Leila Merzenich

Leila Merzenich is passionate about mechanical engineering. She is involved in issues of gender and sexual identity in her community, as well as determining how to effect political change from within the bubble of the Bay Area in a divided nation. Her goals for the year are to get better at Spanish, obtain a broader perspective, and to generally get out of her comfort zone. "As soon as you start to make room for the parts that aren't you out gets harder to bloom in a garden of love."- Sara Bareilles


Maclovia San Martín

The thing that’s been hardest about being back home is how much I miss my host mom Maclovia, or Maco. Maco showed me how to be compassionate even when it might be easier to think of only yourself and how to be a strong leader…

22 June, 2018

Halloween in Ecuador

As you may know, Halloween isn't really a thing in Ecuador, which made me pretty nostalgic for the days when I would dress up in often a homemade costume and go trick or treating with my cousins, or even just watch scary movies with my…

02 November, 2017

First days in Bella Union

I have now spent under a week in my host community, and I have had such an interesting time full of learning and new experiences. My village in reality is a tiny suburb of a town called Santa Ana. There is a tiny store that…

25 September, 2017

Managing Expectations

Yesterday in Quito, our entire cohort found out where in Ecuador we would be spending our next seven months, and let's just say we were all pretty nervous. I went into this process ready to accept whatever I was given and make the most out…

13 September, 2017

Pushing my Limits

  Last Monday, my friend convinced me to perform at an open mic night with her. She is one of those friend that always gets me to do things outside of my comfort zone, and this was the latest example of that. We wanted some…

25 August, 2017

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Leila Merzenich