This past week has been very busy for me. On Saturday the International office at the university I am attending here in Ecuador, Universidad Espiritu Santo (UEES), participated in a house building project with the foundation-Hogar de Cristo. This non-profit organization builds homes for homeless people in a small country village outside of Guayaquil, Ecuador. My fellow international students and I traveled an hour and 30 minute via bus to the small village to assist in building two homes for families there. Prior to arriving in Ecuador I knew it was considered a "third-world country" however until arriving at this village, I had no clue just how "third-world" Ecuador really is. As soon as the bus parked and all of us started getting off the bus, it really hit me. I looked around me and I could not take in fast enough the images I was seeing, chickens, goats, pigs, dogs, and children all walking/running around with no order, havoc at its finest.
Our group split up into three smaller groups, two for house building and one on cooking duty. Each of the two house building groups had one carpenter with them. My group started from scratch, literally all we had was a small dusty plot of ground, lumber, two saws and two shovels; Hogar de Cristo supplied the walls for the house. We started digging holes for the placement of the foundation. After assembling all the lumber for the foundation we started building the floor. We had to build the house on stilts because here in this part of Ecuador they have two seasons, dry and wet. Along with wet season comes massive flooding and this small village is located about 1/2 of a mile in distance from a large river. We spent the entire day in the blistering sun building the house; occasionally I would take breaks and walk around the village and play with the children. After the completion of the house the most emotional part of the day was handing over the house to the family who would be living there. They were so thankful for what we had done. It was a special moment seeing how happy they were. I am happy I got to be a part of this project. Memories I made from this day will ever be engraved in me.
That was my weekend here in Ecuador. This next week I have a little more free time-I plan on going to the beach! I am coming home in 38 days; I cannot believe four months is almost over. I have made so many memories and friends in this unique country.
Enjoy my pictures and if you have any questions please feel free to ask.