Have you ever wondered what its really like to be a Manna Project International Program Director in Ecuador?? Of course you have! Today you'll get the inside scoop of where we live and work, on a picture tour of Rumiloma and Sangolqui.
First stop on the tour is the Manna House, where all of our Program Directors live together. Our house is located a neighborhood called La Serrana, a residential area of Sangolqui, the largest city on the outskirts of Ecuador's capital of Quito. Unfortunately, that pick-up truck is NOT ours, but the beautiful bright orange house is. Living with your fellow PDs is one of the most amazing parts of the Manna Project experience, and you will get to build friendships that will last a lifetime. This is our "ferocious" (not at all, actually) guard dog, Lola.
A few block away from our house is Cinco Esquinas, a restaurant the sells typically Ecuadorian food for $1.70 a plate. Most of the time in the Manna House, we cook American food, so when we want a change of pace we come to Cinco Esquinas and eat as many tortilla completas as we can.
Next we head to downtown Sangolqui, where PDs do their shopping, pass time exploring the market, and hang out. First comes Santa Maria, the supermarket where we buy most of our groceries.
We're lucky that it has a good mix of luxuries from home while also having all of our Ecuadorian favorites. Next is the market, which pours out into the streets of the city in full force on Sundays. While the main attractions are the delicious fresh fruits and vegetables, you can pretty much find anything at the market!
Sangolqui is also home to a soccer team that is quickly rising in the ranks of Ecuadorian soccer, named Independiente del Valle. The field is often open when the team isn't practicing or playing, and a lot of people use it as a place to hang out or exercise!
Another PD favorite in Sangolqui is the main church plaza, which has stunning colonial architecture and an amazing ice cream shop where they sell freshly-made helado de paila, a local way of making ice cream that tastes great!
Last but certainly not least, we head to Rumiloma where we have our community center! Rumiloma is just a short bus ride away from Sangolqui into an area of the Chillos Valley that is a bit more rural. Below is our community center and library (and local dog friend), which faces out onto a massive soccer field that we use all the time for our soccer clinics, field days, and other activities with our community members. The sunsets that can't be beat!