By Josh Evans ’12
During April vacation I got the opportunity to travel with ten other of my classmates to Duran, Ecuador. On this trip we got to live out Rostro de Cristo’s motto, “to be not to do”. It wasn’t until this week long trip did I understand the meaning of “being” and not “doing”. This trip opened my eyes to something that changed my life in a great way.
Before going on this trip I didn’t know what to expect. I was excited and nervous. I was going somewhere that would bring me out of my comfort zone to the max. When we got there and got to meet the neighbors and kids, we were welcomed with open arms. I have never seen such a strong and happy community. I have also never seen an area so poor in my life. The smells, the views, the scenes were so distinct I can still remember specific scenes and smells. I couldn’t help but think “what can I do for these people,” but all I could do was be there for them.
Going to different people’s houses, helping out in the after school programs, and going to Damian House opened my eyes to what relationships were all about and what life was all about. We met an 82 year old guy named Gabriel. He lived a simple life as a leather worker and before we left he gave us some advice about life. He said there are three things you need to do, “make conversation, dialogue, and make relationships”
Those three things are what this Ecuador trip was all about. Not only to show you something that is very present in the world today, but to also get to know people’s stories and make relationships and be there for them. That is what we as human beings need to do for each other. Be there and try to understand where others come from.
(For more photos of the Ecuador Global Encounter Trip, visit our Flickr page.)