For our scholarship program we are always thinking of ways to motivate our students to do well in school. Last semester we decided to invite the two best students, among the scholarship recipients, for a day of fun in Quito. The students talked about this during the entire term and really worked hard to win, most of them had never visited their capital, which is only about two hours away from where they live.
Here we are at the last scholarship meeting in February, Elvis (left) and Anita (second from right) were the two best students and won the day in Quito! Patricia (second from left) made the 3rd place and received a folder and multicolor pen.
Having breakfast at the Otavalo bus terminal before leaving for Quito. Anita's mother (left) joined us on the bus ride to the capital.
For the ‘día de diversion’ we first went to the Quito Basilica, the largest neo-gothic cathedral in Latin America. Something to note about this basilica are the gargoyles in the form of native Ecuadorian animals such as iguanas, Galapagos tortoises and armadillos. You can climb up all the way into the north tower, which gives you a great view of the city.
After the basilica we went to independence square in the historical center. There we visited the Quito city museum to learn more about Quito’s history. From there we went to the Jesuit church of La Compañia, its interior is almost entirely covered in gold. After lunch we also got a tour of the parliament or ‘national palace’, which was opened to the public for free by the current president. He was also the first president to display the gifts he has received during state visits, his slogan: ‘The Carondelet Palace now belongs to everyone’.
Elvis on the balcony of the parliament, the metropolitan cathedral in the background.
After such a long day of sightseeing and learning about Ecuador’s history we went for ice cream at a big mall. There the two of them used an elevator for the first time.
Both Anita and Elvis were most impressed with the parliament. It was fascinating to see where the president works and all important state decisions are made.