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Meeting local children on an Ecuador trip

Maria Guarderas Primary School Grant Application

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One of the first steps in consideration for an Adventure Life Grant, applicants are required to complete the following application form. Here is a recent submission we received, and accepted, for a Science Laboratory at Maria Guarderas Primary School in Ecuador.

Affiliate Name: Tierra del Volcan
Ecuador school receives an Adventure Life grantName and Title (of the applicant): Maria Jose Andrade. Project Director
Official name of Partner Organization: Escuela Fiscal Mixta Maria Guarderas
Address of the Organization: Guitig Bajo, Machachi, Pichincha State, Ecuador
Project Title: Science Laboratory at Maria Guarderas Primary School
Funding Amount Requested: US$1850

Please provide a description of the project's goals (you may attach any documents):

Investing on education through the donation of resources, training capacities for teachers and better education for the kids.

The school is in need of a science lab. Materials such as microscopes, laboratory library, and laboratory tools have been donated last year. We have been found raising thru out different channels to full fill the requirement of building a new laboratory classroom for the school.

Teachers, and parents are willing to participate on the construction together with British volunteers. The work will start on November 2010 and we hope that in one week we have a new classroom for the lab.

Teachers will attend to three conferences on the use of lab materials and teaching techniques given by a science professor from the American School in Quito, who has an specialization on teaching since to kids.

Among the goals that we have is that kids with poor economic resources, have access to a better education in a more practical and comprehensive way.

Please write a description of how the funding will be used (you may attach any documents):

The founding will be used to buy and install the sinks, electric connections, water pipes, and safety implements for the lab ( a good first aid kit and a fire extinguisher)

Please provide information on the sustainability and long-term success of the project (ie. How will project continue supporting itself in the future? How will future funding be available for maintenance?

Tierra del Volcan, together with Fundacion Paramo a local NGO have been working for the past 12 years supporting education on rural schools. We have been working with 6 schools with lack of economic resources, in the Cotopaxi region.

Amongst the strategies we use with the schools to have a real follow up of the materials, trainings and donations we support is the use of an inventory held by the school authorities and reported to us about the materials. We constantly visit the school facilities and have a good communication with school authorities. The schools are committed to perform an activity such as an open house, a book fair or a science fair where the students share with their school mates and community members, what they have learned, and they also develop creativity, art skills and environmental consciousness.

As most of our projects, the science lab is a long term project. In fact we have received a donation of materials one year ago form a US based school. For this project we have so far 3 different parties involved assuring the success of it and donating different items and supporting the lab project: Tierra del Volcan; Fundacion Paramo; Across the Divide (UK company that have been working on charity based projects)

Guitig, Ecuador

About Guitig Community

Guitig is a small rural community located approximately 52 kms south of Quito. On the drive from Quito, you take the Pan-American Highway and the journey takes between 60 - 90 minutes. En-route to Guitig, you pass through the town of Machachi. This is a relatively big town with approximately 70,000 inhabitants. The town has banks, internet, pay-phones, markets, shops, supermarkets, pharmacy and a couple of basic medical clinics. It also has building merchants and suppliers. Machachi is approximately 10 minutes from Guitig.

Guitig has approximately 120 families. It is well known throughout Ecuador, as it is a source of spring water. It has the basic services of electricity (110 volts), potable water, telephones, and public transport.

The majority of community members are High Andean farmers (chagra's) and make a living through agriculture, but some work on industries, tourism and transport as well. Most adults at the community have basic studies (and there is still a high rate of people that haven't had any formal studies). Women have the highest percentages of lack of education. There is a relatively low migration for community members to the big cities or to foreign countries, in relation with the rest of the country.

About Maria Guarderas School at Guitig

The primary school is located within the community. Due to its size and number of pupils, it feels welcoming, intimate and friendly. This school has been visited by previous groups who have delivered some basic work. There are a couple of classrooms that are in good condition and the remainder of the school in fairly poor upkeep.

The general feel of the community and the students is that they come from relatively poor homes that are based upon an agricultural economy. However, parents and community members are very responsive and committed to their children's education and support the school's initiatives. In rural Ecuador, they participate in an activity called minga's (basic translation is Community Service). A minga is when members of the community give up their own time to come together and work on community related projects. At this project, we could expect at least one day of minga activity from the community (it is unlikely to be every day, as the parents have farms to work on).

Some facts and figures

The school has approximately 110 students from kindergarten to sixth grade (age 4 - 11 years old)
It has 10 teachers (One on a one year contract only - paid for by local community)
The academic year runs from September to Mid June
The school is located at approximately 2800 metres (100 metres higher than Quito)

The School facilities are:

10 classrooms
Kitchen / store room
Two toilet blocks
Computer class
Three Basket Ball Courts
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