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White Plains Student Works At Group Service Project In Ecuador

Gabi Schiller paints the school building in Guachinguero. Photo Credit: Contributed
Gabi Schiller is second from the left. This photo was taken after all the female participants dressed in traditional attire to attend a wedding. Photo Credit: Contributed

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Gabi Schiller, an 18-year-old from White Plains, was among a group of 11 students from Adventures Cross-Country (ARCC) who spent a week in the rural Ecuadorean village of Guachinguero participating in a group service project organized by The Tandana Foundation.

The visit was part of the 90-day Latin American Gap Semester Program.

Two program leaders from ARCC accompanied the students. After their stay, the students had high praise for the program Tandana organized. The group was in Guachinguero from Nov. 3-12. The students and their leaders slept on the floor of the local community building. They also prepared and cooked most of their food there.

During their stay in Guachinguero, the group worked on the fourth phase of an ongoing construction project at the local school. The community members are working hard on building a second story for a building at the school. Several other Tandana volunteer groups have worked on different phases of this project. The ARCC students plastered the building. They then primed it and painted it three different colors. Along with working on the school building, the students also taught English to local schoolchildren. The group enjoyed various cultural activities during their time with Tandana. They learned how to make bread and bracelets. They also took a cooking class at a local cooking school and shopped at the world famous market in the nearby city of Otavalo. The group was invited to attend a wedding by a community member whom they worked with all week. For this special occasion, the female students wore traditional attire lent to them by the local women. Everyone enjoyed a boat ride on Cuicocha Lake. For more information about The Tandana Foundation, visit

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