In July I went on a Putney Student Travel trip to Ecuador with 14 students and 2 leaders. For two and a half weeks my group stayed in a village called Chilacapamba in the home of the Morales family. During our time there we were involved in a number of projects within the community. We did a lot of work at the local Church including refurbishing the exterior of the building by painting it and decorating the end of the building with a mural. We also leveled the ground in front of the church, mixed cement and poured a cement patio. While we were volunteering at the church, many local people worked with us, especially on Minga days, in which members of the community come together and do work that benefits everyone. During the Minga days we were able to meet and work with many community members ranging from young children to seniors. Although these days could be a little overwhelming due to the sheer number of people present, it was rewarding to see that our efforts helped the community. Our final project was to unearth a water pipe which connects the main reservoir to houses in the community. Some houses previously did not have access to running water. We dug a trench about four feet deep by a hundred feet long.
What I enjoyed about this trip was that we were able to help advance many community projects. It was great being able to work with a number of community members who were all very kind and welcoming. Although I don’t speak Spanish, I was still able to communicate and connect in different ways with the locals. It was also interesting to learn more about the indigenous Ecuadorian culture prevalent in Chilcapamba. This trip taught me that being a part of a community means contributing to a common goal. Through service we too can continue to help our local communities and bring about a better world.
Putney Student Travel: goputney.com