Our trip is dedicated to helping the citizens of Ecuador; today we made our first advances in doing so.

We traveled to a school called FAE, located about 25 minutes away in a community called San Lorenzo. Here students aged six to fifteen. I think we can all agree that this school is nothing like the ones we know in the States. It is very poor, windows were broken, paint was peeling off the walls. Despite this, the teachers who work there are some of the most dedicated we had ever met. They travel over 3 hours a day to go to school. They continue this dedication through their summer break. One of the largest issues this school faces is transportation. Most of the students cannot make it to class every day because they have to walk over an hour to school, or they have to care for their younger siblings. Nonetheless, every student was very welcoming and had a smile on their face. To get to know the students, we played volleyball, soccer and even joined them in their PE class. They whooped us in volleyball, and they weren’t even trying. We came to this school to find possible projects that will help improve the learning of the children or the general state of the school. Soon we will come together to plan this project or donation.

After staying for two hours, we traveled back to Guaranda to prepare for English tutoring. We were given an hour to prepare a lesson plan for students aged eight to seventeen. Divided into groups of two or three, based on our ability to speak Spanish, we delivered this lesson plan to the students in an IB school down the road from our school. Personally speaking, this was challenging at first; teaching a class is probably very new to all of us. However, it was funny that the students would laugh at us every once in a while when we would pronounce a word wrong or say something that made absolutely no sense. We look forward to spending the next few days teaching the kids.

Hope it’s all smooth sailing in the States

– Jacksonian and Smit