On Day 3, Jan Wampler and three students from MIT's Department of Architecture presented the design for the "Street Children's Center" in Pascuales, Ecuador. They had been working for the last semester designing the building in this workshop. The event was marked by celebrations in the community: food was cooked, entertainment including dancing and singing by people of the community was held, and many came dressed in their best clothes. Between 800 to 1000 people came to the event that started in the afternoon and went on well into the evening.
The event ended by making a "corner stone" for the new building by having children's handprints imprinted into wet concrete that then dried the next day, making a wall of handprints that the children can forever proudly point to. Jan Wampler, the students and Nicki Lehrer and Andrea Pazmino and others that organized the event also added their initials.
Previous to that day the group was welcomed into the community while walking through the streets and greeting the families. We were invited into their homes to share food and conversation. We all became friends instantly. We also were interviewed on local television stations and featured in stories written in local newspapers. Construction of the building is expected to start in the coming summer months.
When we left, four days later, what we left behind was a "corner stone", drawings and a model for the new building but most importantly "hope" for a better life for this community. This is what we can bring to the world using the resources of MIT.
- Jan Wampler
The following images document the studio's three days in Pascuales and Guayaquil.