Welcome to Flor de Bastion.
A place covered in lomas (hills) and filled with dogs roaming the dusty dirt streets, a beautiful community filled with warm smiles and open arms.
Usually, we work in Flor on Tuesdays and Fridays, returning to Guasmo (where we volunteers live) afterwards by bus after a long day. My fifth week in Ecuador I decided to do something different: spend Tuesday through Friday in Flor instead of returning home in between sessions.
Isa (a.k.a. Beth, Starfish co-founder) originally inspired me to spend an extended period of time in Flor. When she visited as part of Starfish’s retreat group, she spent a night with a Starfish scholar’s family in Flor. She talked about how amazing it was to see and experience life after refuerzo in Flor, especially because it differs significantly from Guasmo in terms of development.
Spending a few nights up north has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. My days were filled with visiting scholars’ homes, seeing some of the kids outside of the classroom, and getting to see their true personalities shine. My nights were filled with lots of laughter, especially from simply talking about our day. I have learned from my time in Ecuador that the dinner table is where everything happens, where you really get to see someone and learn about his/her aspirations in life.
I cherished every moment.
Written by Summer/Fall 2014 Starfish volunteer in Ecuador, Nancy Landeros