Colville youth, chaperones help Yamacocha with sense of community after hiking on the Inca Trail

Roger Harnack

The Colville troupe volunteering in poor communities in Ecuador this week closed out Tuesday with a campfire and a thank you from residents in the poor community in the Andes Mountains.
But before they wrapped up, they took time preparing for tomorrow's volunteer work in homeless shelter in Quito, the capital of Ecuador.
Students broke out into a practice session singing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."
The sound of the students singing "A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh" brought a few of the indigent residents to a hearty laugh and a glowing smile in the rugged mountains where life is hard and opportunities to smile are a precious few.
But the community of indigent residents had a couple other reasons to smile -- Colville Interact wrapped up the painting of the insides of many homes and a new baby was born overnight.
Lydia Inez Hipo gave birth to a baby girl at home in the small house she shares with her husband, Silvio Hipo. The couple previously decided not to travel the more than 90 minutes to Quito on the rocky, bumpy dirt road that connects their community to the city.
Silvio delivered the baby without a doctor or a midwife, and only a nearby neighbor to help.
The baby brought a renewed emphasis of community to the area, as did the Colville students volunteer work.
Pilar Palacio, a Rotarian from Cumbaya, said the work of Colville volunteers helped show the indigent residents that they, too, are important.
The community's leader, Jose Avale, spoke about that briefly in which he thanked the Colville entourage from his heart.
He also noted that the entertainment they brought to the area was a refreshing respite from life in the mountains, where families live in 2 and 3 room huts without running water, modern flooring insulation and until Tuesday, painted walls.
The community offered Colville volunteers fresh-picked corn and Lima beans, which they boiled and prepared at the end of the long day.
They also posed for a photograph with all the volunteers.
The photograph ended a day that began with a two-hour hike on the Inca Trail.
The volunteers hiked the trail through the Reserva Yanacocha to see an area known for its hummingbirds.
On Wednesday, the Colville group will turn its attention to the homeless in the capital city.
There, students will provide hygiene kits, socks and other necessities to homeless residents of a shelter. The students will also perform "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and then move on to bake bread for a cancer-support organization.
Check back nightly for an update on the Colville volunteers currently working in Ecuador.