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In order to fulfill a requirement for graduation from high school, my nephew Cameron decided to come to Cotacachi for two weeks to work with the local Ecuadorian people.  Our townhouse at Jahua Pacha is surrounded by indigenous villages, so I asked our friend Jairo, who lives in the community of El Batan, if my nephew could teach English there.  He agreed that it was a great idea and arranged for kids of all ages to come for 2 hours per day of instruction in English.  It turned out to be a most rewarding experience for both the local kids as well as my nephew.  As Cameron speaks Spanish fluently, he was able to communicate well and develop a bond with them.  While reflecting on the experience at the end of the project, he commented on his shock at the level of poverty that his students lived in, but also his discovery that kids are the same at heart whether they attend his suburban Seattle school or live in a small indigenous village in the heart of the Andes Mountains.

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