El Papa in Quito!

May 6, 2016

Spirit Cultural Exchange offers individuals the opportunity to help with a variety of volunteer projects in Ecuador while immersing themselves in the local culture. Volunteer projects are available throughout the year for a minimum of one week and are offered in many different fields. We hope you enjoy reading the blogs of our summer 2015 scholarship recipients, Alex Elizzaraga and Rita Hess.

For Those Who Don't Know, El Papa = The Pope
Tuesday, July 7th, I had the pleasure of waiting to see Pope Francis drive by with thousands of others on a street close to my house. The city was in chaos. Streets closed down, most commerce closed, and little to no public transit availability. It was truly an experience.

The Pope

The pope held mass on Tuesday at Quito's old airport. The total population of Quito is ~1.6 million people. The total people that are reported to have been at Pope Francis' mass service surpasses 1 million. Like I said, the city was chaos.

Check out this video of the pandemonium of his drive-by!

What to Look Forward To

This week, I started my volunteer work. What we're doing is setting up a two-week camp for children whose families work in some of Quito's poorer markets. The program it's through is CENIT, and what they do is try to educate families on health and nutrition while providing children with a safe place to have fun and learn. The point of that is to say I will attempt to write more about the details of our preparation because CAMP STARTS MONDAY! Between being away to volunteer from 8am to ~5:30pm and exploring Quito, I haven't had a lot of time to write about the experience, so I'm hoping I can this weekend.

Further, I believe I'll be going to Otavalo this weekend, where I'm told there's a very large market. I'll take pictures and reflect on that experience too, hopefully!

Thanks for checking out what I've got to say!