07/14/2015: Jugando con los Valores: My First Couple Days of Summer Camp

June 24, 2016

Playing with Values!

I had meant to post a blog over the weekend about a really fun time going out on the town as a goodbye celebration to a roommate and going to another city in Quito to check out their market, but unfortunately, internet throughout the city and in my house was scarce to non-existent. Now, with the limited spare time I have, I will focus on writing about my current priority...

The organization I'm volunteering for, CENIT, puts on two camps at the same time during the summer. I'm at the San Roque site, meanwhile there are other volunteers at Camal. Both these locations are market areas, wherein the children usually work with their parents to sell their goods.

San Roque is a particularly poor area, which is definitely a sad reality, but a reality nonetheless. Today, one of our campers, who's just 8 years old, told us he and his 6 year old brother woke at 5am to begin working with the family. After camp is over, it's not uncommon for us to see our campers back in the market working. This means that for these two weeks, from 8:30am to 1pm, these kids have a means to have fun, play games, be creative, make friends, learn about values and positive messages, etc. Realizing that has really made this volunteer position a sobering experience.

I whole-heartedly believe it's important to delve into reality outside our own, particularly of those we may view to be less fortunate. On the outside, a considerable number of these kids have behavioral issues or something going on with them, but when you come to understand their reality, you come to understand them. If that isn't a critical life lesson, I can't imagine what is.

I'm really looking forward to seeing where the rest of these two weeks take me. In the meantime, enjoy these few pictures in the gallery below! I took a lot of videos, excited to share the energy of our camp in a more tangible way, but sadly, the videos would have taken, literally, days to complete, so these will have to do for now!