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Reports from the Bioregional Education Classes of the
Eco-Ecuador Project 

2010 

Index to Set 1 (May 26, 2010)


Bioregional Education Program 2010


Planet Drum Foundation’s Bioregional Education Program (BEP) for 2010 consists of a 12 week program for 11-13 year old local school students of the Bahía de Caráquez bioregion. Classes meet twice weekly in the afternoons and are voluntary, the students choose to participate in the program during their free time. The first day of classes this year was May 11th.

On Wednesdays, the students meet in a centrally located city park to discuss the environmental topic of the week. Topics include: bioregions, land ecosystems, flora, soil, marine ecosystems, the estuary, and birds. Each topic is tailored to the local ecosystems and the materials are prepared by Planet Drum staff, volunteers and BEP teachers.

On Fridays, each class goes on a field trip that is related to the topic they learned about on the previous Wednesday. Field trip sites include the Cross lookout above Bahía, el Bosque en Medio de las Ruinas (the Forest amidst the Ruins – Planet Drum’s first revegetation site with trees that are 3-10 years old, some of which are over 10 meters tall), Point Bellaca beach, Cerro Seco Nature Reserve, the Planet Drum greenhouse, San Vicente, one of the 2010 Planet Drum revegetation sites, Isla Corázon (mangrove island), and Playa Gorda (8 kilometers south of Bahía).

This year there are three teachers: Ramon Cedeño, the BEP director, and two new teachers, as well as three class assistants (15-17 year old former BEP students who have remained with the program). The two new teachers are Nadine Flexhaug, a former Planet Drum volunteer originally from Canada who has been living in Ecuador for over two years, and the other is Margarita Plager-Unger. Margarita is Clay’s (the Field Projects Manager) wife, who has a degree in teaching, experience working with school children, a strong interest in the environment, and a knack for recycling everything she gets her hands on. Each teacher and class assistant pair will have a group of students for the duration of the program.

Due to high interest in the program, the classes have been expanded this year from 15 to 20 students. In total, approximately 60 local students will attend the classes. The students are selected based on a short questionnaire that they filled out in school along with permission from their parents. Each student in the program receives a copy of the ‘Bioregionalismo’ booklet, class materials, a tee-shirt with the Planet Drum and BEP logos, and a certificate of their participation upon completion of the course.

Following is a report in Spanish and translated to English from BEP director Ramon that gives an update on the progression of the program for 2010.

Clay Plager-Unger

Field Projects Manager
Planet Drum Foundation
Bahía de Caráquez, Ecuador

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‘Bioregionalismo’ 2010

It’s a new year of classes with new objectives and new goals to complete. It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since I started working with Planet Drum and participating in this program. It has had amazing results that I hear through the commentaries of students and alumni of the classes. This year I’ve been talking a lot with Clayton, who puts it all together, about how to continue improving the program. We have come up with many new ideas about how to make the classes more fun, engaging and educational for the children.

I enjoy the entire process, from selecting the students who will participate to meeting with the three class assistants (former Bioregionlismo students), who were always asking when we are going to start work. Every time there is something to do, the assistants are willing to come help out.

This year we have two new teachers who are full of energy, Margarita Plager-Unger and Nadine Flexhaug. There is also a new class assistant, Carlos, as well as the two old class assistants from last year, Raisa and Roberto.

We have decided to focus the program on students from the Fanny de Baird School (with whom we had one of the three classes from last year) since it is the largest public school in all of Bahía. Our decision to do this was based on a number of factors. I now work there and am an excellent contact, there is a large student body from which we can select students, and the administration has been incredibly supportive of the program and will even facilitate with a space on campus to create seed beds for germinating fruit trees with the students.

I appreciate the help and support of Principal Lcdo. Rolando Mejía, Vice Principal Doris Mantón, and Natural Sciences Department Director and teachers.

It’s great to hear all of the students asking about when the classes will start and telling them ‘very soon.’ It fills me with excitement to know that there are so many parents and teachers who want to see their kids and the other students participate in a program like Bioregionalismo.

As always, Clay is ready to help out in all aspects of the program, motivating us to do our best, going to make copies, printing, writing plans and letters, and completing all kinds of logistics. Clay meets with us to see what we need and informs us of how to improve, sharing his ideas and entrusting the completion of this work to the group.

Our goal is to create youth who know how to recognize the characteristics of their bioregion, create new ideas about coexisting with the environment, and acquire a change in attitude though the knowledge we impart to them. These young people will gain an environmental culture based on principles and respect of their surroundings. As a result, we are all winners because each one of them will have a new perspective on our shared home, Planet Earth.

Ramón Cedeño

Director Programa de Educación Bioregional
Fundación Planet Drum
Bahía de Caráquez, Ecuador

Translated by Clay

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‘Bioregionalismo’ 2010

Este es un nuevo año con nuevos objetivos y metas que cumplir en nuestro programa, parece mentira de cómo pasa el tiempo, con este año son 5 los que ya he participado en este gran programa, que tiene resultados asombrosos, en los comentarios que dejan mis alumnos y ex alumnos que no se encuentran en la cuidad, pero para nosotros quienes somos parte de este proyecto permanentemente estamos hablando sobre cómo mejorar año a año, cada vez hay muchas nuevas ideas con Clayton, que organiza todo desde su pequeña computadora, transcribiendo nuestras ideas, hacemos un trabajo que nos divierte, desde buscar los alumnos para las nuevas clases, llamar a los asistentes, que siempre dicen cuando empezamos (Raisa), como ellos cada vez que se lo solicitan están presentes, a si mismo las nuevas profesoras que son chicas con mucha energía, Margarita y Nadine y este nuevo año Carlitos como asistente, la tarea de clasificar las instituciones educativas donde se va a aplicar el Programa, y junto a Clay decidimos que la clase sea en una institución que nos de todas las facilidades, en la cual yo Trabajo, el colegio Fanny de Baird, donde todas las autoridades confían en este trabajo, agradeciendo también a su Rector el seño Lcdo. Rolando Mejía, su vice rectora Doris Mantón y a nuestro director de área de CCNN y todos los profesores de la misma área, ver la apertura de chicos como quieren participar, preguntando cuando empieza el programa y yo respondiendo muy pronto, la próxima semana, es una emoción muy grande saber que aun hay personas y maestros que quieren que sus hijos participen en programas ambientales como “Bioregionalismo.”

Que no hablar también de nuestro amigo y jefe, que siempre esta dispuesto a ayudarnos en todo lo que respecta al programa, movilizándonos a un lugar, sacando copias, imprimiendo, elaborando planificaciones, en logística siempre reuniéndonos para ver que necesitamos, diciéndonos como podemos mejorar, compartiendo sus ideas y confiando en este grupo humano que realiza este trabajo.

Queremos formar jóvenes que sepan reconocer una bioregión, crear nuevas ideas de convivencia plena con el medio ambiente, que adquieran un cambio de actitud a través de los conocimientos que se impartimos, estos jóvenes que tendrán una cultura ambiental basados en principios y respeto de nuestro entorno, es por eso que desde ahora todos somos ganadores, ya que cada uno de ellos tendrán una nueva forma de pensar de nuestra casa el planeta.

Ramón Cedeño

Director Programa Bioregionalismo
Bahía de Caráquez, Ecuador

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Bioregional Education Photographs May 2010

Note: Click on photos for larger image


Class assistants and teachers on a field trip training climb up the stairs to the La Cruz overlook above Bahía.

Roberto, Margarita, Nadine, Ramon and Carlos discuss ideas for this year’s program at La Cruz.

2010 Bioregionalistas at their first class in the park.

Margarita teaching her class.

Ramon and his class of students.

Ramon teaching.

Students answer questions in their Bioregionalismo booklets.

Students participating in a dinamica.

Class assistant Raisa with Nadine and Margarita, the new BEP teachers this year.

Students during their first field trip to La Cruz.

On top of La Cruz.

Students spell out ‘BIO’ from above.

Margarita’s class walking behind La Cruz.

Margarita talks to her class about how water arrives to Bahía.

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(Click here for next Set of Reports)