Getting to Know the Local Communities
As part of our orientation week, we toured the three communities that we will be serving during our time here in Santiago. Partnering with the local NGO Acción Callejera, we will have the opportunity to serve the children living in these communities over the next three weeks.
Pictured above are the students getting to know the children of Hoyo de Puchula. This community is one of the most vulnerable we will be serving during our time here in la Ciudad Corazón, but despite the conditions in which these children live, they were so happy and had so much fun with our students! We are looking forward to getting to spend more time with them soon. Visiting this part of Santiago was a very moving, thought-provoking, and eye-opening experience for many of our students who have never seen living conditions like these.
Pictured here we have the students getting acquainted with the community in Rafey. In the center leading the dance is one of the wonderful employees of the NGO Acción Callejera. Both the CIEE participants and the kids of Rafey had so much fun dancing and being silly together. Despite the language barrier that exists for several of our students, communication was achieved through hugs, handshakes, and made-up dances. The children love asking questions, and thanks to the functional Spanish classes, homestays, and great efforts that the CIEE students are making they are growing in their ability to communicate every day!
The final community we will be working with through Acción Callejera is located in Cienfuegos. Here we have some of our students getting to know the kiddos of this community through a well-loved universal language, dodgeball!
Pictured here we have students and children of Cienfuegos playing a game together that got pretty intense, the goal was to work together as a team to be the first group to recreate a larger number that was shown to the entire group. It got very competitive, but win or lose everyone had a good time. After this and several other very competitve games, we headed outside to play some soccer and dodgeball in the sunshine. It was a great first couple of days of getting to know the local communities, and we're so excited to dive in with more service and leadership in the weeks to come!