The Lighthouse Baptist Church missions trip to Ecuador is off to a great start! Our first day in Quito, Ecuador, was spent learning the city and its people. Quito is the capital and the second most populous city next to Guayaquil with a population of about three million people. It is seventy-five miles long yet only two miles wide. Sunscreen is a must since we are almost two miles high on the eastern slope of Pichincha, an active stratovolcano in the Andes mountains.
In Jules Verne fashion, we journeyed to the center of the Earth! Locally known as Mitad del Mundo, the park is full of museums, artisan shops, and monuments dedicated to the founding of Ecuador and the measurement of the equator. People from all over the world come to see the yellow line that marks the division between the hemispheres. At the center of the park stands a nine-story museum called Monument to the Equator, which highlights the exact location of the Equator and commemorates the eighteenth century Franco-Spanish Geodesic Mission which fixed its approximate location. Inside the monument is the Museo Etnográfico Mitad del Mundo, a museum about the indigenous ethnography of Ecuador.
After lunch, we climbed even higher into the Andes at TelefériQo, a gondola lift running from the edge of the city up the east side of the volcano to the lookout Cruz Loma. It is one of the highest aerial lifts in the world, rising from 10,226 feet to 12,943 feet. The ascent takes about twenty minutes, but the view is well worth the wait. The entire city is visible on a clear day. Ten more volcanoes are visible to the south of the lookout, several of which are active.
Today the group will be traveling to Santo Domingo for the weekend to do outreach with Pastor Loyola. Please pray for us as we minister to the people here that God would use us to further His kingdom!