The first week of classes has been accomplished!

Orientation for this year’s SST Ecuador group was packed full of activities, places to see and new people to meet. The first week of classes set us into a more quotidian rhythm of family life, academic activities, group discussions, and playtime.

Our first lecture was delivered by Dr. Katie Álvarez. She spoke about spiritual and religious syncretism in Ecuador, and explained that traditional pre-Inca and Inca beliefs about our spiritual connections to the Earth, Pachamama, and the Universe, Yankay, merge with Catholic and other Christians forms of worshiping and deity representations. Students reflected on how they can connect this traditional cosmic vision and their personal spiritual life.

On Tuesday, Casa de Espiritualidad —our off-campus campus— had a burst pipe, so we resorted to our very own facilities in Casa Goshen. We had divided the group into smaller teams, taking the Ecuadorian flag’s colors: Yellow team, for the bright people; Red team for those who are passionate about Spanish; and Blue team, for the very cool people.

After classes, people relax playing fútbol, the one you play with your feet, not the other strange kind you need helmets for.

Besides classes and games, we also celebrated two birthdays: one at a fancy restaurant and the other at school, because we have a job to do.