Category Archives: Service

Art Therapy and Counseling in Otavalo, Ecuador: the Andes, roses and cowboys

Otavalo mosaic

Otavalo is two hours north of Quito, high in the Andes mountains. It is located just off the pan American highway that goes straight to Columbia, which is three hours east of Otavalo. The Otavalo people are one of the largest indigenous groups living in Ecuador. They are known for their handicrafts, textiles and fabrics, leather goods, coffee, chocolate and roses. There are rose gardens and greenhouses that line the road and flowers are for sale everywhere! Roses are so abundant in Otavalo that the locals can buy a dozen roses for one dollar. The flowers are big business and are shipped daily to the United States, Europe and China. In fact, roses are so important to the Ecuadorians that there is a special room at the airport just to store the roses before they are shipped out!

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H.E.L.P Malawi Sewing journey: day one

help_malawi_day1

by Molly Sabolsky, Nursing Student

I can’t even begin to explain how amazing this first day at the school was. We entered the yard of the school and we were greeted by so many beautiful, smiling faces. It was overwhelming – so many of the children wanted to touch our hands.

I think the theme of this trip is “go with the flow.” After setting up the sewing room, we were told that we would not have power until the next day, so our sewing machines were not going to work. We switched up our game plan and decided to teach our hand sewing lesson instead.

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Art Therapy and Counseling in Ecuador: working with street children, dealing with altitude sickness

street children mosaic ecuador

We woke up bright and early today (March 11) to journey to the school we are working at to began our work with the children. First, second and third graders were on today’s agenda. We played games and engaged them in projects such as making animal masks, crowns and a paper fish tank.

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Walking on the Equator: Art Therapy and Counseling’s first day in Ecuador

Basílica_del_Voto_Nacional,_Quito_-_4

Today (March 9) was our first full day in Ecuador. We began with a healthy breakfast of fruitas and granola.  Then, we traveled to Old Town Quito and stopped first at La Basilica del Voto Nacional. We climbed what felt like hundreds of steep and treacherous stairs in La Basilica to reach the top of the bell tower. Our next stop was a Franciscan church called La Compania.  The church was built by the Jesuits between the years of 1605 – 1765.  Why did it take so long? From nave to alter, floor to ceiling, the church is painstakingly covered in a dazzling gold leaf.

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