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Nearly Two Dozen South Lakes High Students Participate in Ecuador Service Trip

by Dave Emke April 24, 2017 at 11:30 am 2 Comments

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.

  • Ken Fredgren

    Wow! How wonderful. A made-to-order way of being peacemakers. Impressive that so many students took advantage of the opportunity.

  • Robert Mowbray

    I hope to have the opportunity to meet with some of these students. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador (1963-66), did ecological research in the Oriente (Amazon Basin area near the Napo River) (1968-70), worked as Chief of the Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Agency for International Development Agency (USAID) from 1988 to 1990, and visited the country for short periods of time (1 week to 1 month) between 1972 and 2011.

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