On Monday, July 11th, our group headed to a local school in San Cristóbal, Escuela Alejandro Alvear. Going in, our objective was to educate the young kids on the difference between the native and invasive species on the island. We wanted to emphasize that not every invasive plant is bad, but rather the importance of maintaining the island’s natural native plants.
Through our theme of culture this week, we noticed the openness and kindness of the kids around us. We could tell they were grateful for the education they have and were eager to learn about us as well. From the moment we stepped onto the school property, we were welcomed with open arms and beautiful smiling children. We immediately noticed the school culture was friendly, energetic, and fun.
Working alongside Ashley, we read chapters from Hacienda Tranquila’s book 'Mission of Letty'. We worked with the kids to break down the book, and understand its significance and correlation to the culture of San Cristóbal. With our theme of culture in mind, we wanted to be open to learning how the school operated and how it might compare to our own culture of a school.
By witnessing the kids ordinary school day, there were many differences that we noticed. The classroom sizes were small, with about 17-20 kids per classroom. As a group, we learned how much the kids and teachers value volunteers and visitors who take interest in their community. The culture in their school system enabled our group to set aside our expectations and learn from them as much as they learned from us. Overall, it was an amazing experience and we were grateful to be part of a change in the school community and culture.
Written by Payton