Bahia welcomes the prospect of bioregional education.

This week has been packed with activity as the bioregional education project takes flight. It seems that the program has an energy of its own as the community of Bahia welcomes the prospect of bioregional education.

This week I have been to talk to the Universidad Catolica, Universidad La Laica, Colegios Eloy Alfaro, and Fanny Baird. I am guessing that I have presented the program to several hundred students ages sixteen and up. I am in the process of securing a place to have the meetings in the Municipio (City Hall)  one day a week and the other day will consist of taking trips and hands-on projects. 

This coming Wednesday we are going to have a meeting in the Municipio of all the people that have an interest in participating in the course. We’ll talk more about what the course will entail and when we would be able to meet. I have also been contacting different representatives of the neighborhood groups so that they caninform their communities about the course and hopefully attract older participants of all socio-economic levels. It is exciting to see this project take off in terms of communities interest. 

I am also in the process of putting together a committee of professors, ecologists, historians, biologists, and active community members to help teach the course. On Monday I hope to meet with some of the biology teachers of the colegios (High Schools) in Bahia to gain their support for participating. I am also organizing a meeting of Amigos de la Ecociudad at our Planet Drum  office on Thursday. These meetings will be held the first Thursday of every month at 7PM and will give participants an opportunity to share the projects that they are working on and gather support.

I spoke on the radio on Tuesday, announcing the project once again and inviting people to come to the meeting on Wednesday. I have been interviewed by the newspaper and an article will come out on Saturday about the project with an invitation to all as well. I will be speaking on two other radio stations on Sunday as well.

As far as the actual content of the course goes, I am meeting with Marcelo Luque, ecologist at Bella Vista barrio, to go over some possible lesson plans and ways of breaking down the different themes. He is interested in working on the project and is very knowledgeable about the ecology of the area. It has been suggested to me to break the course into three parts of three rather than four, the main reason for this being that people go on vacation from January to April and it would be difficult to continue the classes during this time. This would not mean that any of the material would be lost, rather it would be divided into three rather than four parts.

The initial check to fund the project has come through and is in the bank. I am not yet sure of the breakdown of the budget and am waiting to see what happens as far as an assistant goes.

As far as sending pictures, I agree with you that it would be excellent to be able to take digital photos to put on the website. I think that with the kinds of exciting hands-on education projects we are doing to be able to document it with a camera would be invaluable. I do not, however, know anyone who has a digital camera that I could borrow. It would also be excellent to have a phone line here at the office. It is very difficult to not be able to receive phone calls, especially when I am trying to coordinate so many things with so many different people. 

So that is all from Bahia this week. I am excited to ride the wave of enthusiasm from the community here as they extend a warm welcome to the bioregional education project.


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