Ecuador: Río Viejo Community Receives New School

Dole Food Company, Bama Gruppen, Fenacle, the Marcelino Maridueña Municipality, UBESA and the Dale Foundation united to build a new school in Ecuador.

This unprecedented partnership started with a mutual desire to help underprivileged children as is reflected by its slogan, “Unidos por el Desarollo de Nuestra Niñez” (“United for the Development of our Children”). Culminating with a brand new school for the Río Viejo Community in the Guayas Province of Ecuador, the project exemplifies the partners’ commitment towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Talks about a common CSR project in Ecuador between Dole and Bama Gruppen, the Norwegian Supermarket, began in early 2006. Due to Dole’s prior experience in the country’s education sector – constructing the Vicente Piedrahita School – and Ecuador’s great need for enhancements in education, the decision was made to build a school.

Early on, Dole and Bama agreed that this project would include both the local community and Fenacle (Ecuadorian agricultural workers’ organization) starting with the planning stage and all the way through to final implementation. As sole financers of the CSR project, however, Dole and Bama were the ones to choose where the new facility would be built. They wanted to offer ongoing basic education to children in a community where the previous school was too small and in dire condition. Furthermore, Dole wanted to help an area in which it’s operated for over 50 years.

The new “Ecuador País Amazónico” School provides students with a modern building that includes well-ventilated classrooms, spaces for recreational activities, a faculty room, a fully-functioning kitchen and a sanitary cafeteria. It serves over 300 children from the Río Viejo Community and surrounding rural areas.

Timeline

  • September 2006: Dole presents the project to BAMA. Together, they visit the existing Vicente Piedrahita School, which Dole constructed in 2000.
  • November 2006: Bama/Bendit decides to support the Project.
  • November 2006: The Committee for the school’s construction is formed.
  • December 2006: The Municipalities and local authorities become involved and M. Maridueña joins the second visit to the Vicente Piedrahita School.
  • January 2007: The Committee decides to construct the School in Cantón Marcelino Maridueña.
  • February 2007: BAMA visit the construction site for the País Amazónico School.
  • May 2007: The Marcelino Maridueña Municipality sees the future school’s model for the first time and the Dale Foundation signs an agreement for the maintenance and the good use of the school’s facilities.  During this May visit, the Dale Foundation distributes an anti-flu vaccine to children and adults from the region.
  • September 2007: First stone ceremony successfully takes place.
  • April 15 2008: Inauguration of the brand new school, Ecuador País Amazónico.
  • December 2008: installation of computer lab and library.
  • October 2009: New eighth grade new classroom added.
  • September 2010: New ninth grade classroom added.