An Equal Exchange fundraiser was a natural fit for our school because it incorporated many of the same values that are central to Montessori philosophy and our school. We believe in building a global community by reaching out to others who have similar values, and Equal Exchange provided us with a fundraising opportunity that also supported our own mission.
One example of the similarity in values between our two organizations is within our mission statements: Equal Exchange is a co-operative that believes in equality for their workers and free speech. At Durango Montessori, our students created our Student Mission Statement which includes the statement: “we will ‘compliment and encourage ourselves and each other each day.’” Similar to Equal Exchange, our school values students in leadership roles and we are committed to listening to our students’ opinions and ideas on how we can enhance our vibrant community.
Durango Montessori is not profit driven, and we believe that running a non-profit school is for the benefit of all. Similarly, Equal Exchange puts people before profit in business. Our teachers are empowered to help make decisions with the school directors. As one of the directors of our school, I appreciate Equal Exchange looking critically at Fair Trade USA and fighting to assure that small farmers are supported and can remain in existence despite the corporate competition that exists.
Pictured: Students at Durango Montessori watching the Solar Eclipse this August.