NUESTRA ESCUELA SCHOOL
In Summer 2018, Go Global VT was invited to join students and staff from Nuestra Escuela as they opened their new school and celebrated their dedication, stamina, and love. One year earlier, Hurricane Maria had devastated their island and changed life as they knew it in their schools and communities. Nuestra Escuela became a hub of the community in Caguas as students worked to support others less fortunate who needed food and shelter.
Hurricane Maria closed many doors even as new opportunities opened. Nuestra Escuela was forced to consolidate several campuses into one, but leaders of the school was able to secure a new home and funding for the renovation of a spacious building in the center of Caguas, an urban center near San Juan. The school would continue to support 300 high school students to learn in an environment of love with high standards and a sense of solidarity with their island. Students from the city and outlying areas would come to Caguas to learn in a safe, democratic learning environment
Go Global VT was invited to Puerto Rico to visit for the opening of the school and for Esencia Vital, a retreat in the mountains to introduce new students and partners of Nuestra Escuela to the underlying values and expectations of the school. In order to be part of Our School, Nuestra Escuela, students must understand that they are making a commitment to themselves and to the future of Puerto Rico. They are committing to join the family at Nuestra Escuela which will support them as they follow their star -- the goal that they set to make the world a better place, for themselves and others.
The school is based on core values of love, faith, and commitment. It demands respect, delivery on promises, solidarity, and loyalty from those who become students there. Students who knock on the door requesting to become students at Nuestra Escuela understand it takes a tremendous personal commitment to succeed. They also understand that their education and their commitment to their education is critical to their future and the future of Puerto Rico. Their school has been recognized as an international leader in democratic education.
Nuestra Escuela is committed to moving its youth to a place where they can celebrate independence, both individually and as an island. Leaders recognize that quality education, eco-agriculture, and a culture of entrepreneurship are key to sustainability and the future of their youth. They are exploring international partnerships based on urban gardening, entrepreneurship, and democratic education. They are seeking partners for the 2019-20 school year for virtual partnerships, information exchange, and possible travel study.
Vermont youth have much to learn from our Puerto Rican partners who have grown up in a territory of the United States. Our students can learn Latin culture, resilience, community mobilization, and commitment. Vermont youth live in a hub of eco-agriculture, farm to school programs, and small scale food entrepreneurship. What can we share and learn in a reciprocal learning relationship with this school?
This is partnership is sure to grow and to extend into many areas. If you are interested in how your school or sustainability program can become involved, please contact us.