Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rotary helps kids learn in Guayaquil

On Wednesday and Thursday we had the opportunity to visit two very different places where children can learn. The first was a school for children with intellectual disabliities called Fasinarm Centro Educativo. Luis Eduardo Burbano, president of Club Rotario Guayaquil led us on this tour with school director, Malena Bonilla de Crespo.
The younger children generally attend half days of school with one hour of instruction, some outdoor time at the playground and then lunch before returning home.
The older children can attend longer and the school also serves adults in a separate building where they are taught vocational skills.
Malena also told us they offer educational programs for those in the community and serve up to 400 people a year.
Club Rotario Guayaquil supported the creation of a computer lab for the students and donate several LITTLE TYKES child friendly computers to the school.

Here is Janene with one of the workstations.

We spent the remainder of our visit mingling with the very social students who were very welcoming with several "Hola"s and "Buenos Dia"s in unison from the whole class. The kids were very interactive with all of us and left us with smiles and memories we will cherish.
On Thursday while the ladies took a much deserved rest Ben went on solo visit to see a project that is supported by his sponsoring Rotary club in Canada, the White Rock Rotary Club. The project is the brainchild of architect and contractor, Patricio Agrada of Club Rotario Guayaquil Occidente. Agreda saw the need for the development of a school in rural Guayaquil to give children who would otherwise never have the chance to learn to read. When Patricio arrived on the site four years ago he found one small building. With the support of several North American clubs including the White Rock Rotary Club. Patricio and his company built several more classrooms and are planning to build a library in the coming months.

The school also has created a mobile library with the help of Rotary and other organizations that will be used to educate 800 students each year in different areas of Ecuador. The mobile unit will also house a small training room for teachers with computers and an LCD television for instructional purposes.

The funds from the Rotary Club of White Rock went directly to the purchase of uniforms for the children and many, many books. A Montessori teacher from Surrey BC named Joyce Collicutt also came to Ecuador to develop the educational curriculum for the students. Patricio tells us that Joyce was an integral part of the development of this school.

After this uplifting experience we we treated to a Guayaquil city tour complete with tour guide. Angel Yunda Torres spoke great English and was the top of his class at the local sch

ool of languages. Angel brought us to many monuements and sights and did a terrific job outlining the history of Ecuador´s port city. From churches and hotels to the famed Malecon we grew more impressed with this great metropolis. Highlights of the tour included the Iguana park, a fenced squared reserve where people, pigeons and 400 iguanas shared the space which led to the great cathedreal of San Francisco. Following the city tour we went to the Guayaquil Historic Park which was both an animal reserve and the site of the original Malecon (boardwalk) featuring buildings from the early 1900s. In the animal reserve we saw many fascinating species including spider monkeys, tapirs, crocodiles, green macaws, foxes, deer, sloths and many more!

The day was concluding by a trip to the great monument of Jesus which stand upon a high peak from which we could see a panoramic view of all of Guayaquil. Breathtaking!!

1 comment:

  1. Great post and great work! Thank you for the credit. Although I do work for a Montessori Teacher Training Center, I am not a Montessori teacher. Regards, Joyce Collicutt