Maya Wilcox

Maya is passionate about social justice, medicine and horseback riding. She was head of both Latinos Unidos and United Cultures of Thacher in high school. Last summer she interned as a Teaching Fellow with Breakthrough Silicon Valley and worked with 24 under-privileged middle schoolers teaching Biology and Social Justice classes. She spent the last four years teaching and competing in western-style horseback riding. Her goals for her year in Ecuador are to rekindle her love of learning new things and to learn and immerse herself into the community on her own terms.

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Part 3: Who am I? and Who do I want to be?: A Self Reflection

Nine months have gone by since I stepped on a plane to Ecuador. That moment feels so long ago, but when I think about the home cooked meals my host mother would cook, and the views of the mountains from the roof of my house, it feels like yesterday.  There are a lot of reasons…

06 June, 2018

Part 2: Who are the American people?: What we as a culture can learn from another

Learning about other people often teaches us about ourselves. If our values and ways of life are never challenged, we will never learn why we believe in them. Learning about Kichwa culture has given me several insights into American values and way of life, and I think we can and should make some improvements.  #1…

06 June, 2018

Part 1: Who are the Kichwa Otavalo people?: Countering the single story narrative

Anyone who is part of GCY is familiar with the idea of the single story. It refers to a common thread in most Americans’ view of the world. When we think about other countries, especially less developed ones, we tend to be content considering only one narrative of how the people live their lives. In…

06 June, 2018

Why Punctuality is Overrated (and other Reflections)

A couple weeks ago, someone asked me, “What is the most important thing you’ve gotten out of this year?” A question I’m sure I’ll hear a lot when I return home. But truthfully, picking just one is hard. My time here has changed how I look at the world and how I feel about myself…

07 March, 2018

Dia de los Difuntos – A Photo Essay

A photo essay about November 2nd, Día de los Difuntos, also known as Day of the Dead, not to be confused with the similar, but distinct, Mexican holiday, Día de los Muertos. At 10:30am, we arrive at cemetery #1 in Ilumán, my host community. My host sister, Laymi, posing with flowers for the dead. My…

05 December, 2017

The Winter Solstice Festival: Kapak Raymi

Someone asked me to elaborate on the winter solstice festival after my last post (shoutout to Jan!). So I’m sharing a little blurb about it from the magazine I work for. Kapak Raymi is a festival in honor of wisdom, and is celebrated on the 21st of December, hallmay pacha. Rituals that are practiced include: hutuku…

07 November, 2017

5 things Kichwa has taught me about Indigenous Culture

Ecuador has three different regions: the coast, the sierra, and the Amazon. I live in the Sierra, as do all GCY fellows, and one of the most wonderful and unique aspects of the Sierra is that all the indigenous people here speak some dialect of Kichwa. As most of you know, I’m pretty fluent in…

02 November, 2017

First Week with the Host Fam

Hi everyone! It's time for an update on my life in Ecuador, have fun reading! My family lives in a town called Ilumán, about 30 minutes outside of Otavalo. My mother's name is Nancy and my father's is Rodrigo. I’ve got three siblings, the oldest, Laymi, is nine years old, and is in 6th grade….

26 September, 2017

My Family’s Story

Hello everyone! Welcome to my first blog of the year! Thanks so much for subscribing, I hope you enjoy reading my posts and learning about Ecuador.  My blog will be centered around the stories of others, I plan to interview people I meet in Ecuador to learn about their lives and experiences and share them…

27 August, 2017

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Maya Wilcox