Posted by: mckecuador | May 22, 2011

Ecuadorians Who Changed Our Lives

The trip was amazing! We made it home just fine, and I miss it already. That’s easy to say writing this blog from the confines of my air conditioning and well connected wifi internet. Going to Ecuador was the experience of a life time, but we were all ready to come home. Practically everyone got sick at some moment in the trip, and we were all dead tired so 10 days was perfect. We all enjoyed all the things we saw, places we went, and things we did, but nothing can replace all the people we met.

Miguel:  So much can be said about Miguel. He truly made the trip spectacular. Not just because of all his knowledge, but because he made all of us feel welcome in a completely different culture. Miguel helped me be comfortable in a country that didn’t even speak the same language. He found a way to make all of us love Ecuador as much as he does and I truly admire the pride he has for his country. He alone makes me want to visit again and again.

Dr. Diuguid and Miguel

Edmundo:  He was the elected chief of the Warichuris. He shared the same type of love Miguel had. He is so convicted to restoring the traditions of his people. Even though we are in a completely different situation, seeing Edmundo fighting for what he believes in is really inspiring. Edmundo was also so much fun. He spent a day with us at the Hotel Heliconias and even though I couldn’t speak to him in the same language we had a lot of fun on the water slides and playing soccer. I will definitely be sure to visit him if I ever go back to Ecuador.

Edmundo is on the far right.

Cesar: I am so glad I got to meet you. Just like all the people I met in Ecuador he made me feel like I was at home even though I was thousands of miles away. Just like Edmundo and Miguel he loved Ecuador. It was incredible to see how he

Cesar and Amanda

was trying to change all his students lives and even the attitude about education in Ecuador. Most importantly I had fun hanging out with him. He went with us to visit Los Jilgueritos and brought Cesar pequeno (his baby son). Even though he couldn’t speak English and I couldn’t speak Spanish we became good friends and I will definitely keep in touch with him.

The group including the professors!
I personally only knew three of the people in our group before the trip, but we all became family in the ten days we spent together. We were all so different and we got along so well together anyway. None of us will ever forget this trip, and all of us will always be friends. Thank you Dr. Phil and Dr. D for making this possible and making it the best trip of my life!

Passionate. I think if I had to choose one word to describe the people of Ecuador it would be passionate. Miguel is passionate about nature and the people of Ecuador, Edmundo is passionate about his people and their culture, and Cesar is passionate about music and restoring the traditional music of the native people. Ecuador taught me, and I think all of us, to find something you’re passionate about and not stop until you achieve it. This trip was the experience of a lifetime and I am so happy I was able to meet and share it with the people I did.

Drew and Monica



  1. Thank you to everyone who wrote the blogs while traveling in Ecuador. It was a way for me to “experience” the wonderful happenings along with you. My health will not allow me to actually go to this fascinating country so this is a blessing for me. Thanks again. Sincerely, Kay Pearce O’Fallon UCC

  2. Muy bueno amigos!!!! I was tracking your posts and enjoyed them all. Sounds like a life changing experience. Welcome back. Glenn from KY.

  3. Spectacular! What a great adventure you all had. I’m so glad you took the opportunity to open your minds and hearts to another place in the world. Way to go, McKendree students! And congratulations to Phil and Darryn for a successful trip!

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