Hi, I’m Vivian and I went on a week long trip to Quito, Ecuador. While there my group volunteered with an organization called UBECI that travels to different street markets and plays and teaches basic lessons to the children there. When traveling to the markets, we had to take public transportation and ride for 30minutes to an hour one way with our all of our supplies. After setting up large tents we would play with these kids for hours in two shifts battling unpredictable Ecuadorean weather. At the end of the day we were sunburned and drained. After a week we realized how exhausting yet necessary this program is. For many children, it’s their sole way of enjoying their childhood and learning manners. Realizing that some of them may not ever go to school and have to work in the markets for the rest of their lives like their parents really put things in perspective.
While in Ecuador we had the opportunity to tour some amazing sites whilst also having a few culture shock moments in comparison to our first world lives in America. As someone who has never traveled to a third world country, there were many things that surprised me. Luxuries I didn’t even realize were luxuries at times were not available during our stay. It made me grateful for small amenities like hot water and insulation and the opportunities America offers.
I’m a nursing major who loves traveling. I’ve considered after graduating becoming a travel nurse so I get to see more of the world while helping people. Seeing some of the conditions that the people lived in there, made my heart ache to help them, especially the children. It proved to me that I might not be able to change the environment they live in but if I did become a travel nurse and worked in places like Quito, I would have a strong purpose there. Overall it was a humbling experience I’ll never forget and I’m so thankful for the opportunity.