Ecuador: First 2013 team returns!

Our first team of the year spent their spring break from Auburn University serving the communities of Puengasí and Marianitas in Quito, Ecuador. The Schools of Nursing and Building Science took a combined team of 35 students and faculty, including three pharmacy students and a pharmacy alumna. This year, Jeff Etheridge of Auburn University Photographic Services took photos and video of the team. In case you missed our updates on Facebook, here are links to the Facebook albums Jeff posted: Quito, Ecuador, Building Science & Nursing Team, Middle of the World, Nursing team in Marianitas, Building Science team in Puengasí (you can find all of the photos posted below and more in these albums!).

On Sunday, the Auburn University Schools of Nursing and Building Science attended church at Agua de Vida and took a tour of Mama Yoli’s House, both of which were built by SIFAT teams.

In this post, we’ll focus on the building science component that served in Puengasí, an urban neighborhood of Quito. SIFAT teams have worked in here for the past two years building an addition SIFAT graduate Pastor Oswaldo’s church. This addition will be used for their after school programs and community outreach. In a later post, we will share about the nursing team’s women’s clinic held at SIFAT graduate Pastor Mario’s church in Marianitas.

The following was written by Dr. Scott Kramer, Professor in the McWhorter School of Building Science. Scott shares how his students benefit from taking a Service Learning trip.

This is the third year that we have traveled to Quito as part of a Service Learning class in Building Science at Auburn University. Each year has been extremely rewarding for the students and the faculty participating.  Our students have learned what it means to truly serve those less fortunate than ourselves by helping build the church/daycare facility in Puengasí. Our students were exposed to a very different culture, language and standard of living than they have experienced in the classroom at Auburn. Learning to work with the Ecuadorians as a team, whether mixing mortar by hand or laying block, will serve our students well when they pursue their professional careers in construction management. Helping the people of Quito “help themselves” was a very powerful life-changing experience for most of our students. I hope that they will take the lessons that they learned during Spring Break with them into their professional lives.  The McWhorter School of Building Science looks forward to collaborating with SIFAT in Ecuador for many years to come.  “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” ? Mark Twain


The Building Science component of the team worked on both exterior and interior walls on the addition to the church in Puengasí, which involved moving lots of block and mixing lots of mortar!


Teams will continue working on the building throughout 2013! This is a view of the second floor.


Look at the progress that has been made on the new addition!


For all of our previous team members…Edwin is STILL making sure that you’re doing everything correctly and to his standards!