Trip to Ecuador Provides Teaching Opportunity for UMass Boston Students
June 12, 2012
Office of Communications
Students Spend Summer Break Volunteering at Orphanage
A dozen UMass Boston students spent the beginning of their summer break volunteering at an orphanage in Quito, Ecuador.
Working through the Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement’s Beacon Voyages for Service program, the students painted over graffiti, planted new grass for the playground, and taught English to older students.
The trip was organized by Laurene Plourde, a psychology major scheduled to graduate in May 2013. At first, the students were only assisting daycare teachers with the younger students and working on outdoor projects during the day, before the children took their naps. They soon got the opportunity to assist a group of older children with their homework in the afternoons.
“Many spoke some English, and it was a blast teaching them words in English and trying to communicate using our Spanish. Those of us who didn't speak Spanish could still teach some English words,” said Plourde, a Brockton native now living in Dorchester.
Plourde said she particularly enjoyed talking to a group of teenage girls about their plans for college and the future. Before they left, the students posed with a sign that said “Trabaja Duro Veah Universidad Cambia el Mundo,” which means, “Work hard, go to college, change the world.”
Plourde said she hopes to make yearly service projects a part of her life, and encourages others to do the same.
“It is a great way to see the world and help others at the same time. Being culturally immersed in a community that has far less than I can ever imagine living without surely puts a new meaning on material items. The children were amazed with bubbles. They couldn't get enough of looking at themselves in a digital camera,” said Plourde.
Beacon Voyages for Service gives students the opportunity to take part in weeklong service trips to other parts of the country and the world, including Lima, Peru; Culebra, Puerto Rico; and Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic. To sign up, contact the Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement.
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With a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex urban issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s eight colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit www.umb.edu.
Posted by Willie | Thursday, November 1 2012 at 12:40 am
I Love It!