Eat, Drink, and be Merry

A common question that we get from volunteers is, 'What will I be eating while I'm in Ecuador?" We have delivered and put together a helpful list of common meals that you will be eating while in country!

1. Meat, rice, beans and vegetables

This will be a staple meal for lunch. There will be lots of food to choose from and a good variety if you're a picky eater!

This will be a staple meal for lunch. There will be lots of food to choose from and a good variety if you're a picky eater!

2. Cuy

Cuy is an Ecuador delicacy and is served at many nicer restaurants. One cuy can be about $20! Don't be afraid, it tastes like chicken!

Cuy is an Ecuador delicacy and is served at many nicer restaurants. One cuy can be about $20! Don't be afraid, it tastes like chicken!

3. Chocolate bread and other pastries.

There are a couple of bakeries down the street from the volunteer home. Most breads are around a quarter and just heaven on earth. We recommend the chocolate bread!

There are a couple of bakeries down the street from the volunteer home. Most breads are around a quarter and just heaven on earth. We recommend the chocolate bread!

4. FRUIT...lots of fruit!

There will always be a variety of fruit in the kitchen for the volunteers to eat. Several of the staples include bananas, star fruit, mangoes, melon, papaya and many others!

There will always be a variety of fruit in the kitchen for the volunteers to eat. Several of the staples include bananas, star fruit, mangoes, melon, papaya and many others!

5. Fruit Juice

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6. Chatos

I wish we could make you fully understand the magic that is chatos. Chatos is a local food stand in Cuenca that sells dessert kebabs. They pile on fruit, marshmallows, brownies and coat the whole thing in chocolates. Chatos is the #1 thing talked about by the volunteers. Don't hesitate, just buy 10 your first day.

I wish we could make you fully understand the magic that is chatos. Chatos is a local food stand in Cuenca that sells dessert kebabs. They pile on fruit, marshmallows, brownies and coat the whole thing in chocolates. Chatos is the #1 thing talked about by the volunteers. Don't hesitate, just buy 10 your first day.

7. Treats

There will be vendors all over the city and lucky for you, some of those include treats. If you are not wanting to brave the street food, you can shop at the local mall and get packaged treats (The really good chocolate is cheaper than Hershey Bars!)

There will be vendors all over the city and lucky for you, some of those include treats. If you are not wanting to brave the street food, you can shop at the local mall and get packaged treats (The really good chocolate is cheaper than Hershey Bars!)

8. Pizza! Yes, pizza!

Tutto Freddos is a volunteer favorite! Tutto Freddos is a very nice pizza restaurant in downtown Cuenca. We recommend getting Fiora Vanti (soda) to wash it down! 

Tutto Freddos is a volunteer favorite! Tutto Freddos is a very nice pizza restaurant in downtown Cuenca. We recommend getting Fiora Vanti (soda) to wash it down! 



New Year, New You

If you are like me, now that we are a couple weeks into the new year, I image that a few of your New Year's resolutions have been forgotten or broken and you are left wishing that there was something you could do to still feel like a new you. Well look no further because I have just the thing!

Did you know that giving of your time and money can actually increase your happiness? I know, crazy! But a group called Social Capital Community Benchmark did a survey to demonstrate this. The results were, that in 2000, the people that donated money/time to charities were 43 percent more likely to click that they were "very happy" on the survey than those who didn't donate! Now I don't know about you but I want to be happy! So what can we do? Well the "new you" in this new year can donate your time and/or money to an incredible organization called Orphanage Support Services Organization or OSSO.

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OSSO is a non-profit organization run out of Rexburg, Idaho that sends volunteers and monetary support to orphanages in Ecuador and Thailand. If you volunteer with them, you get to work hands on with incredible children that you will grow to love with all your heart. But that's not all! Not only do you get to watch your life be changed by these loving children, you also get to adventure! And by adventure I mean riding elephants and petting tigers ect. in Thailand! Or zip lining through the jungle and horseback riding through the Andes mountains ect. in Ecuador! I know what you're thinking, "Where do I sign up?" Well visit their website at www.orphanagesupport.org and apply today!

This is a new year and a new you. Do something worthwhile with it and volunteer with OSSO today! 

Giving Tree

The season of giving is upon us!

OSSO has continued their tradition of a Giving Tree for the holiday season! This is the second year that OSSO has had their virtual Giving Tree available online. If you are looking for a way to donate, it could not be more simple! Just choose an ornament!

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Our Giving Tree is a fun way for those to see what their donation will bring to the orphans in Ecuador and Thailand. Wondering what your donation will cover?:

  • $5- Fresh fruit for every child in an orphanage of 80 children for a day.
  • $15- A field trip to the park with 15 children.
  • $20- A custom brace for a handicapped child.
  • $40- A Christmas feast for an orphanage of 25 children.
  • $100- School fees for 5 children.

Consider joining us this holiday season by donating a few dollars to help children meet their basic needs.

From OSSO alumna, Katie Eberhard:

"I've been around OSSO a couple times around Christmas, and I was blessed to spend Christmas day there in 2015 as well. Christmas is naturally a special time of year, but being with those incredible kids made it even more beautiful. We spent weeks thinking about and gathering Christmas presents. Hours were spent wrapping gifts and stuffing stockings. The work was worth it; the planning the preparation, more than paid off. On Christmas Eve we went from casa to casa singing carols to the kids and to the workers. Several of the children joined us as we sang. With excited hearts and light in their eyes we sent them to bed. In the morning wonder of wonders, Santa had come in the night! We ate a delicious breakfast and crowded into Girasol. I don't know that I have ever seen such delight as I did on the faces around me. Gifts were opened amid wide smiles. Everyone was so grateful for their gifts, even though some of them may have seemed meager int he sight of others. I was humbled beyond measure. The rest of the day was spent in the normal routine and happy playing with the gifts  received."