Skip top navigation

Study Abroad

She has two husbands, eight children and…

May 25, 2019

Team Ecuador 2019

We just went to America's house, a woman who works at the Sinche farm. She has two husbands, eight children, ages range from 17 to 3 and also lives with her parents. Between the 11 people, they only have one toilet, and America is the only one bringing in income. While she works day and night, it's still not enough to support everyone. For example, her oldest son was going to high school but had to drop out because the bus fare was too expensive over time (0.30 cents each way into Guaranda). The Lasell Shoulder to Shoulder group three years ago built her a house, but she still needs windows and a bathroom. There's got to be a way to help this family, especially the kids who are getting the bare minimum of education. While she has 5 boys and 3 girls, the boys can work once they're old enough, but for the girls, if they don't continue their education, they start having families of their own. We want to propose the El Sinche Nonprofit Organization or El Sinche Education Fund so these kids can get the education they deserve to have a high quality of life. We want to start small with a website, hosting a GoFundMe page, selling El Sinche products for past student participants to purchase, and also share individual stories about the people they would be helping. We could also include a few inforgraphics on how much $ it would cost to give them things like a month's worth of groceries, or bus fare to go to school, or a car/home improvements. I think having one domain where everything can be would be beneficial for making the most impact. Amanda (one of the students participating in this trip) also mentioned starting a scholarship or program that sends these kids to Lasell to get a college education. For the past 8 years, over 100 Lasell students have come to Ecuador on this Shoulder to Shoulder trip, seen the living conditions, met the people, and have helped in some way whether it be make bricks and shingles, or build a house. Because of this strong connection Lasell has with the Sinche family, there's no doubt in my mind that they wouldn't want to help more now. We need a call to action for this program. Our call to action can be having people from the US think about all the things they have (material and personal) and connect it to the program by giving these people in Ecuador the same things, however it will mean much more to them.

After visiting América we went to a sugar cane farm/factory in Telimbela- Caluma There, we met the Veloz family and worked a day in their lives making brown sugar out of sugar cane. We hiked up to their main house in the middle of the rainforest where there were massive sugar cane and plantain plants. Everywhere, chickens, dogs, and ducks roamed freely around the farm as well. We cleaned off cut down sugar cane branches and broke them open with a mallet. Then we fed each branch through a machine that grinded out sugar cane juices and pushed out the remains of the branches which the group moved into the forest to dry out. As the juices were extracted, they sifted through multiple corianders and ended up in a huge metal bin. Under this bin was a fire pit that was used to boil the liquid and clean out any remains. This whole process was really cool because the farm is as sustainable as possible. All the branches that get dried out are used for the fire to boil the sugar cane, then the ashes are dumped back into the ground to help grow more plants. After we made the sugar cane and started the fire, we separated in groups to help prepare plantain tortillas and fish. It was great getting to know some of the women in the family while we were making tortillas and they were cooking them. After we ate it was getting dark so we decided to head back down the muddy, steep hill to our bus. Now we are in Caluma and I'm writing this in my tent outside, ready for more adventures and experiences tomorrow.