Courtesy of Allyson Levy
Allyson Levy, rising sophomore at Pinewood School, volunteered at a school in Ecuador this summer.
Here we are. The heart of Silicon Valley. A city run on money. We live in our $3 million houses and drive our Teslas. However, there is a question we have to ask ourselves: Does money make us happy?
This summer I traveled to Guayaquil, Ecuador, on a mission trip. I volunteered at a school, St. Vincent de Paul, which is in a very rough part of town. The students have different backgrounds and home lives yet have one thing in common: School is a getaway, a safe place, a sanctuary. A sanctuary protected like a fortress, with tall concrete walls and barbed-wire fences. It looks dark on the outside, but on the inside, the walls are painted with an assortment of colors, and kids are running around with big smiles from ear to ear. I spent five days teaching kids how to make art. It was an amazing experience resulting in a major takeaway: how happy they are.