Dates: Jan 6-21, 2014
Group Size: 2 student leaders, 1 staff advisor, 9 participants
Travel Clinic: Level 2 visit +immunizations
- Quito, Ecuador is located 16 miles south of the equator!
- Live alongside a volcano.
- Learn about how poverty has effected Ecuador’s education system.
Quito is situated in the northern highlands of Ecuador along the flanks of the Pichincha volcano, just south of la mitad del mundo or “the middle of the world.” Amidst its urban setting, Quito is home to the poorest of the poor. The Working Boys Center is a Catholic institution that focuses on providing a means of change for those living in poverty. Their goal is that the families of the working boys will become agents of change, oriented to the construction of a just society. To date, WBC has helped over 6,000 families or around 30,000 people leave poverty.
Justice Issues Overview
- Poverty— Ecuador is home to the poverty one finds in a third world country. As the upper class continue to gain control over land and education, the gap between Ecuador’s rich and poor continues to grow larger. Further, most Ecuadorians are denied the education and connections to gain access to the small professional sector and are thus confined to low-paid jobs.
- Education— Wealthy families can afford to send their children to the best private schools, while poorer families must settle for the variable quality of public education and disruption caused by frequent teacher strikes. Access to education is also divided along rural/urban lines, with public spending favoring urban schools and neglecting vocational and manual skills training.
The group will have chance to experience the amazing outdoor market in Otalvo, take a weekend trip to hot springs in Banos, and tour Quito.
Wednesday: Arrive at the WBC and settling into your home for the next few weeks.
Thursday: After breakfast, the Center bus will pick up our group at 9:30 a.m. for a tour of the downtown No. 1 Center facility. The afternoon will include driving through the old colonial city of Quito, with stops at a few beautiful and historic churches. After dinner we will enjoy social time with the volunteers and a group reflection.
Friday: After breakfast, at 9:30 a.m. we will meet at the volunteer house for a tour of the No. 2 Center facility, located in the northern part of Quito. We will have lunch at the Center's restaurant. The afternoon will include 2 home visits, one to a newer Center family, followed by a visit to a family the members of which have successfully gone through the Center's program. The evening will end with a home cooked dinner and socializing at the volunteer house, as well as a time for reflection.
Saturday: After breakfast, we'll drive through the Andes Mountains on an all day trip to a lake inside the crater of a volcano, where you can take a boat ride and see a few left over bubbles from the volcano's active days, or shop some local vendors! On the way back, we'll enjoy lunch at a beautiful old hacienda and tour its grounds. After returning home and eating dinner, there will be relaxation afterward, with time for sharing and prayerful reflection.
Sunday: Visit the Center of the World museum and straddling the actual equator! Then partake in a relaxing evening with food, reflection and sharing back at the volunteer house. Fr. Halligan and the Madres will present a brief slide show depicting the history of the Center and discuss various aspects of their experiences living in Quito and working at the Center for almost half a century!
Monday: Take a trip up Mount Pinchincha on the teleferico. Other activities can include shadowing a year-long volunteer in their classes and participating in lunchtime Mass.
Tuesday: Volunteer painting a room, sorting clothing donations or helping with a craft project in Girlsʼ Program. Enjoy dinner and a group reflection on all you’ve experienced so far.
Food, Lodging, and Travel
The group will be met at the airport by someone from the Working Boys’ Center. The group will stay at the Center with the community of fulltime volunteers, where all housing and meals will be provided. **Note: passport required.
The trip fee of $2800 includes round-trip airfare, site transportation, work materials for site, transportation, meals lodging, as well as programmed group activities. Students should be prepared for additional expenses not included in the program fee, which include: spending money (as determined by the group agreement), food en route to site ($30), updated immunizations, passport fees, and optional travel medications.
For more information go to http://www.workingboyscenter.org/