Ecuador: Week 1

Posted on July 31,2012 by latinomentalhealth

I’ve been in Ecuador for 10 days now. We are living and working in Guayaquil, the largest city in the country. Before arriving I had heard and read some not so great things about the city, specifically in regards to safety. However, while we definitely have to be more cautious and alert than back at home, we have not experienced any problems. There was an earthquake the other day. Apparently the apartment was shaking. I slept right through it though so I can’t say for sure. It didn’t seem to cause any damage, at least not in Guayaquil. We spent most of last week settling in, and getting to know the city and the 3 sites we will be working at. I have really enjoyed working with the children at our first site, Fundacion Crecer. Most of their histories are really sad and I wish we had more time there to make more of a difference. The psychologist who is supervising us there is great, but they are lacking a lot of tools (like testing kits), which seems frustrating. My Spanish is not quite up to par yet, as I have not used it much since last summer in Costa Rica. I’m working on it in our afternoon Spanish classes and am slowly improving. Our first weekend adventure was pretty low key. Note to anyone planning on visiting the Andes Mountains in Ecuador: it’s cold. Bring a jacket, mittens, and hat. It was beautiful though.

-Kelly Klempa