I had the unique and wonderful experience to volunteer in the community of Malingua Pamba with my 14 yr old daughter. We were welcomed on the first day with warm smiles and genuine handshakes. This opportunity allowed us to be fully immersed in a rural community and participate in daily live and celebrations. Our host family, the Sacatoros, are amazing and their children really made us feel like family.
Pamelita is an amazing, inspirational woman who has made such visible differences in the lives of so many people in the region.
Our primary goals for the trip were to expose the children and teacher to the power of play and all that the children can learn through play. We did this in the classrooms as well as during recess and afterschool times. It is amazing the conversations that can take place while blowing bubbles and drawing with sidewalk chalk. The children of Malingua taught us as much or more than we taught them. We shared ideas about our families, cultures, favorite sports, and languages.
Some of the favorite activities that we did were:
*Beading necklaces—fine motor development
*Story writing -- literacy, creativity, importance that the written word and the spoken word are connected. Connecting Cultures
* Puzzles- spatial relationships, fine motor
* Games (duck, duck goose, red light green light, etc)- promoted cooperation and play between genders, gross motor
* Call and Repeat Songs - fun, creativity, language development
* Bubbles- THEY LOVED BUBBLES!
I especially enjoyed my time with the little kids in the Centro Infantile, Kindergarten.
I only wish I had more than 1 week to be in Malingua.
We will definitely return to Malingua in the future.
My second trip to Malingua Pamba was just as amazing and magical as the first time. I had a little trouble getting the 1:30 bus from Latacunga to Malingua on a Saturday. I was told by many people that it does not run on Saturday. After a quick phone call to Paulino, I was able to connect with others from the Sacatoro family who were in Latacunga for the market and catch a ride with them to Malingua. It turns out that the regular bus did pass by, but many hours later.
My fellow volunteer, Jenny and I, spent our days in the classrooms with the students. The students loved to learn English, so we played many games and did craft projects that incorporated the English language. Another goal of the trip was to share educational supplies and information with the teachers. Lily, the preschool teacher and Elizabeth, the 2/3 grade teacher were extremely grateful for all the supplies and information and seem eager to use them in their classrooms.
We arranged a workshop for all the mamas in the village. At this workshop we discussed basic 1st aid, infant care, tooth brushing, and hygiene. The women learned a lot, and taught us about their culture and way of life in the mean time. Thanks to generous donations by various dentists, we were able to hand out tooth brushes and tooth paste to all the women at the workshop and later to all the students in the school.
Malingua is a beautiful country with beautiful people. Elvia and Paulino are wonderful hosts. The guest house rooms were clean and comfortable. The meals that Elvia prepared were fantastic. I am looking forward to my next visit to Malingua Pamba.