Yesenia Martinez

Yesenia is passionate about writing, music, and indigenous cultures. She enjoys spending time outside, doing CrossFit, spending time with family/friends, and writing. Her goals for the year are to learn more about Ecuadorean culture, and use the experience to grow and expand her vision.


Capstone or stepping stone?

After RET, it took me a while to get back on the "GCY program requirement" train. I struggled with reverse culture shock heavily, and reintegrated somewhat slowly. However, during this reintegration process, Leo (Brazil fellow) and I went to visit one of our high school teacher's (Matt Cone); we talked about our experiences and shared…

05 June, 2018

Shizho Kuychirumi

This man, oh what a mystical man… He goes by Jonny. He's been living in Cañar (my host community) for eleven years now. From el centro, his home is about a 7 minute camioneta ride. Yes, camioneta; because taxi's refuse to take you up to the community of San Rafael. Only because the particular sector…

04 June, 2018

Letter 4 Yessi from Yessi

Dear Yesenia,    By the time you’re reading this letter, I hope that you’re the best version of you (so far). I hope that the months you experienced in Ecuador have open your mind and eyes in a way that has allowed you to retain a clearer vision of what your mission is in the…

28 May, 2018

Letter 4 Yessi from Yessi

  Corazón que es lo único que tengo. Un corazón lleno de amor, que quiere compartir con toda la familia de la tierra. La gente, los animales, toda la naturaleza, el cielo, los planetas… pulsamos al mismo ritmo. Somos uno, somos una armonía. Ahora, toca planificar, construir, y armonizar para que vivamos en paz. Que…

28 May, 2018

Who are you, truly?

A recent study, conducted en la Provincia de Cañar, showed that the person with the most descent from Cañaris/Incans had 37% of native genes, although most people ranged from 7%-10%. Today, citizens of el Canton Cañar (a town in the Province of Cañar) refer to themselves as either indígena or mestizo. You may ask, so what classifies you as…

06 November, 2017

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is a reality.

It's been 52 days since I left Chapel Hill, NC. I've spent 37 of those days in the beautiful country of Ecuador. It's only been a little over a month, yet I feel like I've known this place, specifically Cañar, for ages. The town I live in is small, and we are encircled by majestic…

18 October, 2017

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Yesenia Martinez