Peter Berg and Elise
Braaten collaborated on a neighborhood oriented educational curriculum that will
be launched June 2004 by Planet Drum Foundation in Bahia de Caraquez.
ECO-CIUDAD COMMUNITY BIOREGIONAL
To develop and carry out a bioregional education program
for children and adults. It is oriented toward accomplishing ongoing
projects that feature lessons, workshops and exercises based upon relationships
between specific bioregional features and human economic, social and cultural
activities. The geographic area for these projects will generally be the
southern side of Río Chone estuary in Bahía de Caraquez/Canton Sucre.
The following one-year curriculum is divided into 3-month
segments, each having an emphasis on particular bioregional themes and projects.
The first-year project goals are to a) initiate revegetation in neighborhoods
and b) create bioregional maps and guides. They will be accompanied throughout
the year by learning along thematic lines.
First 3 Months
species – locate and identify, obtain seeds through gathering and other
sources, plant seeds.
and Handicrafts – survey existing examples; create objects such as
recycled containers as planters for native seeds to be used in revegetation.
activity - Discovering Your Life-Place workbook for model.
Second 3 months
- Restoration – seedling cultivation, most desirably in
small neighborhood greenhouses.
- Soil – geology, soil testing, erosion, and compost cycle.
- Food – native food availability and preparation,
growing seedlings for food.
- Continue native species, watershed, arts and handicrafts,
and bioregional mapping activities.
Third 3 months
- Climate – wet/dry seasonal characteristics, rooftop
rain collection, cycle of rain, El Nino (relate all to growth and
development of plants).
- Energy – describe and contrast renewable and
nonrenewable, relate to climate, build model solar rooftop water heater.
- Continue activities as in above (4).
Fourth 3 months
- Indigenous Culture – research archeological sources and
explore sites, cultural identity awareness (oral histories etc.),
collaborate with museum.
- Literature – existing sources, bioregional writing
contest (essay, poem), bibliography, English-Spanish translation of
readings, group writing activity.
- Continue previous activities.
The distinctions between child and adult project/learning groups will be made
according to subject areas and activities as necessary. Many of these can
overlap and will be carried out inter-generationally whenever possible. When
separations between children and adults are made the two groups will have
There will be weekly program periods of two hours each for a)
projects in the afternoon and b) lessons in the evening.
It is envisioned that the first-year program be implemented
in four neighborhoods representing different conditions in Canton Sucre. These
are Maria Auxiladora in Bahia de Caraquez, Jorge Lomas and Mangles Dos Mil in
Leonidas Plaza, and a community in the outlying region such as Las Caras or in
the neighboring watershed of San Clemente-San Jacinto.