For 23 students from South Lakes High School, spring break was a chance to travel to an exotic place — and also to help make the world a better place.
The students traveled to Ecuador during this month’s break to participate in a Fairfax County Public Schools service learning trip. Working with nonprofit organization Me to We, the students helped build classrooms in an indigenous community.
The SLHS students made up nearly half of the 48 total FCPS students on the trip. They were accompanied by SLHS Spanish teachers Sandra Rebello, Ana Viamonte and Kirsten Hope.
The students spent two days doing construction work at a school in the remote Amazon Basin village of Kanambu.
“Students who attend this school come from many communities and many have to walk over 6 hours to get to school,” Rebello said. “Students who live far away will stay at the school for the week and return home every Friday.”
Local students who traveled there were able to see the boarding accommodations of the school, which Rebello said were “extremely poor,” with no beds. About 400 students attend the school.
In addition to their work on the service project, local students spent a few days in Baños de Agua Santa, a town with 60 waterfalls. They were able to swim in thermal baths, Rebello said. Students also visited the equator and Yunguilla, a sustainable development community in the cloud forest.
“Our Seahawks were amazing and represented our school well,” Rebello said of the trip.