Camps International Blog - ecuador

Ecuador 2015- breakdown of a brilliant week!

Without further ado I would like to turn your attention to our latest blog. It was written by Tommy who is one of our new boys at Camps. Cambodia was great but after reading this I wouldn't mind popping off to Ecuador too! Take it away Tommy....

I wrote this blog after a truly brilliant week that was Ecuador 2015.

Me and my colleague Sharon from Camps began our travels on a wet Saturday evening in Terminal Two of Heathrow airport. One by one, teachers rolled through the doors, joining the convoy en route to what would be a week packed full of memories.

What a difference a summer makes

As many of you are aware, one of our major projects over the summer was some serious work in the local primary school within the community at Camp Kuri Kuchu. Our volunteers worked on a seemingly endless list of projects all designed to ensure the school would not be shut down by the local authorities. Humberto Fierro school is one of a dwindling number of tri-lingual schools in Ecuador. The school teaches Spanish, English and most importantly, the local Quechua language used by many within the community.

Behind the scenes at Camp Ecuador

You all know about the amazing work that happens during team season every year, and we thought that perhaps you might enjoy a little peek at what goes on behind the scenes. As you can imagine, preparing for a few hundred teenagers to arrive into a foreign country is no small task. Not only are there the camps to get ready, there is the food – very, very important, all of the project supplies to arrange and of course, quite a lot of interviews and training for all of our support staff both in the communities and here at HQ.

What a month in Ecuador

It all began two years ago

With a presentation from James West

And now, after a month in Ecuador

We can say you are the best

 

This speech might take a while,

there's lots to remember folks.

I promise you that it'll still be shorter

than one of Becky's jokes.

 

We planted trees in the forest

Built kitchens and concrete stands

We beat the local team at football

And danced with Andean bands

 

The view at Kuri Kucho

was definitely wowzers

You got in trouble with Niall

Week three and it's a FULL house

Week three is almost finished and as of 1 am this morning, all of our teams for 2015 are safe and sound in country, even if a few bags are still in Madrid…

Our co-ed teams have risen to the girl’s initial challenge and some of our projects are already nearing completion. The ceremonial ‘termascal’ in Camp Kuri Kuchu is on target for its inauguration at an important community festival in early August. I’m pretty sure that any teams visiting after that time are going to want to try it out.

Girls, Girls, Girls: Week 1 at Camp Ecuador

One week in to team season and our first two teams just happen to be all girls, and my have they set a cracking pace. Digging trenches, clearing think brush for a re-forestation project in the cloud forrest and working on our annual working-bee at the primary school at Camp Maqui. If the rest of our teams are this enthusiastic and dedicated we are going to get some amazing work done over the next 6 weeks.

Hummingbirds, Paddington Bears and Butterflies – An IB Geography trip to the Cloud Forest

One of the great things about working with local schools in-country is being able to share with them elements of their own country they never knew before. Here in Ecuador, the International Baccalaureate has become very popular within both private and public schools. More and more students are undertaking CAS (Community Action Service) projects and studying subjects such as Biology and Geography that require extensive fieldwork – out in the real world.

Flagellation and Fanesca – Ecuadorian Easter traditions to remind you the holidays aren’t all about chocolate and cuddly bunnies.

There are many things that are just a little bit different in this part of the world, Easter is one of them. Many years ago, as a 16 year old in Mexico, I witnessed my first non-bonnet Easter parade. The entire 14 Stations of the Cross were reenacted, complete with the hanging of Judas played by my friend Edgar. I vividly remember watching him being strung up from the tree at our local bus-stop as women wept and the younger folk giggled and booed. As his legs dangled he winked at me, clearly trying to reassure me that this was all quite normal and safe.

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