Spencer Wong | firstname.lastname@example.org | September 28, 2018El Pueblo Unido, the program formerly headed by Rob Bolt, that visited Puerto Rico on service trips last Spring, has moved under new management. It will now be under the umbrella of the d.tech travel program.
Last year, a group of students organized an educational exchange program partnered with a school in Puerto Rico about design thinking and d.tech itself. During intersession, the team, known as El Pueblo Unido, successfully swapped a group of students and teachers from both d.tech and the Puerto Rico school.
After building a solid relationship with the school, plans for the trip’s recurrence began. There were plans for the trip to happen this upcoming intersession in October, but these were postponed due to some issues within the foundation of the program.
Sophomore Alexandra Guernsey, one of the leaders for El Pueblo Unido, explained the reasoning behind postponing the trip. “We decided there wasn’t enough foundation for it to happen,” Guernsey said, “And when we do these trips we want to make sure they’re good, prepared, detailed experiences for the students involved so that they can get the most out of it and we felt there wasn’t enough time to make that happen.”
School Director Melissa Mizel also provided insight as to why the trip was postponed. “We wanted to pull back a little bit and understand our purposes better,” Mizel said, “And [Escuela Francisco Manrique Cabrera] also were kind of like this might not be the best time for us.”
El Pueblo Unido has plans to reorganize the trip for intersession in January. However, this time, instead of being an independent exchange trip, it will be operated out of the d.tech travel program.
The d.tech travel program, was made with the purpose of helping students travel to another part of the world and leave a positive impact there. “We wanted to create a travel program so travel could be accessible to anyone,” head of the travel program, junior Julia Green explained, “no matter their situation and no matter where they wanted to go or what impact they wanted to make.” To do this, they help plan out the logistics of the trip and fundraise money to go.
The travel program already has experience in helping to plan and send students on trips as it began through the India service trip that happened in March of this year. The same students that went on the service trip to India are a part of the travel program.
Now that the d.tech travel program and El Pueblo Unido are working together, their goal is to send students on exchange service trips and language immersion trips. “We’re already helping around four groups of students who want to go on trips,” Green said, “and hopefully they’ll be going on them next year.”
With this new addition to the program, there are high hopes for the future of the trip. “I think that’ll really help us with resources, time and members, and make the whole trip easier for everyone involved,” Guernsey said. Be sure to look out for the exchange on the next intersession form!