Atacames - Seashells On The Beach

The Green Ecuadoran Coast – Fun, Semi-Volunteering, And Awesome People

Sua is a city with only three letters and I’ll always associate it with a word that has three letters: fun.

Me And Jennifer

Me And Jennifer

I went to Sua to spend time with Jennifer, the awesome Peace Corps Volunteer who went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure I had a good time in what she calls the BPE – Best Pais (Country) Ever. She helped put me in touch with the Tsachilas for my awesome time with them and has helped me with other things here in Ecuador.

Below are some pictures of this beautiful part of Ecuador and some of the things I experienced for the first time like ceviche and an interesting motorcycle taxi.

Aldea Orphanage

Jennifer’s volunteering assignment is at an orphanage. The orphanage is called The Aldea/The Village. There are about 10 kids per house and there are 13 houses full of kids of all ages. Each house has a “mom” who takes care of them, then there are “aunts” who help the moms and keep things running in the houses. It’s really well-run and the goal is to provide the kids with a family environment.

I intended to volunteer there, but now is the least busy time of the year. The kids are on summer vacation and many weren’t there. Many kids come from broken homes, but for one month a year most kids go back to their homes to spend time with their parent(s). I was there during this month.

The Peace Corps In One Picture

The Peace Corps In One Picture

Jennifer’s role is to create events and help the children develop. For example, my first day there she took the older kids to a workshop on entrepreneurship and how to create a business. It was canceled the rest of the time I was there, but it’s an example of the kinds of things she does.

Since she doesn’t work for the orphanage, she’s kind of a neutral third-party. On my last day in Sua she accompanied a teenage boy to his home, which was a difficult process.

She has also taken kids camping, she started a “green club” and she’s teaching the kids how to make jewelry from garbage (plastic bags, wrappers, etc.). Extremely cool.

This being the second orphanage I’ve visited, I think the biggest thing you can offer an orphanage as a visitor is a smile, positivity, and affection. When I was there, many kids would walk up to me and give me a hug. At first I thought maybe they wanted my affection, but maybe the kids are the ones full of love trying to give me some affection.

I spent more time at one of the houses. My skin was still painted like the Tsachilas. I was very impressed that they recognized they were the markings of the Tsachilas and they asked me about my experience with them.

We had a nice conversation about a variety of things and one of the girls asked me if I had a family. It’s not a typical question. So I said I had a mom and a dad and a brother. But I spun it around a bit to show how awesome it would have been to have so many brothers and sisters like they have, and over 100 cousins (from the other houses). I don’t know if it worked, but I did my best. It’s very hard to relate and put myself in their shoes. I’m very lucky…

Below, some pictures and a video of some girls dancing samba.

Visiting Another Peace Corps Volunteer In Muisne

Another day we visited another Peace Corps Volunteer, Jessica, in Muisne. They were finishing up a summer camp and the kids had a performance. It sounds too good to be true, but when Jennifer and I arrived by taxi we could hear the kids singing We Are The World.

Perfect!

We watched the kids perform, they handed out awards, and then the kids would spend a month relaxing before school starts again.

We had a nice, three hour lunch with Jessica and then headed back to Sua.

Jessica's Students

Jessica’s Students

Me And Jessica

Me And Jessica

Concert Spectacular

Concert In Esmeraldas

Concert In Esmeraldas

One night we went to Esmeraldas to see a “concert spectacular.” But when we got there, we quickly realized it was a rehearsal. The performance would be the following day.

There were groups performing rock and rap, a girl who sings pop, and a drumming group. All very cool.

I’m not sure how it happened or if something was lost in translation, but it was cool nevertheless.

Below are some videos.

Catching Up

Otherwise, my time in Sua was quite relaxing. Jennifer lives right on the beach. I’m not a beach person, but I recognized that for many people this is a dream come true :).

I got a lot of things done as my planning buffer quickly shrunk to less than a week. Now I’ve caught up a bit and feel more comfortable.

Jennifer And Chad

When Jennifer and I parted ways at the bus station, I told her that I’m completely content being single and traveling solo. But it would be really nice to have what they have too. Just a totally cute couple who have fun and laugh every day.

Jennifer also takes Spanglish to a new level, which I admire and enjoy since I understand it perfectly. But it made for lots of funny sentences. And ya, just the way Jennifer and Chad talk in general had me laughing all the time.

Beautiful. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of them together! 🙁

Conclusion

In the end, another great experience even if it didn’t turn out the way I expected. There was less volunteering than I expected, but way more fun. And that’s ok 🙂

Thanks again, Jennifer and Chad!

8 replies
  1. JCov
    JCov says:

    Just read this and I LOVE IT! Thank you so much for your kind words, and you’re always welcome back (even if you’re not a beach person). I too wish there was more going on at the Aldea when you came, we’re normally triple booked with activities going on, but asi es la vida. It was great having you around and I appreciate anyone who can understand my Spanglish! Thanks for the Chadifer love too!! See you when our nomadic paths cross again!! xoxo

    Reply
    • Adam Pervez
      Adam Pervez says:

      Glad to hear it. 🙂 Yes, I’m sure our nomadic paths will cross again. And I can’t wait for that to happen. And who knows. Maybe Chadifer will meet Evadam and the space time continuum will pause for a moment as it can’t handle all the awesomeness.

      Best of luck to you!!!

      Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] since I have a perma-tan I don’t feel the need to burn my skin to make it browner, etc. On the Ecuadorian coast, I stayed a week at a friend’s place on the ocean and I didn’t even dip my toe in the […]

  2. […] Kids singing We Are The World in Ecuador […]

  3. […] when I volunteered at the orphanage in Costa Rica and the one in Ecuador, the power of touch could not have been more […]

  4. […] in Lago Agrio to arrange a “Toxy Tour.” We made it for March 5th and I went to see my friend Jennifer in the mean time. Lago AgrioOn the evening of March 4th I caught the night bus from Quito at 11pm […]

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