Thursday, August 16, 2012

About La Gloria School, Isla Mujeres

La Gloria English School
La Gloria School in Isla Mujeres
I mentioned in a post from a few days ago that Ronin, Izabel and Sahana gave away lemonade and ended up with $6.50 and a package of cookies and it reminded me of the students in an Environmental Studies course for which I was the teaching assistant who decided as a group to host a "freecycle" event where they collected items that people no longer wanted and gave it away to people who did. We even gave away free cookies. The students felt that in an attempt to shifty from a consumer and save the planet, they would collect any useful items that they no longer needed and give them away in a kind of garage sale format - except that there was no cost to the taker. They made posters, advertised the event, collected and sorted the items, reserved space in a location outside the Scott Library and manged the tables.

A funny thing happened when we told people that they could take anything they wanted and there was no charge. It was not a garage sale or a bake sale - just an attempt to make someone's junk another person's treasure and at the same time, divert junk from the landfills.

Almost all the takers felt that this was such a good idea, that they offered to leave us some money for the items they took. At first we were uncomfortable taking any money because that was not the intent but an idea came to me that I was going to Mexico for a vacation a couple of weeks after the freecycle event and there was a school on Isla Mujeres that was run entirely on donations that could use the money. The students and I had a quick discussion and we decided that we would give what ever money was raised to the school.

In all, we raised $315 and I later gave the money to La Gloria English School on Isla Mujeres where I love to vacation. The money was used to provide scholarships for students on the island who want to study English. The scholarships are small (sometimes as little as $10) but it goes a long way in helping the islanders develop English language skills so they can find employment at some of the resorts. If you ever go to Isla or want to donate, you can check out the website. That's my "do-good" story of my students who made me very proud.


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