HI GLIMPSERS, FAMILIES AND FRIENDS!
Stephanie and Jasmin here, ready to share our AMAZING day with you guys.
The best and truly most eye-opening experience today was visiting the Pusuca Community and working like a local (Today’s theme)! This community is no joke. They’re one of the most hardworking and dedicated group of people I believe most of us have ever met. We gathered up a few community members in a “minga” which is a group of people from the community working together. Today we paved the paths leading from the top of the mountain to the bottom in our “minga”.
Today’s theme was paralleling the work ethic here in Ecuador to that of the United States. They are more focused on agriculture and unity than any community here in the US. They have this strong sense of unity because of the challenges they had to overcome. Most of the community members were forced to leave their homes in Puela due to a volcanic eruption. Even after all this they are still striving and working to become stronger and better than they were. To be honest, I know EVERYONE’S biggest challenge was digging into those mountains and paving the roads.
Our group of 16-18 year old students, were struggling to do things these older people did with their eyes closed! Ms. DeVico even found herself a little buddy named Gabriel. They were hand in hand every second, it was the cutest thing ever. Gabriel’s friends, Carlito, Sebastian, and Victor all helped us in the “minga”, such commitment from little kids amazed us!
We met the founder and president of the community who had a huge impact on our lives. After working all morning we joined the community for a very special lunch. Those that didn’t pave paths with us, stayed home and cooked all morning. They served us a delicious feast of chicken, rice, and a salad with radish, cucumbers, avocado, onions and lemon. We even got to try “Cuy” which is a local delicacy, it’s guinea pig! We all agreed that it tastes like duck. During this lunch we had a meeting to discuss what our “Community Action Project” will be. This was enlightening because they shared with us their needs and wants as a community. Stay tuned for more info on how we will be helping this community!
On our way back to Riobamba we had to improvise and prepare for our English classes on the bus, without any supplies! Why? Because we got a flat tire! Lucky for us we had the best driver in all of Riobamba. Juanito’s daily phrase is “Muy bien excelente y cada dia mejor” this means “I am good, excellent and better every day”. He just hopped off the bus and fixed the tire, no complaints, no hesitation, just commitment.
Being the Leader Del Dia was difficult but extremely rewarding. “One of the challenges was doing something we did not want to do in order to be a role model to our members.”(Jasmin) “One of the biggest challenges was stepping out of my comfort zone to influence my peers in a positive way.” (Stephanie) Receiving respect from a group of our peers was rewarding because this showed the compassion, commitment and courage that we all have for each other.