My place of care would be the park situated in the first house I lived in as a baby. This place has been part of my personal history for many years. I used to live there since I was born until I was 15 years old. MAny childhood memories that spring up all types of emotions and nostalgia sum that place up in my mind. I used to live in a home of 3 stories, my family lived on the third floor, my grandparents on the second floor and my best friend and his family on the first floor, so I had a very busy schedule of personal fun meetings as a child. The park around the corner of my street was usually the place that absorbed all that fun because it felt that even though I was young I could still be independent and leave the park anytime.
During my childhood and teenage years my parents were overprotective of my sister and I a lot, but in that park I felt I could finally free my spirit. For some reason my parents never had a problem letting me walk alone to the park or spend ours there without their supervision. I felt free and more than anything, strong and independent. I feel like that space even though it was filled with objects of play for little children was made to remind me of the strong and independent woman I was meant to become, and there I would spend all my time either alone thinking, playing with my best friend or walking with my grandparents. That space gave me the best of both worlds, it could connect us all and even set me apart for my own personal space when I couldn’t have one.
The park around my old house is really big, many kids, families, teenagers, all type of people walk around it and enjoy it. There are many family stores that surround the park and it has a great view of the city. Since this place is completely surrounded by homes, making it a squared site, it was an opportunity to meet people that lived around us. Ecuadorian culture, specially the capital, is very reserved and quite so it’s hard to open up to new people, but this park made it seem like we all knew each other even though we never spoke to each other and that was enough. This place was also a great connection to green nature in the middle of the city, making it easy to spend time in a fun greenspace. During the years this place has changed a lot. I remember we used to play in a rusty slide and scrape our knees and hands a lot, or when we’d play in the swings two or three were always broken.
Later on with the new presidency many urban parks were restored, even the smaller ones so we received new slides and swings and even exercising machines! As kids though we didn’t want what was new, but what was precious to us: our memories. We wanted to relive the old memories with our old big toys. Another thing that changed a lot about this park was the grass maintenance. At the beginning the grass was really dry and mostly dead throughout the different seasons, and then the grass grew so high we could barely walk. By the time of the new presidency, this also changed and many more families would spend time in the park. This really changed my community by growing the desire to spend time as a family in a nearby zone, other than the movies or malls.