Dario Tufiño, Tourism Agent



Dario finished 12 levels of English at the Centro de Educación Continúa at the National Politechnic University. This is a challenging program, amounting to more than 500 hours of class time. He speaks and writes English well. Through a relative, he got a good job at a tourist agency in Quito, and has been employed there for almost two years. He has had the opportunity to travel to several other countries in South America and lead a tour in Ecuador. In addition, through encouragement from the daughter of one of his clients, he earned a scholarship to study business at night at a good private university. We are sharing the remaining costs of this with Dario. What he has accomplished is incredible!!

Dario Tufiño loves English, speaking English, reading it, learning about its grammatical structures. This study has been a great passion in his life for a number of years. While still studying at the Working Boys’ Center, he helped arrange and participate in many conversational interchanges with high school and college groups that were visiting Quito. These exchanges were often among the high points of our guests’ visits to Quito and many of the visitors remain in contact with Dario.

Unlike other students we support, Dario does not have the backing he needs to be a full-time student. His father is disabled, and his mother has to do full-time care for Dario’s brother, who has cerebral palsy. Currently, Dario’s family is living in a remote area of the coast in the hopes that his father can recuperate from the mysterious illness that he contracted in February, and which has left him an invalid. Dario works in construction in Quito during the day, so that he will have enough to support himself and give some aid to his family. (Unskilled construction work in Quito pays $85 a week.)

But Dario is an exceptional student of English; he already speaks, understands, and reads at a very proficient level. At night he attends what is generally regarded as the best English school in Quito: the Escuela de Idiomas of the Universidad Politécnica Nacional. Classes are two hours a day, five days a week, and run in eight week cycles.
(The cost of each cycle is $200, plus about $40 for books.) Dario is now in his fourth cycle, level intermediate two. His grades for the first three cycles (on a scale of 100) were 86, 87, and 83. These are, in our experience with this institution, very high grades. This cycle, he got a 99 on his first exam, in spite of the fact that he had spent part of the previous week on the coast with his family.

Dario is a person of intelligence and great dignity. He does not complain about his difficult circumstances. He does love the challenge of becoming very literate in English. When he has advanced sufficiently to receive a certificate from the Escuela de Idiomas, he will be able to teach English, and will be thoroughly prepared to work for a business that needs someone who is fully competent in English.