Green Globe member Ladera Resort has undertaken numerous and generous sustainable initiatives over the years to assist the Les Etangs Combined Primary School in Saint Lucia.
Christian Gandara, General Manager at Ladera Resort details the history of Les Etangs Combined School and ways in which the resort has provided assistance to the school and children.
The Les Etangs Combined School is located in the rural community of Etangs, approximately two miles from Ladera Resort. The school opened in 1920 as a small wooden structure with only children’s classes. As the population in nearby areas increased, the Catholic Church extended the school as it was also used for church services and as a Post Office and Health Centre.
Eustace Augustin, Ladera’s Maintenance Manager who grew up next to the school, recalls back in the 1960’s when he and other students carried stones from the nearby river to build the foundation for the extensions which took place. The school has grown significantly since then and Ladera is proud to be part of the continued transformation.
In 2006, Ladera built the Office Block which includes an Administrative Office, Sick Bay and a Resource Room with recycled computers. Over the years, Ladera, along with its Good Works Group has sponsored annual sports meets, Graduation ceremonies and other school activities.
Ladera’s Green Team has partnered with the school in conducting tree-planting initiatives. The fruit trees and crops help support the School’s Feeding Program. There was also a time when the melodious voices of the School Choir could be heard from Ladera Resort’s Dasheene Restaurant during lunch service!
More recently in 2020, Ladera built an additional four classrooms, a Music Room, Storeroom and refurbished the Teachers’ washroom. According to Sabina Allain, School Principal, “The Les Etangs Combined School is indebted to Ladera Resort for contributing to the holistic development of the students over the years. These new enhancements have come at an opportune time, creating much-needed space and facilities for students to return to school during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
One hundred and eighty-six (186) students are presently enrolled at the school some of whom are children of Ladera employees. The students reside in the neighboring communities, extending to the town of Soufriere. Staff members include fifteen teachers, a principal, janitor, cook, caretaker and four security personnel.
Ladera Resort pledges to continue to support the school while positively engaging with local communities.