Students prepare for a summer of language helping Ecuadorian sister school


This summer, 21 East Grand Rapids students, are flying to Quito, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands to engage in the local culture, practice their Spanish, and give aid to East’s sister school, Escuela Granja. To help raise money to donate to the school and the Charles Darwin Institute, the students and Sra. Socorro Mercado-Blackport have set up a fundraiser. “[On the trip] we will be volunteering at the school we are raising money for, [and] exploring Ecuador and the Galapagos.” Jill Agents ‘19 said.

They have been consistently selling hot drinks and doughnuts on Fridays to raise money for school supplies and for the Darwin station’s research and land preservation.

“We have been selling these for the past couple weeks,” Oliver Shapton ‘20 said.

After three weeks, the students were only $19 away from their $500 goal.

“[The fundraiser] was awesome. We are excited because $228 per school will make a huge difference. We don’t realize how much we can do with that small amount of money in a different country,” Blackport said.

Both Blackport and the students are extremely happy with how the fundraiser worked out and can’t wait to connect with the students from Escuela Granja.

“What made me fall in love with the trip is the fact that the students get to experience what it is like to live in the culture,” Blackport said, “I am so thrilled to see what their life is going to be like when they are done with the whole trip.”