A group of Logos Hope volunteers visited the ESPOL university in Guayaquil for a cultural exchange with professors and students. The crewmembers' aim was to show their cultural diversity, as well as sharing how Christmas is celebrated in their countries.
Catherine, the team’s contact person and a professor at the university, revealed that she had been a volunteer on Logos II during the ship’s last stay in Guayaquil, and was very excited that the ship had returned to her city. Catherine gave the team a tour of the university before they started their presentation, explaining that the university is focused on protecting the environment as well as providing the best for its students’ future.
The team met students who study many of the languages the crewmembers speak: English, Korean, German and French. Karleigha Melmeth (Australia), found the presentations appropriate for the students: “They could link the foreign languages they are learning with the culture,” she said.
Each crewmember introduced their native country, giving information about its climate, flora and fauna, the typical architecture and local cuisine. They ended the presentation with examples of Christmas traditions as they know them at home.
Wiebke Perl (Germany), explained that the students appreciated seeing the crewmembers’ national costumes and diversity. “I liked connecting with them and showing them our cultures,” she said. “I could bring my culture closer to them.”
A student who had been volunteering on Logos Hope for a couple of weeks told the class about her own experience on board. The crewmembers then took some time to answer the students’ questions, which were mainly about the ship, how such a diverse community interacts together and the reason each crewmember is passionate about serving others.
After the visitors had answered questions, one student raised his hand and told the group: “What you do is honourable. You should keep going.” He explained he was touched by the fact that people from all over the world would leave their homes to serve others together, to make the world a better place. One of the teachers also showed a lot of interest in the initiative and visited Logos Hope four times, to talk more with the volunteers.