Tuesday, June 9, 2015


1. Finding Independence: You call this place home. You know the bus stops, how to take a taxi, how to live independently. To actually live in a country, not only tour it and learning with hands on experience, has helped me recognize my positionality within a workplace, a community, and a society. -Kevin

2. Finding Comfort: Learning how to get around independently on public transportation is a freeing feeling and a right of passage to living in this beautiful, crazy country. -Allie

3. Thinking about the Future: Being here reinforced my desire to teach English in Spain. I learned how to teach the students more effectively! -Ben

Manna is doing great things in Ecuador, keep yourself updated and consider donating or volunteering!  -Amber

Sunday, June 7, 2015

10 Impactful Experiences for our Manna Interns

Interning at MPI-Ecuador is life-changing. You receive hands on experience by working closely with the people, developing the programs for the community, and participating in fundraising and other organizational roles. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and immersing yourself in a culture extremely different than ours can be a daunting task, but with very few days left in this beautiful country, we’d like to share some of our experiences with you!


1. Climbing Cotopaxi: It was time to sign up for events for the morning at our hostel. We had no idea what we should do. Allie stated that she sort-of wanted to hike to the glacier line of Cotopaxi. I had been thinking about it all weekend but, reading a book and laying on the hammock staring at Cotopaxi and the surrounding mountains was just as tempting. I turned to her and said “Allie let’s do it”. We signed up and left bright and early for the most grueling, beautiful hike I’ve ever been on. P.S. Hiking shoes are advised when climbing on sandy volcanic ash. -Amber

2. Manna English: My most memorable moment working with MPI was the first time I got to teach a whole English class. It was so much fun teaching the students and seeing them light up and be so excited to learn something new. I'm really going to miss them! -Ben

3. Adventure: I never thought I would be able to scale a waterfall, swing jump from a bridge, and climb to the glacier line of the tallest active volcano, let alone do it all in less than a week! -Allie

4. Mamitas: I’ve never had a younger sister. I really enjoyed playing the role of an older sister to the girls over the past couple of weeks. To let them know that they matter and someone out here cares about them, has made this program my favorite. -Karmyn

5. ESPE University: I’ve always enjoyed public speaking, but my clinical exercise science major is far from the classroom teaching experience. I would have never dreamed that traveling and volunteering would lead me to teach an English class to my peers. The class was on the pronunciation of “ed” words. It was my first time teaching English but the class was a success, hope they enjoyed it as much as I did! -Amber

6. Friendships: Forming some of the best friendships of my life through shared experiences, trials, and a lot of hard work is a priceless treasure that brings a lifetime of memories. I love you guys! -Allie

7. Yoga: I was worried about not being able to communicate with people as I'm not a Spanish speaker. This fear was proven to be unnecessary as soon as I taught a yoga class at Manna however! It was amazing that I was able to connect to the community members through yoga and share my passion! -Erica

8. Children: One day when I was working in the library, it was pretty rowdy. I started playing the kids and we went up stairs and started playing tag with the exercise balls shouting “mine” in spanish. That was my favorite library shift! -Amber

9. Community: I never imagined I could be surrounded by so many people with such beautiful hearts. The Ecuadorian experience is always a humbling experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. -Karmyn

10. Día de los Niños: To celebrate the Ecuadorian holiday Día de los Niños, the interns organized a party in the library. I helped out in the art area, making maracas (because we really needed more noise.) A couple little girls got into the box of art supplies and started making jewelry. The group sent one little girl up to me; she showed me an impressively crafted pair of earrings. “Que lindo,” I said, “they’ll look so good on you.” But she giggled and shook her head. She reached up and tugged on my ears as she exclaimed, “tuyos!” in that adorable high-pitched voice only kids have. Did she just make earrings for her profe? This is the sweetest thing that has ever happened to me. I lean down and let her put the earrings in for me, then give her the biggest hug in the world. I’m still wearing them now!   -Sara