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Tuesday February 14th, 2012  
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"A message has to be sent... to take less of a profit and provide better service to your customers"
- Mayor Bruce Decoux  
   
   

 

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Kimberley Massey photo
Constable Jesse Morrison is the newest addition to the Crowsnest Pass RCMP, transferring from Fort Chipewyan, and replacing Constable Lorne Gopp, who has transferred to Pincher Creek.
 
A group of 19 students from Livingstone School in Lundbreck, Crowsnest Consolidated High School (CCHS) in Coleman and Matthew Halton High School in Pincher Creek recently returned from a trip to Ecuador with the Livingstone School Travel Club.
Livingstone School art teacher Karen Paton, who leads the travel club, said the group very much wanted to visit a South American country for the trip and decided on Ecuador after it was suggested by the mother of one of the teachers, as she had grown up there.
The group, comprised of four students from CCHS, two students from Matthew Halton, 13 students from Livingstone School and four teaching staff, departed from Calgary on January 27th and returned on Sunday, February 5th.
The group landed in the Ecuadorian capital city of San Francisco de Quito (most commonly referred to simply as Quito) late in the day on Friday, January 27th.
During their time in Quito, the group also visited several attractions, including the city’s Old Town, which consists of beautiful Spanish architecture and the Basílica del Voto Nacionala, a near-replica of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
The group travelled to the city of Otavalo on Saturday, January 28th, where they visited the bustling Saturday market, where students were taught how to barter for goods.
“That was just a riot,” said Paton. “Bartering is just part of the culture there and the kids learned all about how to communicate using hand gestures.”
Prior to being set loose in the market, students were apprised of precautions they should take when handling their money in public markets in order to avoid becoming a target for pickpocketing.
From Otavalo, the group moved on to Mitad Del Mundo (Middle of the World), where the northern and southern hemispheres meet at the equator.
Students stood on the line indicating the equator, with half of the students leaning into the northern hemisphere and the other half into the southern.
 

On Monday, January 30th, the group travelled to El Mindo, where they went ziplining above the jungle canopy and visited a butterfly sanctuary, two activities which Paton said were major highlights of the trip.
“The butterfly sanctuary was just magic,” she said, adding that students got a huge adrenaline rush out of ziplining.
On Wednesday, February 1st, the group departed for the coast near the fishing village of Mompiche, where they stayed at an all-inclusive resort and participated in daily excursions for the remainder of their stay.
“That was a whole different face to Ecuador compared to what the kids had experienced up until that point,” said Paton.
“We really wanted to teach the kids how to travel, not as a consumer, but as someone who respects and participates in the local culture.”
She said it was important to the group not to be removed from the culture, adding that they chose to make their way around in taxis and sample local cuisine including alligator, as well as fish which they caught themselves.
“We wanted the kids to know how to get their own food and manage their own money,” said Paton.
She said another important aspect to the trip were the individual research projects which each student completed in order to gain class credit.
Each student is eligible to receive up to three credits for their project and subjects which students researched during their time in Ecuador included the local fire department, police force, backyard culture, dance, cuisine, the commerce of coffee, fashion and other areas.
“It was a totally different trip depending on the individual kid,” said Paton.
“Their trip was really tailored to them depending on their research questions.”
The students will be presenting their research projects at a celebration night which will take place on Thursday, March 1st at the school.
In closing, Paton said she was impressed with the way the students composed themselves during the trip.
“They just pulled together, watched each other’s backs and were so thoughtful, kind and easy to travel with,” she said.
“This was the most exceptional group of students I have ever travelled with.”
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