A deep commitment to education and future leaders
Opened in 1993, the Tomás de Berlanga school is a private, non-profit, non-religious, bilingual educational institution on the island of Santa Cruz, Galapagos. Currently, the school serves about 180 students, and on average one-third of them receive scholarships from Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic and other donors. The school prides itself on high academic standards and a real-world approach to addressing the realities of students who grow up in a World Heritage site that is renowned for its wildness. Scholarships are awarded based on merit and need.
Support provided by the LEX-NG Fund allows for program enhancements and broader education reform initiatives. This includes the hiring of a school psychologist who started a program called Escuela para Padres (School for Parents) that offers parent programs including, How to help with homework, How to reinforce positive behavior, and Reading with your child (innovative concepts among many Galápagos families). This proactive approach helps maintain a positive environment in the school and fosters involvement of parents in the education of their children.
Support from the LEX-NG Fund also paid for professional development efforts for teachers, helped support the school’s bilingual mission, and facilitated school activities including a Family Day, the creation of a community service program for high-school-aged students, and much more.
To read a blog post about the students at Tomás de Berlanga School, click here.
Guests are invited to donate books
Exploring Galápagos with us? Since December 2015 our guests have been invited to bring up to two new books to donate to the school’s open air library. There is a constant need for new books due to the isolated nature of island living and a climate that causes rapid book deterioration. Books carried in by guests is the least expensive way to obtain new student materials; and the school deeply appreciates books appropriate for K-12 students in English or Spanish. You can see the school’s Amazon Wish List for ideas.
Since this program began our guests have donated over 1,400 books, which is over one-third of the total books in the Tomás de Berlanga school library.
Bringing a young explorer to the islands? Invite him or her to bring two copies of their favorite book to share with students—it can be a fun way for young explorers to make a meaningful connection with students their own age in Galápagos.
Keep in mind—luggage weight limits are enforced by the airlines. On the flight from mainland Ecuador to the Galápagos, your checked baggage cannot exceed 44 pounds per person and carry on luggage must not exceed 22 pounds per person.
Please note that book donations are not tax deductible.
The Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund aims to protect the last wild places in the ocean while facilitating conservation, research, education, and community development programs in the places we explore. If you would like to learn more about projects supported by the LEX-NG Fund worldwide, please contact the Fund by email. To support our work by making a contribution to the LEX-NG Fund, click here.