Sunday, May 15, 2011


The whole reason for this trip to Macara, was to attend the dedication of a school in honor of Chella's deceased father. From what I understand, their family has been a very important part of this town for over 100 years. Their grandfather owned vast amounts of land and so did their father. Through out the years the land was sold off, but their influence in this small town is still apparent.

I asked who built the little school and who would fund it. The school, I was told, was built by the government. The government would supply books, supplies and funds for food and the teachers salary. I was confused on this as it seemed that the family had bought some supplies, back packs and uniforms for the children and were funding alot of improvements. They explained that the government says they will supply all the necessary items, but since it is a very small school sometimes the government might forget, and the school will need the occasional support of private families.

The people of this little area were in charge of cleaning up the building and getting the grounds cleaned of rocks and weeds. Lisandro was a former Colonel in the EC Military, so he enlisted help from the local Military base (the land was donated to them by Chella's Father), so some of the heavier work and painting was done by them.

The dedication was to begin at 10:00 with lunch at11:00 sharp.. according to Lisandro. I am happy to say that the Ecuadorian custom of not starting on time was adhered to. I think the event finally got going around 11:00. We didn't even get out of the house until after 10:00.
Something like, Educate the children and you won't have to punish them tomorrow

There was a nice awning set up for shade, thank goodness, as it was a very warm day. All the important officials and main family were seated up front. The military were there in full regalia, the priest was there with two altar boys who played guitar music while those attending sang. The national anthem and I think local anthem were played and the folks sang with great enthusiasm. The priest performed a mass, and blessed the school. Speeches were made and then the best part. The children came out to get their back packs... all 6 children! Three little girls and three bigger boys.

Kids with their teacher

Going up to get their backpacks filled with uniforms and supplies
 After the ceremony ended everyone was fed a wonderful meal of pork, mote (hominy) rice, salad, and Horchata ( a delicious drink make from flowers and herbs). The Special Guests were seated inside, the others we fed outside. I noticed a definite class distinction here that I had never really observed before. I was uncomfortable with it, but everyone else did not seem to mind.

I just loved this handsome fellow
Here are  some photos I took, I thought you might be interested in them.
A photo with some of the towns people and ME!

New plants with the new fencing.. yep barbed wire..

Shade, glorious shade!

Military effect

Lisandro, important lady from Loja, Teresa, and the teacher with dedication plaque
People milling around after the lunch

This little sweetie's brother and sister are attending the new school

This is the mother of two of the children

These two are cousins, Carolina and Karen! I thought they both were so much fun

The best photo! I loved these sandals.. will have to go to Peru to get them
After the event was over and all of the tables cleared, tents tore down and packed away by the military; the family returned home to rest and reflect on the days events. It was considered a success by all.

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