Ecuador has been an eye opening experience. The people in our village live a much different life that the one I live back home. Hot showers, beds and technology are luxuries here. However, Ecuador has something that the United States seriously lacks, Ecuador has community. My host family tries to give me everything that the can, even though I can tell they may not have the means to give me that. The community has “mingas,” where everyone bands together and works on the community to make it a better place. Afterwards everyone cooks food and feasts together. While an Ecuadorian lifestyle might not be comfortable for myself, it is definitely one where I can feel love and kindness at every turn. The trip is coming to a close, and so is REACH. I know I will miss my host family and the program very much, for both have given and taught me so much. Tomorrows departure from the villages will be bittersweet, for I will miss my new family, but that much closer to getting back home.

-          Jake (aka Palex)

The entire group after the  minga

The entire group after the minga

Cuy  (guinea pig) at the post- minga  feast 

Cuy (guinea pig) at the post-minga feast