Previously, when members of the community of Cutambi wanted to meet they had to gather in a dilapidated building or an empty field and were only able to meet when good weather allowed them too. If it started raining they all had to leave and progress was lost. Now, that they have a new community center they can meet with confidence and more regularly as well as hold special events like weddings and host visiting volunteer groups such as Tandana’s health care teams. The community constructed this building in many different phases, often with support from Tandana volunteer groups.
Residents of Kansongho had long dreamed of having a large meeting room where they could hold village assemblies, in any weather, and also host meetings with representatives of other villages. The environmental association Ologuelemo, which represents 15 villages, also dreamed of a place to hold its large assemblies. In memory of the late chief Seguemo Tembiné, who was a great leader, Tandana helped this dream become reality by hiring a local contractor to provide technical expertise and imported materials. Residents of Kansongho and other members of the environmental association, meanwhile, supplied the labor and local materials. They are excited to have this community meeting space and to be able to host inter-village assemblies out of the wind, rain, and sun.
La Banda, Ecuador
“I have been very happy. I have felt this friendship—that I am a friend, that they are my friends, even though I don’t understand anything of what they’re saying. This work as a team has been really pleasant for us.”
– Norberto Oyagata, master mason who worked with Tandana volunteers
In the summer of 2017, community members from the community of Tangali and high school participants from Seattle, Washington collaborated on this building which serves as a cooking space for large events. Now, when the community wants to plan an event there is a kitchen to use which will allow them to meet and feed everyone with confidence.
La Banda, Ecuador
The village of Dani, Mali now has an elementary school! Before, children had to attend classes in makeshift sheds that did not protect them from the weather. Teachers did not want to work in such conditions and would leave. Now the community has a real school and can educate its children well. Thanks to the many donors who made this possible!
The teachers at the Ulpiano Navarro School in Quichinche thought that if they could provide a safe and beautiful space dedicated to reading, children would use it and improve their reading skills. The reading gazebo they designed to achieve this goal is located on the highest point of the school grounds, is surrounded by ornamental plants that Tandana volunteers planted alongside students, and has stunning views of dormant, snow-capped volcanoes and expansive farmland. The teachers at Ulpiano Navarro wanted to increase the use of the library and recognized that sometimes the classroom is not the most inspirational place to sit and read. The gazebo is the first place on the school property that was designed specifically for students to read as a pastime. Tandana collaborated with the school on construction of this attractive reading space with the support of multiple visiting groups.
The teachers and parents at the Guachinguero school are committed to providing the best possible education for their children. They worked hard on rebuilding and expanding a building at the school to create space for a computer lab, office, and community kitchen, asking Tandana for help with materials. Several Tandana volunteer groups also had the opportunity to work alongside community members and interact with the children while contributing to this effort. The building is now beautifully rebuilt and functioning with a kitchen, office, and storage room. Community members and school officials invited Tandana's representatives to celebrate completion of the first story with an inauguration ceremony.
Kansongo, Mali Kindergarden Center
Residents of Kansongo are busy constructing a classroom for their kindergarten. This will be a wonderful addition to their community and a great space for youngsters to learn. It was completed in September 2021!
School Fences and Walls
Padre Chupa and Minas Chupa, Ecuador
Gualapuro Daycare, Ecuador
Guachinguero Elementary School, Ecuador
The elementary school in Guachinguero, Ecuador had old playground equipment, but it had fallen into disrepair. The swings were missing from the swingset, the teeter-totter was broken, and the slide was dangerously split in several places, with sharp edges. Olimpia Pillajo, the school director who is always mindful of her students' well-being, asked for help to repair the playground. Volunteers from George Washington University got to know some of the kids while working on a construction project at the school and resolved to help repair the playgound toys. After returning home, they donated funds for the repair. Now, recess is more fun!
La Joya Special Education Center, Ecuador
The community of Agualongo is serious about soccer. They host tournaments, play pickup games, and enjoy sports as a way to foster community pride and unity. In highland Ecuador, the sun goes down every night just after six, and games must come to an end. The community of Agualongo, however, decided that with stadium lights they could play longer, host larger tournaments, and spend more time together as neighbors and friends. A student who had spent a week in Agualongo with her Traveling School class during a Tandana service project decided she wanted to thank the community for their wonderful hospitality by helping achieve some of their goals, including acquiring lights for the soccer field. Another Traveling School group was able to help install the lights, and yet another visiting group helped paint the light posts and goal posts patriotic Ecuador colors. Let the games continue! In 2023, Tandana also supported by helping erect two roofs of the two volleyball courts.
Padre Chupa, Ecuador
The Provincia de Tungurahua school in Padre Chupa, Ecuador not only educates the community's children but also serves as a focal point for community activities in this remote mountain village. The children have few opportunities to travel away from their village and limited resources at home. The students, parents, and teachers all decided that having soccer goals and a volleyball net at the school would be a great benefit. The kids could enjoy them during recess, learning skills that would help them succeed in the wider world and having fun together at home. Adults could also enjoy playing sports on the weekend. Tandana hired a craftsman to make the goals and posts, and Headwaters Academy students worked alongside local parents in a minga to install them. Right away, the goals and net received a tremendous amount of use.
Padre Chupa and Motilón Chupa, Ecuador
Frequent landslides caused by heavy rain were blocking the only road that provides access to the communities of Padre Chupa and Motilón Chupa. When the road was blocked, residents were not able to leave the community, so they could not attend school or go to town to sell their goods or produce. It was very costly to reopen the roads with heavy machinery after these frequent landslides. In March of 2019 The Tandana Foundation worked on a project supporting the installation of culvert pipes for the road to Padre Chupa and Motilón Chupa. The pipes are now installed and protecting the road, which provides the only access to these two communities.