20160624_155040Hello all! As seen by today’s post’s title, we learned about the political background of Ecuador. We had several discussions and listened to four speakers from the Political School in Unach and friends. We also had several hours of free time to relax and enjoyed more food.

We started this morning with some sad news; our planned leader of the day was sick and could not leave the hostel. But despite our setback, we managed to stay on schedule and get to Cafe del Tren on time and enjoy the delicious food we were served.

Back at the hostel, we started to discuss the political history of Ecuador. We learned more about Rafael Correa and his last several years in office. Correa is known for his political support from the lower class and his fight against of privatized companies, yet in his recent years, he has received less support from Ecuadorians due to his dominant presence. He has several laws passed to give him more political power in passing laws. Aside from Correa, we learned that the people of Ecuador need to participate in politics. If they choose not to, however, they cannot receive the government aid that is given to all other people. We had an interesting discussion about how much power people should be given and how people can break political norms that society has come to expect: not voting for a president because your vote doesn’t matter.

We took a short break from politics and had some down time. We walked to the park and briefly discussed what we want in and don’t want in the United States. The discussion encouraged us to think about the complexity of needs and the requirements for those needs to be satisfied. We learned that when affirmative action taken in small, effective steps, overtime, successful results can be made. After the discussion, we enjoyed an hour at the park. Some people went paddle boating in the large pond nearby, and some people played some pick-up soccer.

We walked straight to the restaurant, Roma Santa, and enjoyed another wonderful meal.

After lunch, we rested. We then heard from our four speakers. They discussed the history of the indigenous people in Ecuador. We learned about the inequalities, hardships, and current uneven playing field native Ecuadorian’s endure today. They also discussed how they try to kept there culture present in modern Ecuador while the western world continuously impacts social lifestyles of people. We learned about the lack of political roles natives have in Ecuador and the importance of having balances between natives, mestizos, males, and females in Ecuador’s political roles.

During our last break, half of us went to an internet cafe while the other half stayed back and relaxed. We also enjoyed more pastries from the bakery on the corner. (Mom and Dad and brother: I’ll call you eventually, I promise. I’m doing well.)

We then walked to Roma Santa and enjoyed our dinner. Afterwards, we did our nightly meeting.