Hope, sadness, concern, uncertainty are feelings shared by the 47 intercultural students of the Salesian Polytechnic University (UPS) who would have been sharing laughter, books, and notes, if the COVID – 19 health emergency had not occurred. The students house is located at the Intercultural University Residence located in the south of Quito.
Out of the 47 students, 12 live in the residence, mostly because they lack from internet connection in their native homes. Students come from communities of Zumbahua, Bomboiza,Esmeraldas, Salinas de Guaranda, Cayambe, Yaupi, Santo Domingo, Taisha, Simiatug and Facundo Vela, places where Salesian missions are located.
Nahomi Angulo is studying Civil Engineering from Esmeraldas, tells us that some relatives have been affected by the virus and that, although her family have taken the protective measures seriously, her neighborhood has not and it is concerning. “My sisters lost their jobs, we have no protection of any kind, there is a lot of risk here,”. However, “we are waiting for better days”, she says with a smile that lights up her face.
For Wilmer Pujupat,this time has been an opportunity for spirituality, prayer and family time. The future UPS psychologist, from Gualaquiza, believes that the complicated part of the situation has as its counterpart which is being able to see his father, mother and brothers, something he couldn’t do because of his studies.
If there is a face whose joy shines the screens, it is that of Carlos Collavy, student of Management and Leadership. He tells us that, in his community, San Francisco (province of Bolivar), “to get good a good connection it is necessary to climb a hill”, for this reason he decided to come to the university residence to study online. He is not so concerned about the virus but worries for the elderly and children who could sicken from low temperatures and not receive the right attention on time.
Washington Yanchaliquín says he must go to an info center to connect to his online classes he also mentions many people in his area live the same situation, but he keeps his spirits high in order to finish his business administration career. Rocío Yampis also suffers from connection problems she is from Tuuutinentsa, near Taisha. The rurality of her community, as well as her family situation, has caused obstacles by the arising difficulties when attending her Accounting and Auditing online classes. Her peers continue to support her as well as the Student Welfare staff which is trying to support her in her career.
Every two weeks, UPS staff, including Silvia Gómez, Director of Student Welfare; Evelin Lima and Dr. Byron Gangotena of Human Talent Management, as well as Arturo and Rocío Murillo, in charge of the residence, keep in touch with them to know how they are to inform them about the security measures that will be taken. Soon the students will back with many stories to tell about themselves: their fighting spirit, joy and perseverance
Móniza Ruiz – Directora Técnica de Comunicación y Cultura UPS – Quito
Quito,Ecuador, May 20, 2020
Source: Salesianos Ecuador (https://salesianos.org.ec/pags/inicio.jsp)