Jonathan's visit to El Guabo - P4: 5th de Abril School
The tallest man in Ecuador reports back from where your bananas are grown. At All Good we don't just slap a Fairtrade sticker on our bananas, we make a point of going out to see our growers in El Guabo and bringing their stories back to you. This year it was Jonathan our operations manager who got to take the trip of a lifetime - after spending so much time making sure our bananas got safely from Ecuador to NZ he deserved to see the other side of the operation!
July 10th 2014
The 5th de Abril (5th of April) school is located right in the middle of banana plantations, which the kids walk through to get to. There are no paved roads or reticulated water supply. The school has around 80 kids, 20 of which are from El Guabo Co-op families.
From what I understood, in Ecuador and other Latin American countries, they name streets and infrastructure after key dates in history more commonly than after people. 5th of April is one of the key dates relating to Simon Bolivar (also the name of the port) who liberated many Latin American countries from Spain.
Julia (in the tiger print silk shirt) has been at the school for five years and teaches ages 7-8. There are four other classrooms: 4-6, 9-10, 11-12 and 13. Once kids hit 14, they go to college or to work.
Point Chevalier Primary in Auckland are a sister school to 5th de Abril, and they regularly raise money for school projects. Last year the money went towards a computer, which was topped up by the Fairtrade premium raised from the sale of All Good bananas. This year’s money (raised from a school bake-off amongst other activities) will also be spent on a computer. Aside from this the school doesn't receive any additional Fairtrade funding, but all El Guabo families receive education packs for their kids - books, stationery, and bags.