I spent two years teaching at a private school in Ecuador.
I spent two years, from 1980-1982, teaching in a private Spanish school in Guayaquil, Ecuador. I was one of several ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers at the K-12 school. I taught second grade English and found every day to be quite an adventure in my simple, sparsely decorated little classroom. Every day was an adventure whether I had to chase an iguana out of the room or kill a scorpion that had just crawled out of one of my student’s bookbags. In either case, it would take the students 5 seconds to vacate the premises and wait for me outside. I didn’t mind, though. At least I didn’t have to chase a rat out of my room every day as did one of the teachers whose room bordered an open field. Her students waited for her on top of their desks. The day our school was hit with a 5.2 earthquake was sheer terror. That was considered a moderate quake, but as far as my students and I were concerned, when our louvered windows slammed shut and our wall cracked sending a shower of plaster over us and bouncing desks, it ranked as an 8 pointer.
The children were a delight and well-behaved as long as I was in the room, but could quickly become quite mischievous. I had dark-haired, dark-skinned children, as well as those with blond hair and blue eyes. There was quite a Spanish/European mix with names that could range from Pedro Gugenheim to Bridget Moreno. All in all, they were a total delight and loved nothing more than to perform in front of an audience or compete at sports and beauty pageants.
Ecuador was a traveler’s dream with so many beautiful places to explore…Quito the beautiful colonial-style capital, the charming mountain hamlet of Gualaceo, or San Antonio where the amazing wood carvers lived. Whether the beaches or the mountains, the cities or mountain villages with their colorful markets, Ecuador remains as one of my all-time favorite places in the world.