For 2 months I spent my life in the little, lively town of Cosanga volunteering as an English Teacher for Sustainable Roots. My entire life I had dreamed about volunteering abroad and what it would be like to immerse myself in a culture, but I wasn't prepared for the experience Sustainable Roots was going to offer me. From the most energetic boss you will ever have, to the cutest kids you will ever teach, to the most welcoming neighbors, and breathtaking landscapes, this is an experience not to be passed up.
I remember walking off the bus the first day with Toni (our boss) after she picked me up from the airport and I could see the impact this Organization had on the town from day one. We weren't able to walk the 50ft to the Organization house without about 100 kids (okay, I'm over-exaggerating, but you get the point) running up to hug her so excited to tell her some story of the day; Or the adults in the town, stopping her to ask a question or just to chat. And after that day, the same happened to me whenever I walked outside. Sustainable Roots helps to bring the town together - hosting community mingas to build a park where the entire town shows up to help, and helping better educate the children because children are the future. It is a powerful thing to be a part of. I cannot count the amount of hugs I received, nor quantify the amount of love I felt.
Building a 2.5meter Jupiter out of recycled bottles, playing soccer in the pouring rain, creating scavenger hunts for the kids, beautiful hikes, trying to make a fire while camping in the rain-forest (it worked!), stargazing, and telling scary stories when the power went out, all kept life pretty interesting. If you want any funny stories I have plenty! Not to mention exploring the country on the weekends - jumping off bridges, swimming in rivers, accidentally being part of an Ecuadorian comedy act in a park in Quito, attending music festivals, and hiking to swings on cliffs were just some of my experiences. And I can't forget the friendships that were made. I now have friends from all around the world - Scotland, Ireland, and Ecuador. They are people who will always hold a special place in my heart, along with the town of Cosanga. Every part was amazing. Ecuador is an awe-inspiring country.
If you're unsure whether to do this or not- don't be. I was just like you once, reading the reviews on this website wondering if this would be the right fit for me. I wasn't fluent in Spanish, and I've never taught. But these things didn't matter so much - because as soon as you arrive you will want to work as hard as you can for these people, because they are amazing, inspiring, and beautiful.
It is the adventure of a lifetime you won't ever want to end!