Darien Teacher Continues Travelling Legacy to Galapagos
Marisa Keen, a new Spanish teacher at Middlesex Middle School and experienced world traveler, is continuing a family tradition of organizing student trips started by her parents, retired Darien teachers Frank Keen and Sally Knowlton-Keen, over 15 years ago. Working with fellow MMS social studies teacher Mike Tracey, Keen is planning to take a group of students to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands in June -July 2015.
Although Keen and Tracey are teachers at MMS, their trip is not affiliated with the Darien school system nor is it sponsored by the Darien Board of Education. This trip is arranged through EF Educational Tours, the largest student tour operator in the world. Keen has been to Ecuador and the Galapagos five times and believes it is an experience of a lifetime.
“The Galapagos is a magical place where the animals have no fear of man. Even people with no particular fascination with nature become entranced with the extraordinary friendliness of the wildlife. The animals on these islands carry on their daily routine indifferent to the human visitors watching in amazement only a few feet away. Giant tortoises lumber by. Penguins may swim by your side as you snorkel. Blue-footed boobies perform their incredible mating dance at your feet. Watch sea lions frolic beside you in the water. On one trip I witnessed the birth of a baby sea lion. Most of the animals there are found nowhere else in the world.“
In addition to the Galapagos Islands, the tour will include several days in the mountainous interior of Ecuador exploring the capital city, Quito, now a UNESCO “World Cultural Heritage” site, the Native American community of Otavalo, and Cotopaxi National Park with the highest volcano in the world.
Students who will have completed 7th or 8th grades by summer of 2015 (this year’s 6th and 7th graders) are eligible to join Keen and Tracey on this 10 day journey. Students do not have to attend Middlesex Middle School and they may bring a parent, friend, or other relative. For additional information and to register for this unique trip, please email Marisa Keen at firstname.lastname@example.org.