Survey in the Andes
Adam is currently living in Cuenca, Ecuador, where he works for AMIGOS as the Gap Program Coordinator. Before moving to Ecuador, he served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala, where he worked on public health projects with indigenous communities. While the Gap Program is on break this summer, Adam will move to the Chimborazo Province! He’ll head up our Summer Program in communities near Riobamba, where the participants will collaborate with local youth on microenterprise projects.
On his experience with the Gap Program
My time as the Gap Program Coordinator has been one of the most challenging and exciting times of my life and career. I have loved seeing the participants grow over the course of the program. Latin America has a very special place in my heart, and it joys me to see these participants open up their hearts to it as well.
My favorite moment thus far has been the Thanksgiving dinner that we had with all of the participants and their host families. It was great to see the participants sharing a bit of our culture with the host families. Additionally, each participant was in charge of preparing a traditional dish for the meal. Each of them not only made what they were assigned but their dishes were delicious! It was the first moment that I began to see the maturity and embrace of “adulthood” that the participants are experiencing while here in Ecuador.
LOOKING AHEAD TO SUMMER
I decided I wanted to be a Project Director because I wanted the opportunity to experience more of rural Ecuadorian life and to have the opportunity to work with a younger age group.
What excites me about being a PD this summer is the transition from working for 18-19 year-olds to working alongside that age group (the supervisors). This will be beneficial for my perspective and outlook of future gap participants.
GOING ON SURVEY
My week started off with an amazing trip to Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. I had the opportunity to meet with Rossana Viteri, the country director of Plan International, our partner agency, to discuss the successes and challenges from last year and to plan for this summer. From there, I went to Peace Corps Ecuador head quarters where I was able to chat with the Safety and Security Manager about our work sites and gain some insight into the current political context within the country.
After my visit with the Peace Corps, I headed straight to Riobamba where I met several of the staff from Plan International’s office in the Chimborazo-Bolivar area. After many laughs, several bolones (fried mashed green plantain balls), and intensive planning, I left feeling energized and ready to begin the summer .
The most exciting portion of the survey trip was traveling to Guamote and seeing some of the communities that we will be working with this summer.
All in all, it was a great week packed with meetings, new friends, and cevichochos (incredible traditional dish from the Andean highlands, made with the super food el chocho). While I am sad to leave Riobamba, I am even more excited to return in a few short months and begin this incredible adventure!
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