By Levi Butts
A project such as the 2012 McCaleb Initiative for Peace to Ecuador could be made possible only through the support and guidance of many persons and institutions. We offer deep gratitude to Kenneth and Margaret McCaleb for having had the creative vision and for providing the funding to establish the McCaleb Initiative for Peace Program.
Dr. Chad Stebbins and Cindy Jordan of the MSSU Institute of International Studies provided us with every assistance, with encouraging counsel and valuable information.
The remarkable family of Dr. Milton Yepez of Quito, Ecuador, welcomed us to their country, hosted us as friends in their home, and provided wise advice, patient and kind guidance and crucial insight into the history, culture and social dynamics of Ecuador.
Representatives of the United Nations Refugee Agency offered important explanation and put us into contact with Columbian refugees.
Refugees from Columbia agreed to meet with us, volunteering accounts of their often traumatic personal stories.
Our guide and friend, Luis Guzmán, beyond the call of duty, worked 24 hours a day during our stay to make our travel productive and to keep us on track, housed, fed, healthy and safe.
The variety of citizens we met in Ecuador, from taxi drivers to university professors, from restaurant workers to students, gave us authentic information about life in Ecuador and helped us to appreciate their homeland.
And friends, colleagues and family members gave us support and encouragement for the project.
To all involved, thank you!