“Let’s Give a Hand to All Hands, Ecuador” A Poem

By Rachel A. Vigil

I arrived on June 6th
and the time has flown
after three short weeks
I consider this a new home

I’ve never spent so many
nights in a tent
but hey, ain’t it great?
we don’t have to pay rent!

It takes me a while
to come out of my shell
the heat, a new country
I’m sure you could tell

And it’s true what they say
the first week can be rough
but by week two it seems
I began to adjust

Now I’m older than most
which shouldn’t much matter
except in recent years
Ive become older, and fatter!

Yet I know and have seen
that each day I grow stronger
much like our group here
as we stay involved longer

Water jugs I can carry
always lift with my knees
whereas at the beginning
I’d need some help — please??

My story is mine
but of course it’s yours too
did you ever even dream
you’d haul this much bamboo?

Only here it’s called cana
and it’s used everywhere
take a look at our table
and check out Sean’s chair!

You all got creative
in every which place
made structures, cana huts
that transform our base

But the best part of course
is the work that we do
no glamour, no glory
yet each day we start new

Committed to helping
those who need it the most
blessed by a beautiful location
on Ecuador’s coast

We joke and we laugh
as we get the job done
truly sweaty and stinky
but that’s part of the fun

We’re from different countries
a unique community we make
helping repair and rebuild
after a disastrous quake

Not just houses or buildings
that our efforts will touch
we reach the hearts and the lives
of those who lost so much

Ask anyone here
and I’m sure they believe
that it really is better
to give than receive

So to my new volunteer family
formed out here on the sands
keep building, keep giving
‘til I come back to All Hands!



One thought on ““Let’s Give a Hand to All Hands, Ecuador” A Poem”

  1. I love this poem. I am coming out to Ecuador as a volunteer early October so this really personalised it for me and captured the spirit of the volunteers working with ‘All Hands’. I know the work will be tough but I am up for it!


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