Zumbahua, Ecuador


Photographer: Annie Griffiths

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

At a school in Zumbahua, children take a Spanish class. As in many village schools across the Ecuadorean Andes, their teacher trained at El Quiron University in Quito, the country’s capital, taking a course in teaching Spanish to children who only speak the language of their own community. While native languages are respected in Ecuador, children who do not learn Spanish find themselves with limited opportunities to attend secondary school or college. As bilingual adults, they will have greater career opportunities. And if they go on to university, they can also return to their native communities and help teach Ecuador’s official national language to another generation of children.