Morristown, N.J. (June 12, 2017) – CSE students can benefit beyond the classroom when they cross-register for classes at Fairleigh Dickinson University. For Kassandra Ortiz, '18, that meant the opportunity to participate in a service project in Ecuador.
Beginning with an early flight on May 22, the group of 11 students set off for their ten-day journey in Ecuador. They visited Limón Indanza, Baños, and Quito.
In Limón, time was dedicated to service work at Unidad Educativa, a kindergarten to eighth grade school, where Ortiz and the group members transformed the playgrounds and basketball court by painting the playground equipment, such as swing sets, slides, and bleachers, as well as landscaping. In the evening, they taught English classes.
"Everyone at the school was very friendly and welcoming, especially the students," says Ortiz. "They would always greet us with hugs the second we walked in and could not wait to learn English."
Before heading to Baños and Quito, the group participated in a Shuar Ceremony, led by the Shuar Indians, an indigenous tribe of Ecuador. It consisted of a meal, music, and dancing that represented the culture of the Shuar Indians.
Once in Baños, the group had the opportunity to go zip lining, white water rafting, and swing off the edge of a cliff. Their journey ended in Quito, touring the capital and exploring the various foods, people, and culture of Ecuador.
Reflecting on the trip, Kassandra said, "I am thankful to have experienced such a valuable and rewarding trip. The FDU students and staff were very welcoming, and I encourage other CSE students to get involved with cross-registration to take advantage of the opportunities it provides."