CONGRATULATIONS to all the Challengers on our first six Charity Challenges of 2011, biking from Guatemala to Honduras, the inaugural Nicaragua Volcano Challenge, Brazil's Chapada Diamantina Challenge , Guatemala's first Caribbean Kayak Challenge, Perú´s Cerani Pass and Ecuador's Volcano Challenge. Nicaragua's second volcano Challenge is set for 3rd-6th November and the third Guatemala Volcano Challenge dates are set for 27th November -2nd December.

Click on the following for our most recent official project reports for Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Perú and Brazil.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Football, Field Trips, Fiestas and Farewells in Ecuador

The school term has ended here in Ecuador in a flurry of events and celebrations. Muenala and Urcusiqui each managed to celebrate Family Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Day of the Child in one day.

On a windy day in Muenala, Trish and the volunteers put together some great games for the parents and children – eating doughnuts and apples suspended from strings without using their hands to steady the food (try the apples…it’s hard!), and the three legged race were popular successes.

Then at Urcusiqui, Brittney and Peter bobbed for oranges (well, the kids did whilst we helped the little ones cheat!), and then the kids had the chance to beat up a homemade, super strength piñata – the piñata lasted for ages before splitting!!

At both schools several parcels were passed, and after the games and dancing finished, the children all handed the gifts they had slaved over making to their parents…with only 8 families in Muenala and 34 children, several parents were seen searching for bags to carry their multitude of gifts home!

And then…well, as always, in both schools, a great meal made by the Mums – soup made with chicken heads and feet, and then rice with fried chicken, potatoes and salad. Good eating for the kids!

Larcacunga had the football finals to concentrate on. They did fantastically well, managing to score goals even when Marcos, our star player, took a big kick to the ankle and limped off injured.

They weren’t, though, able to win either of the matches which left them sad – telling them they had come 4th out of 20 schools was little consolation to the lads on the day!

But the following Monday, as all the children devoured two large cakes we brought up to school for them to celebrate the team’s achievements, the stories of sliding tackles and attempts at overhead bicycle kicks were soon flowing!

Meanwhile, Huayrapungo decided to mark the end of the school year and celebrate Family Day, Mother’s Day etc plus the graduations of Willian and Oscar with a field trip by bus – to Colombia, leaving at 3am!!

Whilst we didn’t go with them, we have been told all sorts of stories about the great time they had – and about how good it is to go across the border to buy large cooking pots! They loved taking a trip out and we are already talking about what we can do next!

Muenala chose Baños. The volunteers met up with Señorita Fanny, the parents and kids at 3am in Otavalo and travelled down to Baños with them. They spent the day at swimming pools, visiting the zoo and having a picnic lunch.

They also spent some bizarre time shopping for trousers – apparently, whilst the border area in Colombia is great for cooking pots, the same can be said of a place just outside of Baños for trousers!

Plus, we said goodbye to our friend and intern Sophie Williams. A GVI Phoenix long termer, she worked really hard for us here in Ecuador for 6 months, overseeing Huayrapungo and Urcusiqui – oh, and Larcacunga and Muenala on occasion! The kids in all the schools miss her, especially Huayrapungo – but the great news is that Sophie plans to return! Thanks for all your help Soph, it was fun working with you…and see you again next year!!

And now summer holidays – but no rest for the volunteers or the children. We are running Summer School in 3 of our communities – Huayrapungo, Larcacunga and Muenala – for the kids who usually go to the schools, for High School children in the communities, adults in Huayrapungo and, well, anyone else who wants to come along – watch out for Summer School updates.


How does GVI Phoenix make a difference?

The following film was made in Guatemala, though the message is the same across all GVI Phoenix projects