Priority: We believe that youngsters have the ability to become strong leaders and make a difference in their communities provided they have a healthy childhood, receive a solid education and have access to opportunities. The situation today in rural areas of Latin America is one where children are malnourished; receive mediocre education and have a hard time jumping out of poverty as they become adults. This must change if we want to rebuild our ecosystem.
Where can we start? let’s not (re)invent, let’s better explore what others have done with proven results. Let’s look for professionals who can contribute with practical solutions
Ongoing activities and programs:
- Eating healthy, tasty, with local produce; seems to be the main message of our partner Matías Cilloniz, a gourmet catering firm from Lima, who’s young chefs are conducting a nutritional training directed to mothers to improve their families eating habits, while learning to cook creatively with the produce they grow or buy locally.
- Tierra de Niños (Land of Children): ANIA Association, a Peruvian organization recognized by UNICEF and with ongoing activities in many countries in Latin America and Africa, developed a methodology to develop environmental awareness and skills on children, who become agents of change in their communities. We started this program in 2010 in one school and scaled up to 12 schools this year. Audience: preschool and primary school.
- Guardabosques de Valera (Forest Rangers of Valera – FR): Aimed at youngsters that have left their towns to go to high school in a nearby city, this ongoing program developed by GNR seeks to prepare young local leaders to take action by protecting the cloud forest for generations to come. Their mission is to educate and advise visitors and residents of the Valera district, to respect Nature and enjoy it with responsibility and care. The methodology we have developed combines capacity building with practice; communication and creative skills development; building values and learning about commitment. This program started in January 2014 in partnership with the Research Institute of the University Toribio Rodriguez de Mendoza (INDES). (Guardabosques de Valera in Facebook). Audience: students ages 10 to 18. Participants: 20.
- Weavers of Valera: An intensive capacity building program designed to prepare women weavers to produce high quality textiles and explore new markets. Nature becomes the source of learning; women explore nature for colors and dye their yarns with seeds, roots and leaves. Patterns are developed using the biodiversity of the cloud forest as inspiration. Cost control, quality assurance and marketing are important elements of the training program. The objective is to develop a local business run by women who increase their living standards and strengthen their self esteem.