Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bienvenidos a Ecuador-dos!

Well, I've been home from Ecuador for just over a week, but in many ways it seems like many more weeks. I've had multiple dreams about Ecuador, from the amazing fruit there to chasing guinea pigs around the neighborhood I grew up in to save them from being eaten:) I miss Ecuador (specifically, Cuenca) terribly. I found the people wonderful and incredibly friendly to interact with every day I was there. I had mentioned before that mental health was a few decades behind the US in Ecuador (not just from what I saw, but this is coming from discussions with multiple people there). It was such a joy for me to go and share what I know, study, and love about mental health and wellness. The people there were incredibly receptive to listening to lectures on Wellness, Depression, Work-Life Balance, and Suicide, and many of them stayed after to have individual conversations. Many of them have asked for supplemental materials to be sent down, and I'm just so happy to be helping out down there!

I have to say that my time there wasn't just about me lecturing and teaching, but I also learned a lot from the people there. I obviously learned about the current state of mental health and counseling services, but I learned about relationships too. I think in many ways, Ecuadorians have a much better view of relationships then we do here. I think I learned a little more about pausing in my busy schedule to talk to those around me, and to really be in a community with them. I value this so much, and it definitely made me feel more appreciated there.

Ecuador was an absolutely wonderful experience, and I definitely want to go back as soon as I can to continue having conversations and sharing what I know about increasing wellness. I feel so blessed to get to see the things I saw, experience the food and the culture, and meet all the wonderful people I did over the course of the week.

As promised, here are some other pictures (a few are here in my first post about Ecuador):
 Cajas National Park in the Andes Mountains

 Outside the Trout Restaurant in the Andes Mountains

 The New Cathedral in Cuenca. It's so beautiful!

 This is the "school bus" that Ecuadorian children take to school.

 At the open air market. I love all the bright colors!

 Cute old Ecuadorian women walking in Cuenca.

 Sunset above the clouds. It's hard to see in this small picture, but the black gaps are the tops of the Andes mountains.

 Older woman in Turi

More Inca ruins in Cuenca with the Andes Mountains in the background

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Just came across your blog, and I am hoping that I could ask you a few questions. I am currently in Graduate school to become a counselor, myself (LPC). My husband and I are VERY interested in Ecuador for retirement (in about 3 years). I will hopefully be finished with school and should be just about finished with my supervised hour requirement soon after that.. and was just wondering what kinds of programs or organizations might be available in Ecuador. I guess what I'm asking is: I want to use my degree and counseling skills in another country (Ecuador) so that we can actually live off of my income and our retirement... but I don't know how to go about doing so.. are there licenses to be had in Ecuador... is there such a thing as say, an ACA but for Ecuador?

    Thanks for any advice, I really appreciate it!