A Year in Review

Ah, year end. That time where we all stop and reflect on the year behind us. At the Starfish Foundation it’s been amazing year – one full of achievements, laughter, learning moments, and growing relationships.

Join us as we take a quick look back at where we’ve been this year…

January 2017:

  • We improved our strategies for our monthly leadership school for scholarship students!Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 11.56.29 AM
  • Our volunteers and educators helped guide our 2do bachillerato students (U.S. equivalent – high school juniors) in finishing their community service projects. One group worked with parents to improve communication in the neighborhood, while another visited Damien House, a facility for patients of Hansen’s disease.

February 2017:

  • Another group of students finished up their community service project. After planning them throughout the year, the hard work finally paid off as they put their projects in motion. This group organized a literacy project where students delivered books and other educational materials so their parents could begin learning.
  • We began our scholarship selection process for the next school year, beginning with an informational meeting for all.

March 2017:

  • March is the end of our school year. Students presented final projects at Starfish where they were able to demonstrate the skills they learned at our new & improved classes over the past 5 months. The project was called “Around the World” and each group had to research, make a PowerPoint, and present to the class about a country they had never researched previously – and include a creative piece as well such as traditional dress, sharing a traditional food, etc.
  • We went on a field trip to Bucay at the end of March for students with the best grades this past school year. Bucay was a lot of fun since it is at the edge of the mountains and is a much cooler climate than we are used to in hot & humid Guayaquil!
  • We also made some great progress with formalizing our organization in Ecuador. We received the equivalent of our EIN, and hired an accountant, Jazmin, to help with the required reporting to the Ecuadorian IRS (SRI).

April 2017: 

  • We implemented a new summer reading initiative! Starfish students were asked to read daily, complete a reading log, and attend weekly sessions to talk about what they were reading with our educators. The students who attended had a great time and we are excited to see their love for reading grow!IJ00335601_sobrecub_canterville.indd
  • While the scholars were on break, our educators were busy collecting supplies and organizing / decorating their classrooms. They also used this time for planning – especially in relation to all our new clubs (soccer, community service, computer skills, chess, crafts, dance, and more!)
  • School started on April 24th! We had 50 new students joining us in tutoring this year, with 140 students overall. We spent the first week getting to know each other, establishing classroom expectations for the year, reviewing material from last year, and setting goals for the year!

May 2017:

  • The first week of May a small camp was held within the foundation where kids were taught about HIV in a fun way through ice-breakers, soccer and other games with the help from a visiting Peace Corps volunteer, Bonnie.
  • Clubs started meeting: soccer, crafts, and community service!
  • On May 12th, in celebration of Mother’s day, the students decided to share their love for their moms by going around and singing for them. “It was a very exciting moment for the moms, because they did not expect it and this way they could feel the affection that we all have for them,” said one participant.
  • This month, our theme for our tutoring sessions was ecosystems. Our educators implemented new methodologies to help engage our students and motivate them to connect learning to real life. At the end of the month we even started our own garden at Starfish, that is still going strong today!

June 2017

  • In order to help in professional growth, we held a workshop with the psychologist entitled “Human Intelligence Development”, which was used to detect students’ abilities in the process of their development.leadership school 1
  • This month’s tutoring them was, “how to carry out an academic investigation.” The students worked in pairs to do research about the provinces and capitals, tourist sites, and myths and legends of Ecuador. The last week in June the students presented their research through expositions that each pair created.
  • On June 25th we celebrated fathers and father figures with a tribute to those who our students deemed “most important in their life.” This special celebration included games, questions, a blind baby food challenge, and a game of indoor soccer. It was a day filled with hugs, emotions and interactions between the students and their dads.
  • This month also marked the arrival of our summer volunteers who led exciting new clubs including science and theater!

Whew, what a busy year! And that’s only half of it! Tune in next week to see what else we got up to this year, as we reflect on July through December 2017 before turning over a new leaf and a new year.


A Day in the Life of a Scholar

Guest Writer: Maddy Okkerse

jordy loor.jpeg

“Within five years, I see myself studying one of these careers because I want to be a professional in order to be able to help my parents, but above all to give myself the lesson that what one resolves to do may be accomplished when you work hard to achieve it. “ -Jordy Loor

One-Hundred-Forty Students. One-Hundred-Forty Dreams.

The Starfish Foundation inspires scholars like Jordy to go above and beyond their social norm and to reach for the stars. Giving these students a place to study is only one part of the day as a Starfish student.

On their first day, April 24th, students arrived at the foundation wearing the shoes and uniforms provided by the foundation and attended classes. But these are not just your average students;these students are here because they want to be here. Many children in Ecuador of the same age have become involved with tobacco, drugs, or alcohol, but the Starfish scholars have healthy habits and long term goals. These students also attended workshops during the day providing crucial lessons – such as learning about HIV from a Peace Corps volunteers, Bonnie.


Along with workshops, getting to know the other scholars, and reviewing materials from last year, students also were able to attend some of the several clubs offered by the foundation, such as soccer, crafts, computer, dance, and music clubs.

“Here I have met many new friends. In the foundation we can mingle, create very good friendships and besides that also there we learn a lot with the workshops they give. All of this helps me to change and everyday I learn more.” – Maria Belen

Emulated by the staff, these students are also instilled with a love for service early on. From helping paint the classroom walls, to the SAC community service project, many students help to serve their community in someway. For this reason, many of the scholars are not only achieving academic success, but they also develop incredible character.

So a day in the life of a scholar is more than above average; from learning, to service, to dreaming, the success of a scholar never stops.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook to see what we’re up to on a daily basis.

Starfish Spotlight: Jeison and Cecilia on hobbies, family, soccer, responsibility, and continually growing.

Whether your a student or a teacher at Starfish, we know every individual has the potential for growth, and we embrace the interests, strengths, and individuality of every one of our Starfish Family.

This week we connected with Jeison, a scholar, and Cecilia, an educator, to get to know them a little better.


Interviewer: Can you each introduce yourselves and tell me a little about you?
Jeison: I am 15 years old and I live in Flor de Bastión. I play a lot of sports.
Cecilia: I am an educator with the Starfish Foundation and my hobbies are definitely eating and sleeping.

Interviewer: With the quality of food and sports coming out of Ecuador, I feel like those are both very important hobbies to have. Can you tell us a little about how you like to spend your spare time?
Cecilia: I dedicate my free time to spending time with my daughter, partaking in many activities, like playing, dancing, singing etc. I also take advantage of it by sharing nice moments with my family (mom and dad), but above all I like to spend time with my husband and daughter, which are the sweetest moments of my life.
Jeison: Like you all know, here we play quite a lot of soccer and that is also my favorite sport. Near my house is a court where I play most days. Also, sometimes I practice at the Foundation where, with my classmates, we play big matches. Besides this, in my free time, I do my homework, and when it’s my time to go to the Foundation I am very happy.

Interviewer: The Foundation sounds like it has had a positive impact on your life. Can you tell me something you’ve learned from your time with Starfish?
Jeison: The most important things that I have learned at the Foundation are to respect others above everything else and to be responsible with my duties.
Interviewer: Very important life skills indeed; you sound wise for your age. Cecilia, I know you’re a teacher, but what have learned from your time with Starfish?
Cecilia: At the Foundation, I have learned different planning methods that allow me to get to know each student on an individual level. Also, I have learned to share experiences and strategies with my other coworkers in order to learn how to best teach the students.

Thanks a ton to Cecilia and Jeison for taking the time to share some of their thoughts and hobbies with us. It’s always a pleasure to get a glimpse into the daily life in Ecuador, and get to know our fellow Starfish friends a little better.

Now is Your Time to Be the Change

If the Starfish Foundation were a child, we would already be in elementary school. These past few years have been a wonderful whirlwind of development, growth, and change, and we are (of course) always looking towards the future.

But it is also worthwhile to reflect on the past in this moment, and recall the story that inspired the name of our foundation. Out of a beach covered with thousands of starfish, when it seems hopeless to save them all from death, a young child chooses to throw them back into the sea. Instead of give up hope after the expanse of the problem, the child continues to save starfish one by one. Her reasoning? It will make a difference for each individual starfish she touches.

Ecuador flag

When you participate in the Sponsor-A-Scholar program with Starfish, you are directly helping a child successfully complete a year of school, but you are indirectly becoming part of a chain reaction that propels entire communities for the better. The Starfish Foundation’s motto of “one student, one star, one by one” reflects this. By a simple sponsorship, you are certainly changing the life of that one child. But even moreseo, many individual efforts like yours come together to make real change. This is why sponsors are essential to Starfish’s operations.

As a sponsor, you also have a chance to be a pen pal with the student that you sponsor. This provides not only a fun way to keep in touch with someone from another culture, but also a chance to learn and grow across countries’ borders. You can hear firsthand about Ecuadorian food and games, a student’s dream to succeed in school, and the work Starfish is doing to empower the students, all in a single correspondence! Being a pen pal is not a required part of being a sponsor, but it is an amazing opportunity that many sponsors take advantage of.

If this resonates with you, we encourage you to reach out to our team and maybe even become a sponsor yourself. There are currently still a few amazing Starfish Scholars who do not have a sponsor for the 2017-2018 school year, including:

  • Lady C – Favorite subject = Science; loves to read and play soccer
  • Alexander L – Favorite subject = Language Arts; loves to play soccer
  • Josue L – Favorite subject = Science; loves to play soccer
  • Joselin L – Favorite subject = Math and Science; loves to listen to music and read
  • Genesis R – Favorite subject = Social Studies; loves to swim and play soccer
  • Melissa R – Favorite subject = Phys. Ed; loves to play soccer

To find out more about how you can sponsor a scholar for the current school year, please visit our website.

An Opportunity to Give Thanks

In the United States, Thanksgiving is often used as a time to reflect on the people, things, and experiences we are most thankful for. This feeling of gratitude and appreciation for the small (and the big) things in life, is universal, and we asked some of our Ecuadorian students, volunteers, and teachers to share what they are thankful for this year:

Tyrone Tumbaco (Educator)
This year has been very intense but with good results like getting my degree registered with SENESCYT. In addition, I have lots of ideas for my future and a lot of positive energy. I hope I am able to meet my goals soon.

Cecilia Orben (Educator)
I am very grateful to all the people who trusted me in different ways.  I am also proud to have done many things that I thought I would not be able to do. In the workplace I am very grateful for self-correcting when I have made mistakes, and for being able to improve because of that.

Del Valle Joselyn (Student)
I am very grateful this year because I am in a new school, I have met new people, and I am making new friends. Also for the birth of my sister, for my personal achievements, and above all I am grateful to God because He has given me another year of life together with the people I love, my family.

Mirely Zacida (Student)
I am very grateful to Starfish because it helps me with my school supplies. I’m also thankful for the educators because when I do not understand some subjects at school, they teach me and that is very helpful.

Josue Plúas (Student)
I am grateful to Starfish since I learn a lot during tutoring, and also through the other activities that Starfish organizes.  The greatest activity so far was the #StarfishSearch. I’m also thankful for the great help with school supplies.

Leonardo Torres (Student)
I am grateful because Starfish has helped me a lot, especially the classes during tutoring that help us learn new things together that also help us in our daily lives. I am grateful to the educators who are very good teachers.

Jordy Loor (Student)
I am grateful to Starfish for helping me in every possible way, as I have gained a great deal of knowledge and have been able to put my knowledge into practice. Thank you so much!!

Diego Barrezueta (Educator)
I am very grateful this year for being able to study gastronomy and for the great recognition that I received in my studies at a national level. Also because I am able to spend time with the people I love the most.

Diana Zambrano (Student)
I am grateful to be a part of Starfish because I have been able to overcome lot of my nervousness. Belonging to this family fills me with lots of joy.

Pamela Rodriguez (Educator)
I am very grateful to all the people who trusted me in different ways.  I am also proud to have done many things that I thought I would not be able to do. In the workplace, I am very grateful to my co-workers for correcting me when I make mistakes so that I can continue to improve.

Viviana Alcivar (Student)
I am thankful for another year with my family, and for being able to go to school so that I can be someone important in life.  I am also thankful for being a part of Starfish, participating in tutoring so that when I go to school I’m already prepared.  

Jessica Parraga (Educator)
I am grateful for the health of my parents and family in general, and for friendships. They are all fundamental pillars that help me to move forward every day. I am grateful for future plans and for the perseverance that God gave me.


El Día de Acción de Gracias
“Es tu oportunidad de agradecer…”

Tyrone Tumbaco
“La verdad este año ha sido muy intenso pero con buenos resultados como; obtener mi titulo ya registrado en el SENESCYT. Además de muchas ideas de emprendimiento para el futuro propio y mucha proyección positiva. Espero que se cumplan pronto.”

Cecilia Orben
“Bueno, estoy muy agradecida con todas las personas que confiaron en mí en diferentes aspectos, también estoy orgullosa de hacer muchas cosas que pensé que no lograría. En el ámbito laboral estoy muy agradecida por autocorregirse en las cosas que fallo y así poder haber mejorado.”

Del Valle Joselyn
“Estoy muy agradecida este año porque estoy en un nuevo colegio, he conocido nuevas personas, haciendo nuevos amigos. También por el nacimiento de mi hermana, por los logros que he tenido personalmente y sobre todo estoy agradecida a Dios porque me ha dado un año más de vida y me tiene junto a las personas que quiero, mi familia.”

Mirely Zacida
Estoy muy agradecido con la fundación porque me ayuda con los materiales del colegio, además también con los educadores; porque al momento que no entiendo en el colegio algunos temas, ellos me enseñan y eso es muy bueno.

Josue Pluas
Yo estoy agradecido con la fundación ya que recibo muchos conocimientos como han sido los talleres, y también por otra parte las actividades que se han realizado y lo más genial hasta ahora fue la búsqueda de la estrella de mar StarfishSearch. También por la gran ayuda con los materiales de estudio.

Leonardo Torres
Bueno, estoy agradecido porque la fundación me ha ayudado mucho porque realizan talleres que nos sirven para lograr un aprendizaje mutuo que incluso nos sirve en nuestro diario vivir. Estoy agradecido con los educadores que son muy buenos maestros.

Jordy Loor
Estoy agradecido con la fundación por haberme ayudado de todas las formas posibles, ya que he obtenido un gran conocimiento y los he puesto en práctica. Muchas Gracias!!

Diego Barrezueta
Estoy muy agradecido este año por que estudio gastronomía y por el logro tan grande en mis estudios que fue a nivel nacional. Tambien por que puedo estar con las personas que mas quiero.

Diana Zambrano
Estoy agradecida por estar en la fundación porque he superado mis nervios en muy buena parte. Pertenecer a esta familia me llena mucho de alegria.

Pamela Rodriguez
Bueno estoy agradecida con todas las personas que confiaron en mi en diferentes aspectos, también estoy orgullosa de hacer muchas cosas que pensé que no lograría. En el ámbito laboral estoy muy agradecida con mis compañeros por corregirme en las cosas que fallo y así poder mejorar.

Viviana Alcivar
Por estar un año más con mi famila y por estudiar en un colegio ya que asi despues yo puedo ser alguien en la vida. Por estar aquí en la fundación recibiendo talleres para cuando esté en el colegio ya estar preparada.

Jessica Parraga
Estoy agradecida por la salud de mis Padres y familia en general , amistades, todos son parte de un pilar fundamental que me ayuda a seguir adelante cada dia. Estoy agradecida por los Planes a futuro y por la constancia que Dios me dio.

We thank everyone who shared their thoughts with us. We’d love if you’d leave us a comment telling us what you’re most thankful for. And if you’re in the mood for sharing your blessings this holiday season, consider joining us for one of our Giving Tuesday events.

Scholar Spotlight: Oscar Vargas

Vargas_Oscar_uniforme_2017_previewMy name is Oscar Vargas and I am a scholar at the Starfish Foundation. I spend a lot of my time here and it is one of the things that I like to do the most. Nevertheless, I spend my free time listening to music or, if not, my friend Dervis invites me to play soccer with another group of friends from our community. But before this I always finish my homework, because if not, I can’t go out.

One of my hobbies is playing indoor soccer with my friends and I also really like drawing.

The most important thing that I have learned at the foundation is that it has helped me to develop myself more. That is to say that I am no longer so shy and I can talk with people without embarrassing myself. Another fundamental thing is that during my time at the Foundation, I have learned how to lead a group; we talk a lot about this at the Foundation.

Interested in meeting and working with students like Oscar?

Are you inspired to make a significant impact on the education of today’s youth? The Starfish Foundation now has a year-long volunteer program, “Constelacion de Eduacadores Activos” or CEA

Interested? Here’s the Basics:

Who: College graduates & young adults ages 21 and older

What: Volunteering to work with our staff and high school students in Guayaquil,
Ecuador at The Starfish Foundation. We have 3 positions available: Curriculum & Instruction Manager, ESL Teacher & Program Development Manager. Some tasks/duties will include:

  • Daily mentoring of staff members
  • Leading professional development
  • Teaching classes to students
  • Goal-setting and measuring
  • Community engagement
  • Contributing innovative ideas and techniques to curriculum and pedagogy

When: August 2018-August 2019

Where: Guayaquil, Ecuador – Starfish volunteers live with a host family in the neighborhood where we work, Flor de Bastión. Accommodations are basic, but comfortable.

Why: To enhance the education and lives of impoverished Ecuadorian families and students who lack access to a strong educational system (and are therefore stuck in the cycle of poverty), by mentoring staff, teaching students and improving the overall educational offerings at Starfish.

​We’re Looking For You:

The ideal candidate for teaching positions will hold a Bachelor’s degree in Education or in a mastery subject with a teaching certificate.

The ideal candidate for program development position will hold a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies, International Development, Nonprofit Management or a related field.

The ideal candidate for any position will:

  • Know at least conversational Spanish, with a preference given to those who are proficient/fluent in Spanish.
  • Have a passion for working in a cross-cultural setting.
  • Be committed to educating both adults and children.
  • Take initiative and demonstrate leadership qualities.
  • Exhibit creativity and bring a positive energy and enthusiasm to the Foundation

To learn more about how to apply, the financial commitment, and the ideal candidate, visit www.thestarfishchange.org/volunteerintern.

Ready to go? Apply today!


Una entrevista con Oscar

Yo me llamo Oscar Vargas, y soy un becado de la fundación, paso mucho de mi tempo aquí y es de las cosas que más me gusta hacer. Sim embargo, en mi tiempo libre la paso escuchando música o si no mi amigo Dervis me invita a jugar pelota con otro grupo de amigos de mi comunidad. Pero antes de esto siempre termino mis deberes porque si no, no puedo salir.

Uno de mis hobbies es Jugar “indor” con mis amigos y también me gusta mucho dibujar.

La cosa más importante que he aprendido en la fundación poder ser que me ha ayudado a desenvolverme más, es decir, a ya no ser tan timido y a hablar con las personas sin que me de vergüenza… otra cosa fundamental es que durante mi proceso en la fundación he aprendido a como liderar un grupo, de eso se habla mucho en la fundación.





#StarfishSearch Winners (and other highlights)

This past weekend, 9 teams competed in the 2nd Annual #StarfishSearch Scavenger Hunt. The 35 participants represented 3 countries and 7 states.

Participants had 72 hours to complete 53 tasks – some focused on community service, some on creativity, some on exploring Ecuadorian culture, some on raising awareness for Starfish, and some that were just silly.

Although these pictures / videos didn’t win, here are some of our favorite moments from the search:

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When asked what their favorite item was was, participants said:

  • “The one we had the most fun with was riding on the handle bars of the bike singing the bicycle song!!” – Julia G
  • ” I can’t choose one! I had so much fun!” – Jenn Z.
  • “I loved making colada morada” – Anna J

The Winners:

The information you’ve all been waiting for – who won the search?

First Place: Mischief Management

– Kim Pulsford (Captain)
– Jenn Z
– Joe G
– Julia G
– Pete L
Mischief Management had team members in Ecuador and the United States and they completed all but 7 of the 53 tasks. They ended the hunt with 1,654 points. They continually impressed us with their submissions and creativity. The unanimous favorite item from their submissions was their nature art of Juan José Flores, also known as The First President of the Republic.

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2nd place: Los Que Come Cuando Hay

– Josue P (Captain)
– Arelisa R
– Diego B
– Genesis R
– Geovanna Sandy G

Los Que Come Cuando Hay was a team based entirely in Ecuador. They finished the scavenger hunt with 1,441 points. They were the only team to get the Starfish Foundation mentioned on the radio, the only team to write in chalk on a pack animal, and one of only two teams to draw a starfish on a bald human head. We were most impressed by them getting on the radio, and the judges favorite item was their handstand at the border.

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Another team comprised entirely of Ecuadorians, Constelacion alfa y omega also ended the search with over 1,000 points. They really impressed us with their submission for item #15 – Create an image of a famous Ecuadorian from history using only objects found in nature. Caption the photo (when uploaded) with the person’s name and why you chose them. We choose this as our favorite photo because of the attention to detail and the realism in the face.

Best Photo - Constelation #15
Eugenio Espejo, Fue un prominente investigador, científico, médico, historiador, escritor, abogado, periodista, pensador, quiteño ideólogo, político y prócer de la independencia de Ecuador. [Eugenio Mirror, was a prominent researcher, scientist, physician, historian, writer, lawyer, journalist, thinker, ideologist, politician, and a hero of Ecuador’s independence.]

Favorite Video: Seas the Day

Seas the Day was our only two person team, and impressed us by earning over 1,000 points despite having the fewest number of participants. They had one member from the United States, and one from England (our first European participant!). They had a lot of wonderful submissions, but we were most impressed by their stop motion video for #22 (Tell the Starfish story in a stop motion video). It was clear that a lot of time and effort went into creating this item, and it deserves recognition.

best video - seas the day #22.png

Thanks for Making us Laugh: Goin’ Starfishin’

Goin’ Starfishin’ was a three person team from Maryland. This team had a lot of fun throughout the hunt and it clearly showed. As judges, we went through the submissions many times, and every time we went past this item we stopped to admire it – not only was it visually appealing in terms of composition and lighting, but it also always brought a smile to our faces. They captured the expressions of the arm-wrestling competitors perfectly, and we thank them for making us laugh with their submission for item #31.

Made us Laugh - Goin Starfishin #31

Thank you to everyone who participated! You were all amazing, and we loved all your submissions!

We hope you’ll join us again next year. If you missed this year’s hunt, but want to make sure you’re on a team next year, email amanda.benton@thestarfishchange.org and we’ll make sure you get a personal invitation to join next year’s search.


Starfish Search Task List

1. [14 points] There is someone in your life who has taught you something. Using the social media platform of your choice, thank them for what they have taught you. Be sure to tag them in the post. To earn points, submit a screenshot of your post to your team’s album.

2. [49 points] Have a twitter account with more than 2,000 followers tweet their support of the Starfish Foundation. They must mention your team name and tag @starfishchange. Upload a screenshot of the post to your album and put a link to the tweet in the description. The tweet must be active at the time of judging to receive points.

3. [40 points] Each person on your team must take a picture wearing or holding something that represents where they live (city, state, or country). Collage all the pictures into one image and add your team name.

4. [10 points] Put on your Starfish shirt and write a letter or e-mail to your favorite teacher from high school or middle school and send it. While we cannot know whether or not you actually sent the letter / e-mail, karma will catch up with you if you do not.(If you cannot mail or e-mail your teacher, but can connect with them via Facebook, you may send them a FB message instead).

5. [36 points] Take your pet to work (or school) day. This must be a picture of an actual live pet in your place of work (or education). Show your pet hard at work and working well with others.

6. [36 points] Find a quote about the importance of helping others in the religious text of your choice. Write it as large as humanly possible in chalk (or some other removable substance) in a public place. It must be at least 20 feet by 10 feet when completed.

7. [19 points] Carve a starfish into a pumpkin, squash, or other gourd of your choice.

8. [45 points] Have the social media account of another organization share one of Starfish’s blog posts to their account. Upload a screenshot of the post and include a link to the post in the description. The post must still be active at the time of judging.

9. [10 points] All you ever need is in arm’s reach. Find a personally impactful quote that, when printed, perfectly fits your wingspan (fingertip to fingertip). Quote must be legible in the photo.

10. [30 points] Find something (book, movie, tv show, CD) created by an Ecuadorian and read/watch/listen to it. Write a review for it on Amazon. Submit a screenshot of your review.

11. [61 points] Find a person on another team who lives in a different country from you. Send them something that they cannot find/buy where they live. Caption your photo (when uploaded) with the name and team name of the person you sent it to, as well as what country you both live in.

12. [35 points] [Video – up to 1 minute] Explain why you love the Starfish Foundation in English. Wear your starfish shirt.

13. [35 points] [Video – up to 1 minute] Explain why you love the Starfish Foundation in Spanish. Wear your Starfish shirt.

14. [66 points] Ecuador is the home of the equator – the line that separates the Northern and Southern hemispheres. In honor of this “dividing line”, take a friend and stand on the border between two states, provinces, or countries. You may also stand on the Equator or the Prime Meridian. One of you must be holding a sign that says “Starfish crosses borders and unites us”. Bonus points if at least one person in the picture is doing a handstand.

15. [52 points] Create an image of a famous Ecuadorian from history using only objects found in nature. Caption the photo (when uploaded) with the person’s name and why you chose them.

16. [55 points] Create a survey with the following text at the top: “The Starfish Foundation believes in the importance of education as a catalyst for future success. It provides scholarships and mentoring to students in financial need.” Your survey must determine the favorite school subject of your followers and friends. The exact wording of your question and the choices you provide are up to you. You must have at least 100 respondents. Submit the results.

17. [49 points] Gather at least 5 friends. Each of them must paint their nails in the Starfish colors (blue or yellow). Using your hands (or feet) create a starfish shape. We must see the painted nails on each hand or foot.

18. [20 points] Wear your Starfish shirt while donating canned goods to a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or immigration center in your home town.

19. [68 points] Hold a book drive and collect at least 10 books for children or young adults. At least 2 of the books must be written by Hispanic or Latino authors. If in the United States, donate them to Better World Books or the Pajama Program. If in Ecuador, donate them to the Starfish Foundation. If no one on your team lives in either the US or Ecuador, you can donate them to the children’s charity of your choice. Submission should be two pictures collaged together – 1 of the stack of books with the titles facing out, and 1 of you dropping off the donated books in a designated location.

20. [29 points] Paint a picture of the Starfish logo on a bald human head.

21. [54 points] Using chalk or removable non-toxic paint, write a math or physics equation on the rump of a horse, llama, goat, camel, donkey, or other four-legged pack animal. (Remember to never stand directly behind any animal.)

22. [56 points] [Video – at least 30 seconds; no more than 1 minute] Create a stop motion video telling the Starfish story.

23. [16 points] Have an elementary school aged child write down why they love school. Take a picture of what they wrote and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #educationchangeslives and tag @starfishchange… To receive points, take a screenshot of your post and upload it to your team’s album on the Facebook page.

24. [40 points] The Teal Pumpkin Project aims to raise awareness about food allergies. Collect a series of non-food items that can be given out to trick-or-treaters on halloween, then paint a pumpkin teal and put it outside your door. Submit 2 pictures side by side – 1 of your non-food items to give out at halloween and 1 of your painted pumpkin.

25. [47 points] Put on your favorite halloween costume and help a neighbor out with a chore – raking the leaves, doing dishes, walking a dog, hanging up the laundry – the choice is yours!

26. [57 points] [Video – 5-10 seconds] Find individuals playing futbol (soccer) or another team sport in a public park or field. Create signs and cheer for them. Make them feel like all-stars!

27. [55 points] [Video – 10 seconds] Give a friend a handlebar ride on a bike, sing Bicycle Race by Queen or La Bicicleta by Carlos Vives together whilst doing so.

28. [26 points] [Video – 15 seconds] Make a commercial for Starfish.

29. [21 points] Every year, the Starfish Foundation participates in March Madness with a bracket challenge. A lot of participants were disappointed when Villanova was knocked out early. Standing in a basketball court hold up a sign that says “We’re sorry Villanova. Maybe next year.”

30. [18 points] Put on your Starfish shirt and take a picture with an Ecuadorian flag. If you are taking this picture in Ecuador you must take the picture with at least one person under the age of 5 or at least one person over the age of 65.

31. [58 points] Find 2 people who support different teams for the same sport. (ie, one Ravens fan, one Cowboys fan or one El Nacional fan and Barcelona Sporting Club fan). Both people must be wearing a jersey from the team they support. Have them compete in an arm-wrestling competition. Once a winner is determined, the loser must hold up a sign cheering for the other team. Collage your pictures – at least 1 of the arm-wrestling competition and 1 of the losing side holding up their sign.

32. [45 points] For Ecuadorians: Find a place that serves food from a European country. Ask the owner (or server) what their favorite dish is. Try it. Post a picture of you eating the food and caption it with the name of the food and whether or not you would recommend it.
For non-Ecuadorians: Find a place that serves food from a South American country. Ask the owner (or server) what their favorite dish is. Try it. Post a picture of you eating the food and caption it with the name of the food and whether or not you would recommend it.

33. [40 points] Wearing your Starfish shirt take a picture with a police officer, firefighter, EMT, or other emergency responder. You must both be giving the thumbs up sign.

34. [47 points] Put on a costume and bring happiness to a child or children with special needs (student submitted)

35. [47 points] Create a dress made entirely of recycled materials. Put it on and take of picture of in front of a busy market or shopping center. (Adapted from a student submission)

36. [47 points] Make a human pyramid with at least 5 people (student submitted)

37. [10 points] Eat a chili pepper (student submitted)

38. [19 points] Place 1 finger on the ground and spin around 6 times, and then try to kick a soccer ball into a goal. You must be wearing your Starfish shirt in this video. (student submitted)

39. [50 points] The bird represented on the Ecuadorian flag is the Andean Condor. Find out some interesting facts about the Condor and share them with a stranger. The video must be taken in either a mode of public transportation (bus, train, plane, etc) or in an elevator / on an escalator. You cannot know this person ahead of time.

40. [45 points] Throughout the hunt carry a trash bag and collect trash and recyclables as you go. Take a picture in the final 3 hours of the hunt with what you’ve collected, then make sure it ends up in the correct receptacles. Bonus points if you take the recyclables to a place they can be returned for cash and you donate the earnings to the Starfish Foundation.

41. [54 points] Donate blood while wearing dracula teeth.

42. [15 points] Watch a sunrise. Take a break and enjoy the moment.

43. [46 points] Colada morada is a traditional spiced berry drink prepared for the Day of the Dead celebrations in Ecuador. Make some and share it with a friend. Your friend must rate your drink in three categories: taste, appearance, and service. Have them write each down. Submit 2 pictures together – a picture of them drinking beverage as well as a picture of their scorecard. If you cannot find all of the ingredients, just make it as close to the original as you can.

44. [39 points] Find someone who has the same name as someone on the Starfish Board of directors. Take a picture of their ID. Be sure to block out the important info (their ID number and address) before uploading the picture.

45. [70 points] [Image or Video] Have a local newspaper or tv station mention The Starfish Foundation.

46. [68 points] [Video – 15 seconds] Have an octogenerian (someone who is at least 80 years old) teach you how to dance Swing or Sanjuanito.

47. [43 points] It’s Medieval Battle Time! Huzzah! You and a friend or loved one must dress up in your battle gear / armor made entirely of kitchen ware. Strike a dueling pose.

48. [56 points] Ask a child under the age of 10 what they want to be when they grow up. Take them to meet someone who has this profession.

49. [25 points] Find one grantmaking org or corporate foundation that is aligned with Starfish mission and share contact information with info@thestarfishchange.org. Upload a screenshot of your email.

50. [40 points] Ask someone (a person or a business) to donate an item we can use in the Starfish Benefit Dinner Auction. (If it is an individual this can be something they own, something they’re creating, or something they’re purchasing specifically to donate.) Submit a picture of your sent email, text, or letter or a picture of you asking in person. 10 bonus points if you make 3 or more asks. 25 bonus points if you get a response, before the end of the hunt, committing to donating something to the auction.

51. [10 points] Find our 1,000th follower! Our Instagram account is currently at 976 followers. Encourage your friends and family to follow the account (@starfishchange) and comment on the Benefit Dinner Save the Date post with your team’s name. (It was posted in the last week). Any team’s name who is in the comments will receive the points. If your person is follower number 1,000, you’ll receive an extra 10 points.


Lista de búsqueda de tareas de Starfish

1. [14 puntos] En tu vida hay alguien que te ha enseñado algo. Usando como plataforma la red social de tu elección, agradece a esa persona por lo que te haya enseñado. Asegúrate de etiquetarlos en la publicación. Para ganar puntos, toma una foto de pantalla de tu publicación y envíala al álbum de tu equipo.

2. [49 puntos] Debes tener una cuenta en Twitter con más de 2.000 seguidores que tuiteen su apoyo a la Fundación Starfish. Deben mencionar el nombre de tu equipo y etiquetarlo @starfishchange. Carga una foto de pantalla de la publicación en tu álbum y coloca un enlace al tuit en la descripción. El tuit debe estar activo en el momento de que los jueces hagan la evaluación para poder recibir puntos.

3. [40 puntos] Cada persona en tu equipo debe tomarse una foto sosteniendo un objeto o con algo puesto que represente el sitio donde vive (ciudad, estado o país). Coloca todas las fotos en un collage y pon el nombre de tu equipo.

4. [10 puntos] Ponte tu camisa de Starfish y escribe una carta o correo electrónico a tu profesor favorito de la escuela secundaria o intermedia y envíala. Aunque no podemos saber si realmente enviaste o no la carta/e-mail, el karma te alcanzará si no lo haces. (Si no puedes enviar una carta o un correo electrónico a tu profesor, pero puedes conectarte con él/ella a través de Facebook, entonces puedes enviarle un mensaje a través de FB).

5. [36 puntos] Día de llevar tu mascota al trabajo (o escuela). Debe ser una foto de una mascota verdadera en tu lugar de trabajo (o escuela). Muestra a tu mascota trabajando fuertemente y llevándose bien con los demás.

6. [36 puntos] Encuentra una cita sobre la importancia de ayudar a otros en un texto religioso de tu elección. Escríbelo tan grande como sea humanamente posible con tiza (o alguna otra sustancia removible) en un lugar público. Debe medir por lo menos 20 pies por 10 pies (6 m x 3 m) en su totalidad.

7. [19 puntos] Talla una estrella de mar en una calabaza de cualquier tipo.

8. [45 puntos] Logra que la red social de otra organización comparta en su cuenta una de las entradas de blog de Starfish. Carga una foto de pantalla de la publicación e incluye un enlace a la publicación en la descripción. La publicación debe estar activa en el momento en que los jueces hagan la evaluación.

9. [10 puntos] Todo lo que necesitas está al alcance de tu mano. Encuentra una cita que te impacte personalmente, y que cuando se imprima, se ajuste perfectamente a tu envergadura (desde la punta de un dedo al otro dedo). La cita debe ser legible en la foto.

10. [30 puntos] Encuentra algo (libro, película, programa de televisión, CD) que haya sido creado por un ecuatoriano y léelo/míralo/escúchalo. Escribe un comentario sobre eso en Amazon. Envía una foto de pantalla de tu comentario.

11. [61 puntos] Encuentra una persona en otro equipo que viva en un país diferente al tuyo. Envíale algo que no se pueda encontrar/comprar donde él/ella vive. En la leyenda de la foto (cuando la cargues) escribe el nombre de la persona y del equipo a quien le enviaste el objeto, además del nombre del país en el que ambos viven.

12. [35 puntos] [Video – hasta 1 minuto] Ponte tu camisa de Starfish y explica en inglés por qué amas a la Fundación Starfish.

13. [35 puntos] [Video – hasta 1 minuto] Ponte tu camisa de Starfish y explica en español por qué amas a la Fundación Starfish.

14. [66 puntos] Ecuador es el hogar del Ecuador – la línea que separa los hemisferios Norte y Sur. En honor a esta “línea divisoria”, lleva un amigo a la frontera entre dos estados, provincias o países y párense allí. También se pueden parar en el Ecuador o el Primer Meridiano. Uno de ustedes debe sostener un letrero que diga “Starfish cruza fronteras y nos une”. Puntos de bonificación si por lo menos una persona en la foto está parada de manos.

15. [52 puntos] Crea una imagen de un ecuatoriano famoso en la historia usando sólo objetos que se encuentren en la naturaleza. Añade una leyenda a la foto (cuando se cargue) con el nombre de la persona y por qué la escogiste.

16. [55 puntos] Crea una encuesta con el siguiente texto en la parte superior: “La Fundación Starfish cree en la importancia de la educación como un catalizador para el éxito futuro. Proporciona becas y tutoría a estudiantes con necesidades financieras”. Tu encuesta debe determinar la materia escolar favorita de tus seguidores y amigos. La redacción exacta de tu pregunta y las opciones que proporciones dependerán de ti. Debes tener al menos 100 encuestados. Envía los resultados.

17. [49 puntos] Reúne al menos 5 amigos. Cada uno de ellos deberá pintar sus uñas con los colores de Starfish (azul o amarillo). Usando sus manos (o pies) deberán crear la forma de una estrella de mar. Tenemos que ver las uñas pintadas en cada mano o pie.

18. [20 puntos] Ponte tu camisa de Starfish y dona productos enlatados a un refugio para personas sin hogar, un comedor de beneficencia o un centro de inmigración en tu ciudad natal.

19. [68 puntos] Organiza una colecta de libros y recoge por lo menos 10 libros para niños o adultos jóvenes. Al menos 2 de los libros deben estar escritos por autores hispanos o latinos. Si estás en los Estados Unidos, dónalos a Better World Books o al Pajama Program. Si estás en Ecuador, dónalos a la Fundación Starfish. Si no hay nadie en tu equipo que viva en los EE.UU. o Ecuador, puedes donarlos a la organización benéfica de niños de tu elección. La presentación debe consistir de dos fotos juntas puestas en un collage – una, de la pila de libros con los títulos hacia fuera, y la otra, de usted donando los libros en un lugar designado.

20. [29 puntos] Pinta un cuadro del logotipo de Starfish en la cabeza de una persona calva.

21. [54 puntos] Usando tiza o pintura no tóxica que se pueda remover, escribe una ecuación de matemáticas o física en la rabadilla de un caballo, llama, cabra, camello, burro u otro animal de cuatro patas. (Recuerda que nunca debes pararte detrás de ningún animal.)

22. [56 puntos] [Vídeo – al menos 30 segundos; no más de 1 minuto] Crea un video de cuadro por cuadro que cuente la historia de Starfish.

23. [16 puntos] Pide a un niño en edad escolar que escriba por qué le encanta la escuela. Toma una foto de lo que escribió y publícala en Instagram con el hashtag #educationchangeslives y etiqueta @starfishchange … Para recibir puntos, toma una foto de pantalla de tu publicación y súbela al álbum de tu equipo en la página de Facebook.

24. [40 puntos] El Teal Pumpkin Project tiene como meta crear conciencia sobre las alergias alimentarias. Recoge una serie de objetos no alimentarios que se puedan dar a los niños en Halloween; luego pinta una calabaza de verde azulado y ponla en frente de tu casa. Envía 2 fotos lado a lado- una de tus objetos no alimentarios para regalar en Halloween y una de tu calabaza pintada.

25. [47 puntos] Ponte tu disfraz favorito de Halloween y ayuda a un vecino con una quehacer – rastrillar las hojas, lavar los platos, llevar al perro de paseo, colgar la ropa – ¡la elección es tuya!

26. [57 puntos] [Vídeo – 5 a 10 segundos] Encuentra individuos jugando futbol (soccer) u otro deporte de equipo en un parque o campo público. Crea letreros y dales ánimo. ¡Haz que se sientan como estrellas!

27. [55 puntos] [Video – 10 segundos] Dale a un amigo un paseo en la manilla de una bicicleta; canten Bicycle Race de Queen o La Bicicleta de Carlos Vives mientras dan el paseo.

28. [26 puntos] [Video – 15 segundos] Haz un comercial para Starfish.

29. [21 puntos] Cada año, la Fundación Starfish participa en March Madness con un desafío de la tabla de clasificación. Muchos de los participantes se sintieron decepcionados cuando Villanova fue eliminado temprano. Ponte de pie en una cancha de baloncesto y aguanta un cartel que diga “Lo sentimos Villanova. Tal vez el próximo año.”

30. [18 puntos] Ponte tu camisa de Starfish y toma una foto con una bandera ecuatoriana. Si estás tomando esta foto en Ecuador debes tomar la foto con al menos una persona menor de 5 años o al menos una persona mayor de 65 años.

31. [58 puntos] Encuentra 2 personas que apoyen a diferentes equipos del mismo deporte. (es decir, un fanático de los Ravens, y un fanático de los Cowboys o un fanático de El Nacional y uno del Barcelona Sporting Club). Ambas personas deben tener puesta una camiseta del equipo al que apoyan. Pídeles que compitan en una “lucha de brazo” . Una vez que se determine el ganador, el perdedor deberá sostener un cartel animando al otro contendiente. Haz un collage con las fotos: al menos una de la competencia de pulso y una del perdedor sosteniendo su cartel.

32. [45 puntos] Para ecuatorianos: Encuentra un lugar que sirva comida de un país europeo. Pregúntale al propietario (o servidor) cuál es su plato favorito. Pruébalo. Publica una foto tuya comiendo el platillo y escribe una leyenda indicando el nombre del plato y si lo recomendarías o no.
Para los que no son ecuatorianos: Encuentra un lugar que sirva comida de un país sudamericano. Pregúntale al propietario (o servidor) cuál es su plato favorito. Pruébalo. Publica una foto tuya comiendo el platillo y escribe una leyenda indicando el nombre del plato y si lo recomendarías o no.

33. [40 puntos] Ponte tu camisa de Starfish y tómate una foto con un oficial de policía, bombero, Técnico de Emergencias Médicas (EMT pos sus siglas en inglés) u otra persona que responda a emergencias. Ambos deben estar dando la señal de aprobación con el pulgar.

34. [47 puntos] Ponte un disfraz y bríndale felicidad a un niño o niños con necesidades especiales. (enviado por un estudiante)

35. [47 puntos] Crea un vestido hecho completamente de materiales reciclados. Póntelo y tómate una foto frente a un mercado lleno de gente o un centro comercial. (adaptado de lo que presentó un estudiante)

36. [47 puntos] Crea una pirámide humana con al menos 5 personas. (enviado por estudiantes)

37. [10 puntos] Come un ají picante. (enviado por un estudiante)

38. [19 puntos] Ponte tu camisa de Starfish. Coloca un dedo en el suelo y gira tu cuerpo 6 veces; luego trata de patear un gol con un balón de fútbol. (enviado por un estudiante)

39. [50 puntos] El pájaro representado en la bandera ecuatoriana es el cóndor andino. Averigua algunos datos interesantes sobre el cóndor y compártelos con un extraño. El video debe hacerse en una forma de transporte público (autobús, tren, avión, etc.) o en un ascensor o escalera mecánica. No puedes conocer a esta persona antes de tiempo.

40. [45 puntos] Durante la búsqueda, lleva una bolsa de basura y recoge basura y materiales reciclables. Toma una fotografía durante las últimas 3 horas de la búsqueda mostrando lo que hayas recogido; luego asegúrate de colocar la basura en los recipientes correctos. Habrá puntos de bonificación si llevas los materiales reciclables a un lugar en el que se puedan entregar a cambio de dinero y después donas las ganancias a la Fundación Starfish.

41. [54 puntos] Dona sangre mientras lleves puestos los dientes de Drácula.

42. [15 puntos] Mira un amanecer. Tómate un descanso y disfruta del momento.

43. [46 puntos] Colada morada es una bebida tradicional a base de bayas que se prepara durante las celebraciones del Día de los Muertos en Ecuador. Prepárala y compártela con un amigo. Tu amigo debe evaluar tu bebida en tres categorías: sabor, apariencia y servicio. Pídele que escriba cada puntaje. Envía 2 imágenes juntas – una foto de tu amigo bebiendo la colada, y otra donde esté sosteniendo la tarjeta con el puntaje. Si no puedes encontrar todos los ingredientes, simplemente prepárala lo más parecido posible al original.

44. [39 puntos] Encuentra a alguien que tenga el mismo nombre que alguien en la Junta Directiva de Starfish. Toma una foto de su identificación. Asegúrate de bloquear la información importante (su número de identificación y dirección) antes de cargar la imagen.

45. [70 puntos] [Imagen o video] Logra que un periódico local o una estación de televisión mencione a la Fundación Starfish.

46. [68 puntos] [Video – 15 segundos] Pídele a un octogenario (alguien que tenga al menos 80 años) que te enseñe a bailar Swing o Sanjuanito.

47. [43 puntos] ¡Es hora de la Batalla Medieval! ¡Hurra! Tú y un amigo o un ser querido deben vestirse con su vestimenta de batalla/armadura hecha completamente con artículos de cocina. Pónganse en pose de duelo.

48. [56 puntos] Pregúntale a un niño menor de 10 años qué quiere ser cuando crezca. Llévalo a conocer a alguien que tenga esta profesión.

49. [25 puntos] Encuentra una organización de subvenciones/donaciones o una fundación corporativa que esté alineada con la misión de Starfish y comparte la información de contacto con info@thestarfishchange.org.

50. [40 puntos] Pídele a alguien (una persona o empresa) que done un artículo que podamos usar en la Subasta de la Cena Benéfica de Starfish. (Si se trata de un individuo, podría ser algo que posee, algo que cree o algo que compre específicamente para donarlo). Envía una foto del correo electrónico, texto o carta que hayas enviado o de ti preguntando en persona. Recibirás 10 puntos extra si haces 3 o más peticiones y 25 puntos de bonificación si obtienes una respuesta antes del final de la búsqueda, con el compromiso de donar algo a la subasta.

51. [10 puntos] ¡Encuentra a nuestro milésimo seguidor! Nuestra cuenta de Instagram se encuentra actualmente en ### followers. Anima a tus amigos y familiares a que sigan la cuenta (@starfishchange) y a que comenten en la publicación de Guardar la Fecha para la Cena Benéfica (Benefit Dinner Save the Date) con el nombre de tu equipo. (Fue publicado en la última semana). El nombre de cualquier equipo que se encuentre en los comentarios recibirá los puntos. Si una de tus personas es el seguidor número 1000, recibirás 10 puntos adicionales.

Two New Scholars Share Their Story

This past year, the Starfish Foundation served 150 students from 110 families offering supplemental learning sessions, tutoring, leadership development, and professional development, while encouraging healthy choices and community service.

Here is some insight from two of our newer scholars:

Cristhian Vega
Cristhian Vega

Starfish: Hey guys how are you? Can you introduce yourselves to the blog?
Emerson: Hello, my name is Emerson Ponce. This is my first year with the Starfish Foundation
Cristhian: My name is Cristhian Vega. I live in Flor de Bastión in Guayaquil. I’ve been attending Starfish since the beginning of the year.

Starfish: Welcome to both of you. How did you hear about Starfish and decide to apply?
Cristhian: Some of my friends around my house talked to me about this and that it helps a lot with school work.

Starfish: That’s great. What sort of things do you work on and learn at the Foundation?
Cristhian: We do workshops and they help us to complete tasks. I like the Foundation because we also do really cool activities.
Emerson: As Cristhian said, the educators give us workshops that help us to learn more. The most interesting thing that I learned, I learned one day at the Foundation when the educations held a workshop on natural sciences. They talked a lot about animals and I liked that a lot.

Emerson Ponce

Starfish: And Cristhian, and what’s the most important or most interesting thing you learned this year?
Cristhian: Something very important that I learned this year is math. I think it will help me in the future.

Starfish: Absolutely. What do you guys enjoy doing when you’re not in school or at Starfish?
Cristhian: In my free times, I love to ride my bike with my friends. We really like to race each other. And now that they fixed the streets a bit, we can ride a bit better. I also play on my dad’s cell phone.
Emerson: I spend a lot of time studying; I like to learn things that I don’t already know and I also have to study for school exams. When I have free like to play soccer on the court near my house – that’s the best way to have fun in my community.

Starfish: Sounds like you guys are smart cookies, and keeping yourselves busy! Thank you for meeting with us to answer a few questions!