Us Glimpsers woke up bright and early today at 7:00 to head down to the local food provider, Nativa. At Nativa, the charismatic, silly, and wonderful chef, Cesar met us. We had the opportunity of munching on an assortment of local fresh fruit, yogurt, and a fan favorite, toast. Cesar joked around with us and provided insight into his life here in Ecuador. It was truly a Glimpser highlight to speak to Cesar, for he is full of life and wisdom #CesarIsNumberOne. From the lovely Nativa, we made our way back to Hotel Mashany to wait for our bus driver, Juanito, to shuttle us to our activity, a tour of the community action project site.

After a bouncy 45-minute bus ride up the switchbacks of one of Ecuador’s prized mountains, we arrived at the quaint Reyna Paccha School located in Cacha, Ecuador. Reyna Paccha is a primary school that educates children between the ages of 0-4. We were welcomed with open arms by Maria and Marlene as they took us around the site. Maria and Marlene volunteer at the school with little to no compensation. The dedication and passion that was exuded by these women is something that should be celebrated and looked up to. The tour was quite eye opening for us, due to the fact that education in Ecuador is vastly different from that of which we are accustomed to in the United States. As Maria mentioned, only three out of ten four year old students were able to make it to class today. This is due to the fact that their transportation was late and their parents had to leave for work before they could be picked up. Looking at the three children’s faces, we took the time to reminisce about past bus rides we have taken to school. Imagining how we would feel if we were in the position of those children, we could not help but feel empathetic and privileged. At times, it is quite easy to forget how fortunate we are to live in a country with an established school system and relatively reliable transportation. It is the little things that we overlook that tend to be the greatest obstacle to those who are less fortunate than us.


Through this gut wrenching experience, we were able to push past the surface and dive deep into the root issues surrounding under developed and poverty stricken countries. Our team was able to have an emotional and intelligent conversation surrounding the needs of this school, as they demonstrate substantial need. The areas of need consist of hygiene and the beautification of the grounds. Sitting in our meeting room discussing and designing a project, we couldn’t help but be proud of the communication and compassion that we were able to display. After hours of deliberation, we came to the conclusion that we would like to help install three toilets, grade the uneven terrain and highlight the beautiful scenery surrounding the school with murals. As strong opinions waged, the passion that was evident overpowered differences in opinion to help us accomplish our main goal of helping the local community and its residents #Can’tWaitToDiveIn.


Jara Kider, Highland Park High School

Lena Solomon, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School