enVisioning – a bridge back to Ecuador

Eight Months! It has been 8 months since I fled back to Ecuador working with Global Citizen Year, an organization (based out of Oakland, CA!) that recruits and trains graduating high school students and supports them through a bridge year (like gap year) of service learning and leadership training in Ecuador, Brazil, and Senegal.

My role as a Team Leader involves coordinating a region of Ecuador – which first meant finding host families and apprenticeships for the 11 fellows that would come to my region, and now I am the coach/mentor/trainer for the fellows as they go through the year volunteering and living in the Andes mountains of Chimborazo, Ecuador.

Below is a Vision statement that I originally crafted in July, revisited and revamped in September, and solidified in October. When I first began thinking about my Vision for this year, I had just 30 minutes and very little direction to write it out, and then had to recite it in front of my very new 7 other colleagues. The guiding questions that this vision statement addresses are: “What do I plan to create as a leader in the next year,” and, “The vision of what will be so, if I am successful in my work and life.”

In September when the year begun and I met my Fellows, I added more and read it aloud again in front of them ll at the session where they had to write and recite their Vision for their Global Citizen Year. This was a really fulfilling and empowering process for everyone….and something I have referred back to throughout the year to renew my inspiration and intentions…

My Vision for this coming year is that I will look back and say:  I did my very best. I pursued true meaning in my own life and that is okay. I consistently expressed gratitude and appreciation for all that I am privileged to be, know, and have. I made a difference for others and am confident in who I am and my future potential. 

Throughout the year, I created and practiced daily grounding rituals to bring my mind, spirit, and body energized and in tune, including meditation, reflection, journaling, yoga, and creative expression.

One of the personal values I hold close is Ubuntu – I am because you are – and my vision is that I will continue on my journey to learn exactly what living this value on a daily basis really means for me.

As a leader, I will be a guide and coach that inspires fellows whenever possible to find purpose and appreciation throughout their challenges and successes. In the Chimborazo region, I will create a space for open sharing, learning and growth for fellows, local partners, and myself. This is a place where we will feel like a family – safe and supported; where we will feel challenged and enriched by each other’s differences, similarities and unique experiences.

In addition, I will have created a network of strong reciprocal personal relationships with fellows, as well as families and local partners. This will include finding ways to continue growing my knowledge of Ecuador and the experience of our partners. I will form a strong support network within the entire Global Citizen Year team and my personal circles to learn from and lean on. I will feel comfortable and happy with my living situation in Ecuador while proactively staying connected to loved ones at home.

My Vision is that I will look back on this year and say:  I pushed myself everyday to grow in my self-awareness and leadership, and habitually reflected on this as well as ways and instances where I could more fully encompass the values of Accountability, Curiosity, Gratitude, and Empathy.   A year from now, my vision is that I will feel empowered by my role in the Global Citizen Year community and will feel fulfillment from my job and life’s direction.

Photos from there journey here!


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