2007 Advanced Bioregional Class: Natural Resources

Ramon’s Weekly Report #7

Advanced Bioregionalism Education
Autumn Session 2007

November 21st, 23rd

This week began early on Wednesday because everyone wanted to watch the national selection soccer game and on Friday had a bit of an adventure. The theme for the week was Natural Resources.

 Everyone had some idea of what these are, so I used the technique of a ‘rain of ideas,’ where everyone has to say what they think natural resources are to get a basic idea of the theme. 

Hermita said that natural resources are everywhere around us; Mathew said one is the soil. Raisa said that natural resources can be classified into three categories: renewable, nonrenewable, and permanent. 

I then asked them for examples of these different types of resources. They told me that renewable resources are those that can be recovered, such as water, plants, animals and soil, but if we aren’t conscious of these resources, they can become contaminated and cause damage to all living creatures. We need to care for these resources to improve all of our lives. 

Nonrenewable resources are those with a finite limit, such as fossil fuels, which were formed thousands of years ago.

And permanent resources are those that do not run out, such as sunlight and energy from wind and the waves in the ocean.

After discussing these details about natural resources and classifying different types, we had a general discussion about this theme. We concluded that natural resources are elements that form part of nature and are all around us. Without them we would not be able to live, because human beings are also a part of them

That’s why there always needs to be an equilibrium between humans and nature. Humans are the ones always using up all of the world’s natural resources. Then we played a game and all of the students had a great time.

Friday was an excellent day for all of us. 

With permission, we left school at 7am to go on a hike from the Fanca neighborhood all the way to El Toro Mountain. Everyone was ready for a new adventure. 

We rented a truck to take us from Bahia to Fanca to start the hike. After the hike began, the first thing we saw was a large group of ‘Negro fino’ birds. 

Then we heard a bird call and Raisa said that it was a Valdivia (Falcon). Everyone scoured the landscape looking to find it. Then we spotted it, it was perched on the limb of a Ceibo tree. I explained that Valdivia is the common name, and that its full name is Halcon raidor (Laughing falcon).

Farther up the hill we could see the brown waters of Bahia’s septic filtration system, next to the Fanca neighborhood. The students asked why it was next to where people were living. I told them that the septic facility was there first, and people moved in near to it (invasion). They commented that this was a bad idea because the people could get sick from living there.    

We also had a view to the south were there are a lot of deforested mountains and smoke plumes from where farmers were burning brush. Along the hike we went past a cut-down Ceibo and Jaile. The students noticed that whoever cut down the trees didn’t even bother to take the wood.

When we reached the peak, I told them about the importance of nature and how we need to take care of it. The environment is the source of natural resources, which are used for our personal needs, such as food, health and places to live. For all these reasons we are learning about its great importance and are working to preserve it.     

By the end of the hike the students had run out of water, some fell along the way, others got dizzy, and three of them got within 50 meters of the top without making it all the way. All of them returned home completely exhausted, but with the reward of knowing that they had completed the adventure.

Translated by Clay.

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