Amazonas Explored

Season’s Report 2017

A massive THANK YOU for joining us in Ecuador this summer and a special thanks to Bobby, Xavier, Maria Jose and Kirsten who have been a fantastic team to lead our volunteers for 2017.

You may enjoy reading about not only your own group’s achievements but those who came before and after. This will give a complete picture of the vast amount of assistance we can give to the local community with your help!

The work will recommence in November of this year when our first group of Australian and New Zealand volunteers arrive to carry on with these vital projects.

Tuyano Community Escuela Fiscomisional “Padre Carlos Verdoya”

Group 1

Construction

Very fun group right from the start! They bonded together very well and were positive during the gruelling hot days on construction. One group completed a hole in a day in a half which is a huge accomplishment in itself but they were having to dig out rocks the entire six feet!!!

  • Painted four bathrooms that were left uncomplete from last season.
  • Dug out completely four holes.
  • Completely bricked the inside of two holes.
  • Poured the foundation for four bathrooms.
  • Bricked up two bathrooms
  • Installed two toilets
  • Poured the top of the septic tank for one site.

On our last day of the program, almost everyone went out to have a celebratory night. The dance floor was dominated by VESA and one man stood out amongst us all. This legend´s name is Rex, and Rex is an incredibly skilled street dancer from China. Rex had a dance off with a local who was very good himself but had no chance taking on our Rexy.

When the smoke cleared and the dance battle had completed our crew erupted in applause because we knew our very own Rex was the unanimous winner!!!

Education

The volunteers were amazing with the kids as well as being really good teachers.

We had a fun time decorating our English classroom with the crafts we made with children and volunteers. Also we made a beautiful card with the children for mother’s day.

Classes were dynamic accompanied by songs, games and crafts.

As first group in this season the plan was to review what they learnt last season:

Children can ask and answer in English questions like:

  • What is your name? = ¿Cómo te llamas?
  • How old are you? = ¿Cuántos años tienes?
  • What is your favourite colour? = ¿Cuál es tu color favorito?
  • What day is it today? = ¿Qué día es hoy?
  • What month is it? = ¿Qué mes es?
  • When is your birthday? = ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?

On the last day of construction, the education group was in charge of organizing all the donations to the kids into plastic bags. At the end of the day, we had a great fiesta hosted by Tuyano village full of food, music and a dance performed by the children. It was so kind of the locals to host this great fiesta in appreciation of all the hard work! It was like Christmas day for the children when the volunteer handed out the donations! Finding new items, from clothing, to school supplies and toys, the smiles on their faces lit up the entire area! Seeing all the kids faces light up with excitement, also lit up the faces of all of you guys! Thank you for your kind donations.

Group 2

Construction

There were some great friendships made between this group of volunteers who came from all different places became very close and now are planning to go on the Africa program. We finished more bathrooms than we had in the last program. I think this time we learned the phrase "no surrender". The weather was very hard and the sun seemed stronger than usual!!!

  • Painted four bathrooms that were left incomplete from last group.
  • Dug out completely four holes.
  • Completely bricked the inside of four holes.
  • Poured the foundation for four bathrooms.
  • Bricked up three bathrooms
  • Installed three toilets
  • Poured the top of the septic tank for three site.

Three toilets were painted and finished by the volunteers and upon completion were presented to the families, who were very grateful.

Education

There were beautiful moments shared with the kids. They are awesome and very smart with lots of energy and always ready to learn with all the volunteers. Thank you to everyone for your help at the school and for your hard work at construction. Children asked me to tell the volunteers “to stay for ever”.

The topics to teach to the children were:

  • Numbers 100-1000, (additions, subtractions)
  • How to say in English all the members of The Family, (How many brothers and sisters do you have?)
  • They know how to say in English about The School and supplies.
  • Classes were dynamic to make more productive, including games and songs in English.

On May 27th there is a holiday recognizing and honouring mothers, which is celebrated all across Ecuador. Here in Misahualli there was a massive celebration and a concert with some talented performers. One singer shocked us but also stole our hearts.

The inspirational volunteer, Miss Priscilla, stunned us by speaking with the organizers and talking her way up on stage! She performed on song and when she concluded the crowd cheered for an encore! It was incredible and everyone was so proud of her.

Group 3

Construction

The volunteer group exceeded expectations with everyone clicked really well with each other.

During their volunteering week many of the members noticed and were quite saddened by the health of the dogs in the community. Five volunteers asked me personally if they could individually buy food for the dogs, so I suggested that we all pitch in to buy one big bag. With the money, we collected we were able to buy a 74 kg bag of dog food!

  • Painted four bathrooms.
  • Dug out completely four holes.
  • Completely bricked the inside of four holes.
  • Poured the foundation for four bathrooms.
  • Bricked up three bathrooms
  • Installed three toilets
  • Poured the top of the septic tank for three site.

The last day before the farewell party we did the presentation of the four completed bathrooms to the families.

Education with Maria Jose

The most funniest group ever. I think many important things happened here.

I just wanna thanks to all group number three for being so amazing not only with the kids at the school and construction. They made possible to buy 77pounds of dog food for the community.

Also a big thanks to Rosie Charter to take one the dogs to the vet and cure him for being in bad conditions. It was a pleasure to work with all these beautiful people.

The new topics taught to the students from 8-12 years old were:

  • The Time: Students can say the time in English. We get a clock to put on the wall and practice during the class asking What time is it?
  • Numbers (1-10000): They can say and write the numbers between 1 up to 10000. Also we include some additions and subtractions to practice numbers

Also we dedicate one full morning to review all the topics that we teach with group 1 and 2.

The new topics taught to the students from 5-7 years old were:

They can ask and answer in English: What is your name?, also they now all the colours in English, Numbers 1 -20 and the fruits.

All the classes are accompanied with songs and games to make it more fun.

Group 4

Construction

Though progress was slower than in previous programs due to poor weather, the group rallied and managed to tie up all loose ends.

  • Painted four bathrooms that were left incomplete from last group.
  • Dug out completely three holes.
  • Completely bricked the inside of six holes.
  • Poured the foundation for five bathrooms.
  • Bricked up five bathrooms
  • Installed five toilets
  • Poured the top of the septic tank for six site.

“At one of the houses, the owner Alberto gave us many fruits every day that we work he is very generous and the volunteers were very happy to work in this house and also the improvement of the bathroom by putting the tiles on the bathroom floor.Alberto's family is very grateful to Vesa for such a great gift that is the bathroom”. Xavier

Education with Maria Jose

It was a nice coincidence because the last day at the community was the last day of the school too. All students are in vacations now for two months.

We had a big list with some questions in English which were really good to start a conversation with the students at the beginning of the class.

Last day also we took an English test to the students, the mark was given to the teacher.

This is everything that we taught with the volunteers in this season:

Colours, Numbers, Months of the year, Days of the week, Animals, The time, parts of the body, shapes, the family, the school. According each topic also supplemented with some questions in English.

One girl that is studying to become doctor helped me to took off the stiches of three dogs at the community.

They were sterilized as to have no more babies.