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Education for Action in Puerto Rico

By Peggy Stern

As if forgotten, hidden within the sprawling streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico's largest city, lies the small village-like community of San Domingo. During the summer, Ana Maria Garcia Blanco, along with the people of San Domingo, opened a school for the children of the community. She was implementing ideas, combining her Puerto Rican heritage and her work during the last two years as a member of the Student Board of Radcliffe's Education for Action (E4A). With many ages working together in small groups, the Puerto Rican students study the history of their neighborhood; the songs and poetry of their culture.

For the past three summers Ana Maria has left Harvard and gone back home to teach in San Domingo. During the Spring semester Ana Maria continued her teaching in Cambridge helping with a student initiated study-for-action group on education. Sitting in the Education for Action office in the Radcliffe Gym, Ana, along with eight other undergraduates, examined the problems and possibilities of education in diverse environments: Appalachia, the inner-city Puerto Rico.

With the help of Education for Action, a student organization which funds H-R undergraduates to do social change and cultural action projects, Ana has been able to continue her chosen work. In spite of limited resources the struggle for a unique classroom in San Domingo has succeeded.

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