Simon teaching

A young man who grew up in Appleton is now spending a lot of his time in the Ecuadorian Andes, where he is helping a remote Indigenous community reach their goal of high school education for their youth.

When Simon Cretien spent a year of his university degree studying in Quito, Ecuador, he developed a close relationship with the people of Piñán, a village where no one has ever graduated from high school. Since graduating from university, Simon has founded a non-profit organization – the Community Ascent Network – to help the village realize their goal of secondary school education for their youth.

To date, Community Ascent Network has made it possible for the first-ever group of Piñán youth to start high school, although still in a temporary classroom with volunteer teachers. They have also had architectural drawings made for a new high school complex, a traditional design that complements the rural setting. The villagers are now busy preparing locally sourced building materials for the school.

Community Ascent Network is now holding a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to start building the high school complex, purchase the necessary equipment, and pay salaries for two teachers. If you would like to help the village of Piñán reach its goal, you can contribute online to the crowdfunding campaign. Any donation makes a difference, no matter how much. With a donation of $25 or more, your name will be entered in a raffle for a great prize!

On that site you can also see a short video filmed in the beautiful village of Piñán, that tells the story of bringing high school education to this remote Andean community.