Friday, September 6

Environmental Education: Visit to local school and an unexpected interview for school paper

This week, as part of it's environmental education program, the Pro-Bosque Foundation made two visits to the Unidad Educativa Anne Sullivan School, which is situated on the via de la Costa just in front of the entrance to the Cerro Blanco forest. Leading these visits was Tania Rios - Environmental Education, and Jonny Ayón - Reforestation, from the Pro-Bosque Foundation. The main theme of the visits was the reforestation of the tropical dry forest and the key objective was to increase awareness of reforestation and the associated benefits to the environment. The visits also served to promote participation in reforestation activities, as well as build an understanding of the forest and the importance of maintaining a balance in the planet’s ecosystems.

Even though the Anne Sullivan School is less than 500 meters from the Cerro Blanco forest, very few students said that they had ever visited, and so it is of high importance to generate interest in trees and deliver the message that such a beautiful place is so close by! Hopefully, with visits such as this, more children will be encouraged to take an interest in nature and visit Cerro Blanco to enjoy the forest and see it for themselves.

With the help of some materials and a presentation by Tania Rios and Jonny Ayón, a conversation was generated with the students, from classes in the first year of high school, which covered  subjects such as ‘What is a tree?’, ‘How to successfully grow a tree’ and ‘What benefits do trees bring?’.

Sharing the experiences of these visits were two volunteers from England, who have started a 2 ½ month volunteering program at the Pro-Bosque Foundation. The volunteers are taking part in the volunteer program to learn more about the protection of tropical dry forests and to support the work at Cerro Blanco.

During the second visit to the school, a group of students approached the Pro-Bosque team and the volunteers to express an interest in doing an interview about the unusual visit of foreigners to their school. The students explained that they were creating a school newspaper and that they thought there would be interest in including a piece about the volunteer’s visit. Therefore, the volunteers spent a bit of time answering the student’s questions, and are now keen to see their words in print when the newspaper is ready!

It is hoped that these visits will help to promote a culture of conservation amongst the students, as well as an interest in visiting the forest, or starting their own organic garden or tree planting project at home or at school.

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