Santa Isabel
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Building a Reading Center for the community of Santa Isabel
With funding and help from the Pearson Foundation and their We Give Books Campaign, 10 Curie Metropolitan High School students (from Chicago) and 3 educators built a reading center for a small community along the Amazon River. The school was in the community of Santa Isabel (which is located on the Amazon River between Iquitos and the Explorama Lodge where the students stayed) and they named the library El Rinconcito Para Leer (The Little Reading Corner). The group truly had a life-changing trip. Here, the students' teacher Erin Faulkner describes the journey: "I was really proud and impressed with how my students threw themselves fully into this experience. Whether it was getting up early for an optional 6:30 am jungle hike, or connecting with the local people, or handling a terrifying-looking insect, they were determined not to let any opportunity pass them by, and to squeeze every drop out of their time in Peru. When I think of a good quote (or more like a rallying cry) from the students, it was "ONCE IN A LIFETIME!!!" Whenever there was something that the kids were nervous/reluctant about doing (playing with bugs, doing the canopy walk, getting up at 5 am) or when a really unique opportunity came up (playing the lodge drums to announce meals), they would shout this out and dive right in! I witnessed incredible personal growth among them and the conquering of many fears."
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