Team #155 arrives in Ecuador!

Orientation day at Hotel Sandmelis…

Today was a great day, full of introductions and information! The group of twenty volunteers was greeted by Maggie, who instantly put everyone at ease with her friendly, open demeanor.

At breakfast, we immediately began working on one of our goals – to learn about Ecuador – by trying a new fruit and learning how to drink Ecuadorian café and hot chocolate. The hot drinks proved to be a good ice breaker!

After desayuno (breakfast) we made our introductions and found some similarities among a diverse group. We shared our favorite food and favorite free time activity in addition to the basics.

In the proceeding hours, Maggie did an excellent job explaining information about Ecuador, its people and customs, and the daycare center. We had the pleasure of meeting Elvita and Pilar from the daycare center, who expressed deep appreciation in advance of our time there. The tías work very hard and are happy to have extra hands as the children move through the day.

Lunch – to be served a homemade, hot meal at midday is a real treat and we all take the opportunity to learn more about each other. You never know what you are going to find in a group of twenty, but we have already found laughter and fun, another one of our goals. Here is our list of team goals:

  • To help the people of Calderón
  • To have fun!
  • To create meaningful connections through love, kindness, and smiles
  • To learn about Ecuadorian culture
  • To improve our language skills
  • To grow through new experiences and shared learning

Our interactive goal-setting activity was engaging for everyone and we found easy commonalities -helping, learning, and growing, to name a few. We brainstormed many words to describe an effective team – willing, compassionate, flexible – some of the highlights. Here is the complete list:


We discussed the Global Volunteers philosophy and learned more about Quito, safety, health, and free time activities. After Richard made his presentation about all the possible excursions, I realized there are more places to see than I will have time!

Another meal and more conversation and learning. So much good information left us ready for our first, special day to the center.

I think I can safely say it was a great first day and I feel very fortunate to be a part of such a dynamic group!

Entry submitted by: Julia

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