Democracy Prep student, To’Niya Arzu, will be honored as FIBUSPAM’s Student Ambassador of the year at our 2018 fundraising event in Connecticut.
To’Niya and 39 of her classmates from Democracy Prep Endurance and Harlem Prep High Schools traveled to Ecuador in February to volunteer with FIBUSPAM and to explore the beauty and culture in Ecuador as part of the Democracy Prep Public Schools’ Global Citizens Program. In addition to helping FIBUSPAM provide medical care to over 500 children and adults in rural Ecuador, To’Niya and her group helped refurbish a school for the disabled children. The group also found time to go horseback riding and white water rafting. Here is what To’Niya had to say about her experience:
My Ecuadorian Experience
By To’Niya Arzu
Traveling to Ecuador was an amazing and wonderful experience. I’ve never been out of the country before and this was my first time. I never thought I would be one out of many students that would be able to get this opportunity. I am a humble person who loves helping the world and my community out. This is the first time I ever stepped out of my comfort zone. I’m usually under my mother’s wing of protection but I always have to remember that she won’t always be there. I wish we could’ve stayed longer to be able to help more people out there. There were so many people out there who needed more medical help. This experience showed me that I need to be grateful for what I have now and stop worrying about the bad things.
Why you may ask? Because we have it all good here while they’re suffering from the sun, even from diseases out there in Ecuador. While I was in Ecuador I got to understand much more that we need to stop pushing people away and come together as one. In Ecuador all they have is each other to fall back on they don’t even have enough food like that such as meat. All they have to eat is mostly vegetables. The needed a lot of help out there. Being out there was breathtaking I got to be with kids and even play with them or just even got to sit down and try to talk to them and even teach them how to speak English. They treat each other as family no matter what they care for each other.We even got to buy groceries for families that really needed it even though they all needed it we gave to families they have many kids and even babies.To see the smiles on their faces was enough for me to know that I did my part when I was there making one change and growth in heart at a time.
This trip was not just for having fun but also helping out there community. Even though the first day we all got sick we still fought to try and help them out in order for them to get the help they really needed. I got sick while working I had to go to the bus for a while I took a walk and then I got back to work by helping out cleaning. That was our first day, our second day was much better we got to help out more people while also getting to play some games with kids. Not only that but we got to show them some cool dance moves we even show them songs we listen to and dance to as well.The third day was so fun we got to help paint the school for the kids so they can have a nice place to learn they should at least have that since there only able to get one day of learning at school.Which is sad because we get to have many days to go to school to learn and we take advantage of that sometimes.
After all that we got time to relax and have fun. We got to go sightseeing and everything we even climbed up the church to see the overview of the city.It was fun but scary for me because i’m afraid of heights. But i’m so proud of myself for overcoming my fears and being able to climb. We got to go to the hot water springs that was my first time I go to do that. We did that and we all got into to the pool as well. Going shopping and seeing the streets of Quito was amazing. Our last day was kind of sad we had to say bye to our tour guide and Mrs.Sarah. They were both amazing I hope that One day Mrs.Sarah and our tour guide comes to visit us.I hope that one day I will be able to go back and help out more than what I did already. Helping people is part of my nature and I love that about me and I hope thats what others love about me as well.