Ecuador: Day Eight

Source: Blog Post

We met in the lobby at 2:00 am, packed our luggage into the same cargo truck that had met us at the airport only a week prior, and then we all loaded into the hotel shuttle to make our way back to the Guayaquil airport. Even at 2:30 in the morning, the airport was bustling with travelers. We passed through customs uneventfully and then waited to board our plane back to Miami. As the sun rose over Guayaquil, we bid our farewells from the sky. Less than 5 hours later, we landed in Miami. While gathering our bags to pass through American customs, there was a delay due to lightning and rain on the tarmac.

But slowly and surely, each of our bags emerged on the carousel. We said our goodbyes to our fellow mission colleagues who had become our close friends, and each made our way to our respective gates that would take us home to Arizona, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. We had come together as individuals each from different walks of life and with a specialized array of skills, united as a team to better the lives of Ecuadorian patients and left with the realization that they had bettered ours as well. Each of us is truly grateful to have been a part of the 2019 Esperança-Touching Hands Project surgical mission trip to Guayaquil, Ecuador. 


This was a Touching Hands partnership mission with Esperança.

Derived from the Portuguese word for “hope,” Esperança has been dedicated to transforming lives since its inception in 1970. The Arizona-based nonprofit serves the most under-resourced and poverty-stricken communities in Bolivia, Ecuador, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Peru, and the Phoenix area. Partnering with indigenous local organizations, Esperança provides these communities with access to quality surgical care, clean water, stable sources of food, disease prevention education, and ecological housing.  

Over the last 50 years of providing health education and volunteer medical care, Esperança quickly became known as a symbol of hope to those that have learned to live hopelessly. To learn more about Esperança's mission, visit