Posted by: Merrilee | March 26, 2013

A Chance Encounter in Quito

A Chance Encounter in Quito

It’s often a chance encounter with locals that makes an international traveler’s day extra special.

IMG_3683One afternoon a friend and I decided to visit Quito’s Museo Nacional, a museum which houses one of Ecuador’s largest collections of Ecuadorian art in the country, as well as its human and natural history. In front of the neighboring building we encountered hundreds of high school students, many of whom were dressed in the uniform of their respective schools.

IMG_3681One friendly young man named Juan approached us.  He explained, in perfect English, that inside the building in front of us were representatives from various universities in Ecuador who were there to speak to students during their last year of high school.  Juan spent part of his early childhood in the USA, hence the reason for his command of the English language.  He said he hoped to attend university, whether in Ecuador or in the States, and perhaps become a translator.

IMG_3593I soon got into a lively conversation with a group of female students while my friend continued talking to Juan.

In general their English was sketchy, but I was able to communicate with them enough in Spanish to understand that they were excited about the prospect of going to college if they could get into one, and a little about their hopes and dreams for the future.

When I asked if they would like to attend a university in the United States, all expressed a desire.  All but one indigenous lady named Angela seemed to be resigned to the fact that it was not possible for them due to the excessive cost.  IMG_3675

Angela, who appeared to be the most serious in the group, told me she loved English and really wanted to study in the States.  I found it interesting that the only two students I spoke to who felt a dream of attending university in the USA was possible, were Angela, the indigenous student, and Juan, the student who had previously lived there.IMG_3676

The excited faces of these students and the warmth I felt from them was refreshing.  Before we parted ways I asked them for a couple email addresses in order to send them some of the photos I had been taking of them.  They eagerly complied.

I was glad my friend and I had decided to visit the museum that day or we would have missed this special encounter with these students.



  1. Merrilee,

    Always entertained by your adventures here. I’ve been surprised by the number of happy faces in your reports. Your charm must be overwhelming to the locals. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: