The Afro-Ecuadorian people of Mascarilla are a proud and enterprising people that use ceramic art and cultural events to enrich and strengthen their community.
The community is made up of the descendants of African slaves who have embraced their dark history with the strength that gave the town its namesake: mas-carrilla which means more strength.
After an archeologist discovered a mask relic from West Africa in the valley below the town, three artistic and charming cousins, Betty, Sylvia, and Paquita, taught themselves ceramic pottery and began creating replica masks, after years of practice their own style developed and the replicas became art of their own.
Volunteers welcomed into the community will marvel at the warmth and generosity of spirit of the people of Mascarilla and my bet is that many will not want to leave.
Expected Tasks While Volunteering:
– Teachers assistant in the preschool, and primary school, for small children
– Teach English to motivated children in afternoon classes
– Final year medical, dental, and orthodontic students or graduates can help in the communities small medical center
– Ceramics and pottery classes to create masks
– For anyone who has WordPress skills helping the community create a website to sell their masks would be a huge benefit.
Why This is Important:
The enterprising women of Mascarilla have created a cultural center using ceramic art as a vehicle for education and empowerment of the communities youth. This volunteer program aims to help provide an alternative source of income for the community center as well as share and inspire the volunteers home culture with the youth of the community.
The Volunteer Perfect For this Program:
– Speaks Intermediate level of Spanish
– Interested in art, cuture, and ceramics
Price per Month:
– 1 Week – $285
– 2 weeks – $360
– 3 weeks – $435
– 4 weeks – $485
Minimum Time Spent Volunteering:
– 1 week minimum
(Maximum 3 Volunteers at a Time)
Volunteers will be volunteering between Monday to Friday with weekends free for leisure time or travel around Ecuador. You will have to take your own food to prepare meals in the kitchen facilities provided. Make sure you bring a hat and sunscreen for the harsh Andean sun and mosquito repellent.