OTHS students help build a bamboo fence, from scratch, around one of the daycares in the community of Machalilla.
The entire OTHS group is pictured above at the equator.
For a group of Oakville Trafalgar High School students, their trip to Ecuador from March 10-23 was an experience of a lifetime.
The students and their teachers participated in an International Community Services Project through Canada World Youth and Fundacion Reto Internacional (FRI) which saw them assist with school building improvement projects in the community of Machalilla, a small fishing village on the Pacific coast. They divided their time building fences and painting murals and helping to teach English as a Second Language classes for local elementary-aged students.
The afternoons of 38 degree Celsius temperature didn’t slow down this group of eager travellers. The group drove 10 hours from the Pacific coast, at sea level, to the highland region at 3,000 metres, winding through mountains and volcanoes. They toured Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, with its charming downtown core which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. They also visited Otavalo, one of the largest markets in South America – which provided an opportunity to see a variety of indigenous artisans and their crafts including their world renown weavings, panama hats, and alpaca sweaters, hats and socks.
According to all participants, every aspect of the journey was unforgettable and both the Canadian and Ecuadorian’s lives are richer for the experience.