8:32 PM / Saturday December 3, 2022

30 Jul 2015

My life experience in Ecuador

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July 30, 2015 Category: Local Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  Jala McDaniel (c) visits the SUN office, also pictured on the left SUN Social Media Editor Kiarra Solomon and SUN Publisher J. Whyatt Mondesire.

By Jala McDaniel

[This week the SUN is pleased to introduce youth writer Ms. Jala McDaniel of Independence Charter School, talking about her travelling experience to Ecuador last year.]

I attend Independence Charter School, and last school year, I went to Ecuador with my school. I really enjoyed myself while I was in Ecuador too. Not everybody got to go to Ecuador. I was one of just 14 kids that got picked to go on the amazing trip. In order for me to go on that trip I had to do many things. I first had to write an essay on why I wanted to go on the trip, what things I was looking forward on the trip, and what are the some of the things I want to keep with me for the rest of my life when I get back from the trip. After writing my essay, I had to wait a few days to be interviewed. After the interview, my parents received a call letting them know that I had been selected.

On March 25th, it was finally time to go to Ecuador. My friends and I were so excited. We flew from Philadelphia to Atlanta, and then from Atlanta to Quito, Ecuador. When we first got to Atlanta we saw so many fun and funny things in the airport. We saw MIGOS and I was so hype. We had to wait in ATL for at least six or seven hours for our plane to arrive so we could go to Ecuador. The flight to Ecuador was 13 hours. I was so tired after that flight. When we were in Ecuador we didn’t stay in a hotel because it was a bit expensive for us so we decided to stay in a hostel. A hostel in like a hotel except it’s not that fancy. It is basically a big house that a family owns and it had at least four to five rooms.

I stayed in Ecuador for 11 days. Every day we did a different activity. My favorite part of that trip was working at the day care painting and re-building things like tables and chairs. We also volunteered our time at a middle school and helped teach too. We also painted a mural there even though we didn’t get to finish it. We made great relationships with the kids in the middle school and in the day care. The kids loved us so much they wanted us to sign everything that they owned. Their books, clothes, even their skin the kids were mad in love with us over there. I think about them all the time and still to this day I miss them every day. They were so sweet and so kind and loving even though they didn’t have anything that we have today. When I came back from that life experience it taught me to not take things that are handed to me for granted. Also to make sure that I appreciate the little things in life.


QUITO, ECUADOR - Activity in the Plaza Grande in the colonial center of Quito, Ecuador on March 6, 2015.  (Jess Kraft /

QUITO, ECUADOR – Activity in the Plaza Grande in the colonial center of Quito, Ecuador on March 6, 2015. (Jess Kraft /


Although I know it was a privilege to travel internationally at such a young age (I was only 13), I think its very important for everyone to travel and see the world. It teaches you that the world is bigger than just your neighborhood. Also, experiencing other cultures makes you a more well rounded person. I would suggest that anyone who can travel, does it. Even if you’re an adult. Ecuador was one of the best experiences of my life.

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