West Springfield High School Newspaper

The Oracle

FCPS students reach out to others during Spring Break in Ecuador

The+group+poses+for+a+photo+during+their+spring+break+service+learning+trip+to+Ecuador.+FCPS+led+the+trip%2C+which+had+14+WS+participants%2C+including+AP+Environmental+teacher+Patrick+Boyd+and+Spanish+teacher+Susan+Lampazzi.
The group poses for a photo during their spring break service learning trip to Ecuador. FCPS led the trip, which had 14 WS participants, including AP Environmental teacher Patrick Boyd and Spanish teacher Susan Lampazzi.

The group poses for a photo during their spring break service learning trip to Ecuador. FCPS led the trip, which had 14 WS participants, including AP Environmental teacher Patrick Boyd and Spanish teacher Susan Lampazzi.

Courtesy of Susan Lampazzi

Courtesy of Susan Lampazzi

The group poses for a photo during their spring break service learning trip to Ecuador. FCPS led the trip, which had 14 WS participants, including AP Environmental teacher Patrick Boyd and Spanish teacher Susan Lampazzi.

Meg Wilder, Oracle Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






For most of us, Spring Break means a week of watching Netflix, lying on a beach, or simply catching up on sleep. This year, for 14 Spartans—including two teachers—it meant a week spent in the rainforests of Ecuador.
Multiple other FCPS high schools participated in the trip, which was coordinated by FCPS through the Internationalization Office, with 13 students from other high schools attending. WS teachers Susan Lampazzi and Patrick Boyd made up two-thirds of the trip’s adult leadership.
Prior to the trip, participants had varied expectations.
“I’m just hoping to survive,” said AP Environmental teacher Patrick Boyd. “25 students and three teachers—it should be interesting.”
For Spanish teacher Susan Lampazzi, the trip was an opportunity to gain linguistic and cultural information that she could bring back to the classroom.
“The benefit of this service learning trip is the connection we will have with the local community,” Lampazzi said. “I think the students will gain an understanding of the world around us.”
Senior Sasha Vaughn expressed her excitement to experience not only the culture of Ecuador, but its well-known natural wonders as well. This would be Vaughn’s first time going on a school trip outside of the United States.
“I decided to go because I’ve never done anything like this,” said Vaughn. “I’m looking forward to meeting new people and being able to be disconnected for a week and seeing the Amazon.”
Michael Montoya, also a senior, shared Vaughn’s pre-trip excitement. Montoya had already gone on a service trip with his church to Rwanda, but like Vaughn, this would be his first time going on a school-led trip abroad.
“I get to be in the Amazon jungle and help people,” said Montoya. “I like to travel, like anyone else, but I feel that helping others while travelling is a better opportunity and this trip provides that.”
The trip mixed serving a local community and experiencing the diverse culture and natural beauty of Ecuador. The participants spent three days in the Amazon River Basin helping to build the foundation of a schoolhouse. They were responsible for getting supplies such as rocks and wheelbarrowing them to the site, along with other manual labor such as bending rebar for the frame.
“At the Amazon we stayed at La Miga lodge and we didn’t have [Wi-Fi] connection,” said Vaughn. “We had to sleep in little cabins with bugs…it was cool.”
The rest of their time was divided between touring Quito, the capital of Ecuador, and travelling to the cities of Banos and Otavalo. There they were able to enjoy hiking to beautiful waterfalls, learning about indigenous peoples, and wandering local marketplaces.
“We got to see a mixture of cultures,” said Montoya. “We met a community based on reforestation and sustainable agriculture; we learned to understand different people.”
Next year, there will be an FCPS-led spring break trip to Peru and any FCPS high school student is eligible to go.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities while they are available, because once in college, time (and money) can become scarce, and international opportunities may not be as realistic.
“It was so awesome,” said Vaughn. “I already want to go back to the Amazon.”

Print Friendly

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • FCPS students reach out to others during Spring Break in Ecuador

    News

    Join the walk and take a stand against trafficking

  • FCPS students reach out to others during Spring Break in Ecuador

    News

    Romano honors mom during yearly Raccoon Run

  • FCPS students reach out to others during Spring Break in Ecuador

    News

    Minds matter, so protect them—wear a helmet

  • FCPS students reach out to others during Spring Break in Ecuador

    News

    Building trust

  • FCPS students reach out to others during Spring Break in Ecuador

    News

    International Night showcases Spartan diversity

  • FCPS students reach out to others during Spring Break in Ecuador

    News

    Honoring the memory of Leslie Sherman

  • FCPS students reach out to others during Spring Break in Ecuador

    Top Stories

    Just how clean is our water?

  • FCPS students reach out to others during Spring Break in Ecuador

    News

    Keeping up with our classic construction problems

  • FCPS students reach out to others during Spring Break in Ecuador

    News

    Global warming gears up

  • FCPS students reach out to others during Spring Break in Ecuador

    News

    Snow Day—finally!

West Springfield High School Newspaper
FCPS students reach out to others during Spring Break in Ecuador