Ramon’s Weekly Report #1
Summer Session, 2008
April 30 & May 2, 2008
On Wednesday we began a new year of Bioregional Education in Bahia. The class consists of 15 new students, ages 12-15, accompanied by three graduates of last years advanced Bioregionalismo class, who will be volunteering as class assistants (Raisa, Lissette and Roberto).
In the first class we handed out the new Bioregionalismo booklets, 36 pages of information with a focus on the Bahia bioregion, including bioregional articles, interactive questions, homework, activities, and games.
The students received the books and I explained how the classes work and that we will be studying and completing the booklet and then worksheets, which will come later. The first thing the students did was to color in their black and white photocopied booklets.
Then we read the introduction to the book and course, written by Clay, which asks students to consider the effects that new technologies, such as cell phones, are having on their lives and motivates them to begin to think within their bioregion. I explained to the students that we need to find a sustainable approach to development.
On Friday we met in the city park, which will serve as our “classroom.” Everyone was excited for their first fieldtrip and asking where we were going to go. As we set out I told them that we were headed to the lookout at La Cruz, the cross structure on the large hill directly above Bahia.
We climbed the stairs towards La Cruz, passing a Planet Drum revegetation site along the way. Then we climbed the stairs up into the structure of La Cruz itself to be able to take in the complete view of Bahia and its surroundings.
After taking a short rest, I asked them: what do you see? The students responded: buildings, trees, birds, the city San Vicente, the ocean, and people, among other things. I told them that all of these things compose a bioregion. I explained that all of Bahia is part of a large watershed bounded by the surrounding mountains, which drain into the Río Chone, which forms the estuary and then empties into the ocean. All of these features are habitats for certain plants and animals. Everything is connected, for example, the soil provides nutrients to the plants which produce oxygen.
Then Clay showed up and we walked along the ridgeline of the hills to the water tanks above Bahia. Sitting on top of one of the tanks, we talked more about what a bioregion means and the relations between the citizens of the city and their environment.
Before going home we all played a game called “Do you like your neighbor?” in which based on what you’re wearing you have to jump around a circle.
Translated by Clay.