What do you do to prepare yourself for traveling somewhere new? How do you research where you are going, and what you should do when you get there? What do you even pack?!
These are all questions that Excelsior Academy students are busy tackling as they prepare for their expedition to Ecuador this summer. To get ready for this epic journey they meet every week to discuss different aspects of their trip. But these meetings aren’t just about packing lists. They are thinking about the impact this trip will have not only on themselves, but also for the groups of students that they will be working with while in Quito.
This trip is very unique in its mission. While in Ecuador, the Excelsior Global to Local students will be dedicated to volunteering at Casa Victoria. Located in the San Roque neighborhood of Quito, Casa Victoria was created to help serve a young population in an area that had been greatly impacted by poverty, high crime, alcoholism, and general neglect. Casa Victoria is a safe place for children to spend time outside of school offering classes, homework support, games, and mentorship to students greatly in need.
While most people might spend time thinking about what clothes to bring or guide books to buy, the Excelsior students’ packing lists are quite different. They are compiling lists of books to bring to read and donate to the children of Casa Victoria. They are also determining what technology and tools they will bring with them. The members of the Robotics Club at Excelsior cannot wait to teach the kids at Casa Victoria how to build and control some robots!
When asked what they are most looking forward to in Ecuador, the students were in complete agreement that they couldn’t wait to work with the kids of Casa Victoria. In addition to supporting the library, teaching basic robotics, and working on a site-based project, the students from Excelsior Academy will also engage with a leadership curriculum so that when they return to Newburgh they are better equipped to act as project managers for implementing their Community Impact Projects. They will bring those project ideas back from their experiences in Ecuador to improve the city of Newburgh next year.
“Being able to change the community and the world around us for the better is mind blowing. Just knowing that this organization can turn into something so much larger is truly exciting and I can’t wait to be a part of this journey,” said Excelsior student Taina Caballero.
You can follow along as they plan, prep, and pack for the their trip to Ecuador on their Global to Local blog!