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Kyla Muir's Story

NSCC students in Ecuador for Spanish and Service Learning

I had the pleasure of being able to experience the culture of Ecuador for 4 weeks this summer. Living with a host family allowed me to be immersed in the culture daily. My host mother, Guadalupe, introduced me to many Ecuadorian plates including pan de yuca, patacones, and my favourite, ceviche. Guadalupe also helped me to practice my Spanish outside of school and took me to different places around Guayaquil to learn even more and experience the animals and meet locals. We were enrolled in Spanish language classes as well as Latin dance classes to get a better understanding of the culture. The classes were fun and very informative. Not only did we learn Spanish and dance, but we learned about our professors ' lives and outlooks on Ecuadorian culture.

The students at UEES guided and joined us through school activities, classes, city tours, and other activities. I met many new friends during my experience in Ecuador who I will always keep in contact with, and who will help me to progress my Spanish learning while in Canada.

One of my favourite parts of the experience was being able to volunteer at a wild animal veterinarian's office in the city. I was able to go 3 times a week to help clean, feed, entertain, and anything else the vets may have needed. The animals included sloths, monkeys, birds, squirrels, turtles, and much more. I wish I could have stayed there with the animals longer. I loved being able to develop relationships with these animals and help them in their healing process.