabajadores later on in the day. At 9:45, we took a bus to Maldonado park where we met up with the organization. We introduced ourselves to the children and started our planned activities to get to know them better. After the activity, we got into our groups and began to help the kids sell candy and toys, and shine shoes. Once we finished, we ate lunch as a group and were able to listen to their stories. Before we left back to La Primavera, which is the hostel where we stay, they gave us a speech about how grateful they were that we had helped them to raise money. Seeing that this was the everyday life for the kids, really changed how we all viewed our own lives. It gave us all a sense of gratitude for everything we have back at home. We learned that poverty in Ecuador is very different than in the United States because people here work for their money from a young age even if it isn’t much.
When we got back around 3, we had a self reflection on our experience with Manitos Trabajadores. Then, we planned our lesson for Monday when we will be teaching English to the Ecuadorian students. Then we had some delicious spaghetti for dinner. When everyone finished we had our nightly meeting in which we reflect and hand over the torch to the next Lider Del Dia.