One of the most fun and valuable experiences that our volunteers have during their stay in Ecuador is to live and share with an Ecuadorian host family. To share a little of that experience with you, we decided to interview one of our host families every month. This month we paid a visit to host family Maldonado Ortíz, consisting of mother Piedad (64), her youngest son Steven (24) and grandson Ariel (8).
How long have you been a host family for Local Dreamers?
Piedad: about three years. We started with volunteer Maudi Oerlemans in June 2015.
How did you get to know the foundation?
Piedad: my daughter Viviana got to know you because sometimes volunteers walked through our neighborhood and she followed them and asked them what they were doing there. The volunteers sent her to the Local Dreamers office and there they spoke and we became one of the host families of the foundation.
How would you describe the experience of living together with foreign volunteers?
Piedad: what a beautiful thing. I treat them like my own children and I really feel that way. When they leave, I feel an immense emptiness. I am always pending to attend them.
From your experience, what are the biggest cultural differences between the volunteers, and Ecuadorians?
Piedad: for me there really are not many cultural differences, but not being able to dialogue at the moment they arrive here for the first time is something difficult. It is also nice because they learn from us and we learn from them.
What was the most fun time you have had with a volunteer?
Piedad: many moments. With almost all the volunteers, we had a super super good time. I could not choose. They are all like family and we have had a good time with everyone.
What do you think of Local Dreamers?
Piedad: your programs are a great opportunity for the people here and a great experience for the volunteers to learn. Excellent organization!
© Local Dreamers, interview with host family Maldonado Ortíz