Our story began in 2014 when Adriana Leon and Louise Bergerson met. Adriana, originally from Ecuador, was living in Springs; Louise, a retired New Yorker, had relocated to Amagansett. Together they realized that many Latinos on the East End of Long Island were facing a language challenge: they wanted to improve their communication skills but didn’t have much opportunity to practice English. Louise and Adriana created something that did not exist locally: a language program that offered evening classes, to address the needs of the working Ecuadorians, Colombians, Mexicans, and other Central Americans in the area.
When the first ESL program was launched it became an instant success, with more than fifty adult students registering. By 2019 the program had expanded to twelve volunteer instructors and 120 students. Then came the pandemic.
2020 and 2021 created difficult circumstances for everyone in the area, but many of our adult students were able to adapt to remote learning. Our ESL program continued, never departing from its original mission — to provide Spanish-speaking residents of the area with English language opportunities.
In 2022 our program reached a point of further expansion, unimaginable only eight years earlier. Ruta 27 — now fully certified as a non-profit organization — was granted permission to hold its classes at East Hampton High School. The move, effective in September 2022, has been life-changing. No longer limited in the number of students we can serve, we can embrace a greater number of Latino residents and help them more fully integrate into the daily life of the community.
As we welcome more students into our program, we continue our exciting journey and look to the future with enthusiasm and optimism.
Que el futuro sea brillante y exitoso.
Board of Directors
Co-presidents: Louise Bergerson, Adriana Leon
Vice-president: Leslie Schnur
Treasurer: Andrew Visconti
Secretary: Amy Kanengiser