In July I went to Ecuador with the “Me to We Foundation”, to participate in a humanitarian trip and help advance the construction of a facility in one of the communities in the Amazon, a region of Ecuador! Our mission was the foundation, the first step of building a kitchen, so the children could have a good lunch when they are at school! This building will be used as well for workshops so that parents can learn how to cook nutritious food for their families.

During my stay, I learned so much about their culture and I participated in so many fun activities! The first activity we did was to go to the Equator, which is the Center of the world! We were able to balance an egg on a nail. It was so cool! We also were able to the “PTO” test that we see our strength capacity on the northern hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere!

The second thing we did was to go on a tour of the city of Quito, it was the most beautiful city I had ever seen! It was so simple but yet so many details, very memorable and marked in my memories!

 

 

After exploring the city for several hours, we went to eat lunch in a very famous park called “Itchimbia“. We took pictures of the huge mountains and of the “Quito” sign. What a great day!

 

The third day in Ecuador was our travel day to the Amazon! The bus ride was very bumpy and was approximately 6 hours! We even stopped for pizza!! Who knew they served pizza in the Amazon?? I was very happy about that a pleasant surprise. On that day we met the nice staff of The Minga Lodge where we would be staying for a couple of days! Here’s a Cool fact, Minga in Spanish means working as a community through the same goal! We did our first “Minga” when we got to the lodge, we were in a line and had to pass the bags up! I was very proud of my group for doing so! 😊

Forth day gets more interesting!
We finally arrived to the work site and start making a difference in the community!
We stayed a full day, and we got so much done in a short period of time!! Great teamwork! Even the locals were very impressed in how well we worked, even though we were a small group it didn’t stop us of from achieving our personal goals and our group goal , Minga!

Day 5, was really fun!! We got to go to the work site for half a day and then we got to do a “water walk” with the Bargases, a family who lives across the river from where we were staying at! It was very frustrating and mind boggling to realize that this family had to walk the same distance we had just walked at least five times a day just to get enough water to drink and to wash.. the sad thing is.. the water was not clean at all.. I’m so thankful that “Me To We” decided to make a change and they helped that family to create a system for safe drinking water!
That’s me with the flower hat 👇🏼👇🏼

Day 6, we went the the official “Me to We” Cocoa Farm to discover the difference types of cocoa! We were able to see it and taste it right from the raw pod, it actually tastes pretty nasty doesn’t taste a thing like chocolate! I was very surprised and learned a lot from this experience!

Cocoa pod  Day 6, we went the the official “Me to We” Cocoa Farm to discover the difference types of cocoa! We were able to see it and taste it right from the raw pod, it actually tastes pretty nasty doesn’t taste a thing like chocolate! I was very surprised and learned a lot from this experience!

After the Cacao Farm we went to another farm where they grow their fruits and vegetables! It was so nice and we got to plan our own tree! I was so excited when I knew I was gonna plan an avocado tree because that’s my favourite vegetable! 

Day 7, we went back to the building site and did so much more! This time we were extremely motivated to do everything they asked from us since it was the second last day before we would be heading back! We worked on the construction site with our hard hats and yellow boots they provided us with! Then we had a fun activity with some ladies from another community who make the “Me to We” bracelets! They shared with us their experience of living in their community and how they got to be part of the group! We all got to make our own bracelets which was so fun, we even got to keep them! I am still wearing it! 

Day 8, Today was a very emotional because we got to work on the site for the very last time! We got everything done as planned which was a
great feeling of accomplishment,everyone was so proud!!

 

After working we got to got to meet a Shaman(healer)he cleansed us with Tobacco leaves and full of other things, a typical ritual that is practiced there. We then went in his backyard and he showed us the weapons they used for killing their food, we were able to test them too!

This was also our last night at Minga Lodge and a group of traditional dancers came to dance for us! It was fascinating to see them dance and how it represented something from their culture! My favourite dance that they did was when the girls were pretending to be fishing in the river! It was so creative!

Day 9 was also very emotional because we had to say goodbye to everyone from the Minga Lodge! And we were already back in the bus coming back to Quito! Time seemed to go so fast and yet slow at times ! I practiced living the present moment to appreciate and cherish everything!

 Day 10, we went to visit a beautiful museum in downtown Quito right before we had to catch our flight! We even learned more on the Ecuadorian people, and the many different types of systems they use for the different lifestyles compared to us.
After the museum, we rushed back to the hotel got our bags and headed to the airport!! We left Ecuador at around 3:30 to only be back home at 12:30pm! It was a long plane ride and at the same time in my head so quick as I was remembering my trip and all that I learned and lived.

 

I would like to thank “Me to We” for giving the opportunity to me and others to experience an amazing and eye opening trip that is graved in my heart! This was my first humanitarian trip but definitely not the last !

I would also like to thank my wonderful dance teacher for organizing this trip and having the patience and determination to organize some fundraising events! A special Thank-you to her husband as well for coming on the trip and helping us when we had the smallest injuries! 

Thank you everyone for reading my long post, hope you enjoyed it! Perhaps I have inspired you and Maybe you’ll to join me on my next humanitarian trip? 😉

-Stephanie your Miss Teenage Quebec 2018 xox

Written by: Stephanie
Posted On: Categories:Miss Teenage Quebec

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