“Even though it takes me longer, their trips are harder.”
Santiago Munoz, a Bronx High School of Science student living in Queens, who officially has one of the longest school commutes on the planet – a journey of more than five hours each day that tops the trips of everyone from a Brazilian kid on a donkey to a Thai girl in a rickshaw. They were all featured in a photo exhibit at the United Nations detailing the hardships children face getting to school.
But 14-year-old Santiago’s daily journey from a Far Rockaway housing project to the tip of Manhattan, then up near the top of The Bronx – and back again – stands out for its extreme duration. The one-way trip runs between 2 hours, 20 minutes and 2 hours, 40 minutes depending on how transit is running.
Munoz also said:
“I think I’m privileged to take a train compared to a donkey. I’d prefer a long ride and a safer trip than going one hour through a gang-filled or war-torn country.”
“The trip I do every day to get to school everyone should be willing to do to get a good education.”
He could have gone to school closer to home. Santiago was accepted to prestigious Townsend Harris HS very close to home, but the aspiring physician chose Bronx Science for its famed math and science programs. “This gives me a better opportunity to become a doctor,” he said.