Amigos de las Americas had a tremendous impact on my life. I worked with the nonprofit as a Volunteer in Azuay, Ecuador (1990), in Lempira, Honduras as a Field Supervisor (1993), as an Assistant Project Director in El Oro, Ecuador (1996), and as a Project Director in Villarrica, Paraguay (1998).
The summer of 1990 I lived and worked in the Andes Mountains near Cuenca, Ecuador. The main focus was building latrines and planting trees, but we also taught baseball to the local kids. The bat was made of bamboo, and the ball was a rock, both wrapped in duct tape.
polka-dotted white shirt collar
in the rain, little black bits of
sulphur dioxide and nitrogen
oxide, liquid smog clears the
Andean air, never knew the
mountains were there before
storms of winter, when all
is pure again, I wait for the
micro (bus), slicked hair under
umbrella, leather jacket like
a Russian made man to hustle
on these Spanish speaking streets
in transit to work for finance
power company, electricity and me
daydreaming of Neruda in dirty drips
of sky just asking, why? why?