A treasure to discover the beauty and joy of their bioregion alongside them.

Weekly update from Bahia. Sunday’s outing to Cabo Pasado was a smashing success. The walk was led by Cheo and was a challenge to many of the participants who aren’t used to physical exertion, but they loved the challenge none the less. We got to the beach and they were in heaven playing in the sea and in the sand. Then Cheo gave us a talk about the significance of Cabo Pasado for marine migratory species, as an earthquake fault line and the meeting place of the La Niña and Humboldt currents. We then walked down the beach observing the tide pools. We found petrified wood and fossils and I explained the process that makes them and the geological processes that created the beach there. I loved to see their excitement as they waded through the tide pools squealing with excitement and delight. We walked back through the forest and found monkeys hanging from the trees. They couldn´t have been happier. Most of them had never seen monkeys before!  It was a treasure to discover the beauty and joy of their bioregion alongside with them. They are hooked!

We have been learning about Mangroves this week and had Thea from the Peace Corps come and give the class a presentation. We started off with a discussion for reasons to protect the forests in general and then moved over into the importance of mangroves and their function in other natural systems. We had a beautiful Power Point presentation and then went out to the river and collected Mangrove seeds. I was amazed to find out that many of the students didn´t know what the seeds looked like even though they are washed up all over the beach.

Today we went and planted the Mangrove seeds that we found.  We talked about the different kinds of Mangroves and they can now tell the difference between a Red, White and Black Mangrove and know how each excretes salt. It was such fun to sink our feet into thick and oozing mud and they loved and hated it. It was at first hard to coax all of them to get down and dirty, but they all did and were so excited and happy to do so. It was like taking them back to childhood where it didn´t matter how dirty they got.

Tomorrow we are doing the clean up of the Bosque en Medio de las Ruinas with the help of the high schools, my Bioregional Education  Program students and the barrio community there. We will be doing trail maintenance, trash clean up, weeding and clearing, tree planting and building benches with wood we have had donated to us for the project. My students will be helping with the organization, and we will also be educating the high school students about the area, and uses of the trees etc. 

On Sunday my class is putting together a skit to perform before the town, police force, firestation, etc. to celebrate World Environment Week and to teach about the importance of conservation. They are so eager to perform and I will let you know how it goes in the next report. 

Ciao from Bahia!    

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