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


Index to Set 3 (December 13, 2010)

  • Final Reports 2010, Group B: Nadine Flexhaug-~-English
  • Final Reports 2010, Group A: Ramón Cedeño Loor-~-English-~-Spanish 

Professor – Group A: Ramón Cedeño
Planet Drum Foundation
Bioregional Education Program
Final Reports

Translated by Clay Plager-Unger

At this stage, we were visited by William and Jaime, two volunteers who participated in the last three bioregional education programs. The first thing I did was present them, one at a time, to the group of bio-regional explorers. 

Afterwards we started class with a new topic: the estuary. The groups were directed by Raisa, Lissette, William and Jaime, and another by me. Each group had to analyze the themes so we could form a large circle and share what each group learned about the topic.

William and Jaime join up with Raisa and Ramon to teach one of the classes
Ramon’s class at the park

One of the kids told me that he didn’t understand the volunteers well when they spoke quickly, though he students did understand when they began to speak slower. It was a good experience for them. After having done the exercise, we made a big circle and Ingrid told us that the estuaries are very important because mangroves grow there and Luis Cuellar told us that the estuary is a big valley where the Rio Chone flows and that many marine species come to spawn there.

Jennifer told us that people contaminate the estuary and we do not know what types of contaminates might be in the estuary. I told her that it’s true that at times we don’t know if there are contaminants, since the rivers pass through many populated areas, and farmers (among others) carry out activities that are harmful to the estuary. Noemí talked to us about the water cycle and how she realizes the importance in respecting human life.

After we finished the job, I told them that the estuary is very important and that the mangroves here can be a habitat for many species. However, residues from the local water system have been directed into the estuary since the water system collapsed many years ago. I also told them about the impact of erosion in creating large deposits inside this ecosystem.

Raisa and a group of students work on making a poster.

Friday we switched to another activity. I told the kids that we were going to walk to the boardwalk strip of the city and clean the beach. So the children formed groups and began to clean the beach (with bags and some with gloves). We saw the enormous amount of trash there, especially plastic garbage and Ingrid Melo and her group collected the trash and said that the area looked clean but if one looks closely there is (still) garbage.

Carlos found the backbone of an eel and he wanted to know what had happened to the eel, so I told him that the birds feed off of eels and that the birds also contribute to cleaning the ecosystem. Carlos also asked what type of bird eats eel, to which I told him it was the red-headed vultures that we always see on the beach or flying nearby.

After filling three bags of plastic trash I told them that today we have helped, perhaps, many animals that could have confused the garbage for food.
As we finished the job, the kids played frisbee and on the beach we met a friend who invited us to play and the kids were delighted by the invitation. They ran around on the beach until everyone had to go to home.

When we began the Topic of Flora, we used the same technique as last week: forming groups and asking the children why flora is important and “what is flora”? As the children analyzed the topic they answered that all of the plants are flora.
To this I responded that, yes plants are very important and that they in addition to providing a habitat, they also provide oxygen for other species, especially important, e.g. for the human species.

Ingrid, Angel, and Joselyn study Flora materials in the park.

Luis Cuellar said that many species can live there, such as birds which can make their homes there. Noemí said that flora can provide food to humans just as it does for animals, like fruit trees.

After this, I told them they were right because today we have only a few of the original tree species because of deforestation. And this has caused a big problem, called erosion, which is progressively washing away the top soil. 

Here there are many species of trees, and I asked how many trees there are in the dry forest. They began to name many such as the Ceibo, Bototillo, Algarrobo, Guayacán, Palo Santo, and many others. I told them that Friday we would go on an fieldtrip to one of Planet Drum’s revegetation sites and we could observe plants that were planted this year. 

The day of the field trip to the site of reforestation at Kilometer 8, where William Sánchez is, we picked up several empty plastic jugs along the way to the site. We travelled on the bus with Clay and arrived at the site quickly. Once there, we headed for the water cistern since our activity was to water the trees. Before we started, I told the group that they could see the different species of trees planted by the Foundation at this site. Clay told us that each gallon of water could be used to plant three trees. From there Clay directed us to a place where the kids began to water the trees, some in one spot and others at another. On our first trip, my group ended up at a dead end but when we went back another way we saw many trees that were planted, so then we took two more trips. The kids ran down the trails. Later on, the students played with the water that was leftover. After all our work was done, Clay bought a couple of gallons of drinking water for the children.

Ramon and his students getting ready for an afternoon of watering trees.
Students help to fill up gallon jugs for watering trees.

This week the topic was Birds. We discussed the importance of birds in our environment, since birds are the propagators of many plant species. I asked them if all the birds fly, and they said yes, to which I said “no,” because there are species that do not fly like an ostrich. Then everyone started to laugh. After that I talked about the many different types of bird feathers such as wing feathers, tail feathers and down, which are very important to direct flight and provide a protective shield.
Many of them migrate, for food or to mate, and there are many species, raptors, waders, etc. I asked why the wading species were web-footed and no one knew. I told them that this membrane in their feet serves as legs for swimming. A major threat is habitat destruction, to which Luis Cuellar said, “By cutting down trees?” I answered yes.

The trip to Isla Corazon is one of the most eagerly anticipated trips. All the students in Bahia waited for the car ferry and the rest waited in San Vicente due to the large number of students. We rented a bus to get around faster. Once the bus stopped, the kids went to the store and started to buy things and I realized they generate more income in this community.

Click here to see photos of the trip to Isla Corozon

After that, we boarded the boat to start the tour. Our guide described each bird species. During this period between the months of July and August the frigates are in mating season, so we got to observe the frigates with their characteristic chest, a very beautiful red color. Also, they taught the children the difference between female and young male frigates. There were other many types of birds such as pelicans, and different types of herons.

We talked about the depth of the estuary. Historically it was 30 to 40 meters and now it’s only 5 caused by the sedimentation deposits from deforestation.

We then entered the mangrove tunnels of Isla Corazaon, where the guide taught the students about the seeds of the red mangrove. Our guide also told the students that it is said that the tallest mangroves in Ecuador grew in Esmeraldas. He also told us that in this estuary there were some mangroves that measured 70 meters in height prior to the destruction of the mangroves as part of the shrimp farm industry. The guide said when he worked in the shrimp farm industry he participated in cutting down all these trees and now feels very sorry for what he did. As a result, he is now working on conservation and is aware of the effects from the cutting of trees he did. After that we talked about the tannin that was extracted from the mangroves and used to tan leather.

We also saw termite nests and observed the negative impacts of human beings due to plastics waste. After finishing the tour we all returned to our respective neighborhoods. The kids from San Vicente stayed there while the others got ready to board the barge to return to Bahia. That week we analyzed the marine ecosystem and talked a bit about our tour of Isla Corazon. I asked the kids, “What is the difference between winter and summer in our bioregion.”

Luis Cuellar said that in winter it is cold and summer it’s hot. Ingrid said that the forest changes color as the leaves fall. Naomí said it rains a lot in winter. I told them that all the responses were correct. And I said that our coastline is influenced by the cold Humboldt Current and warmth of El Niño. These factors allow us to have a vast array of fish and the ocean is a large ecosystem that provides us with nourishment and contributes to the water cycle. We also talked about humans' impacts on the region from the overexploitation caused by fisheries, contaminants that are deposited into the sea, such as pollutants that are washed down from the watersheds by the rain.

A large number of species live and survive on the sea, like pelicans, blue footed boobies, frigates and other species we saw in these ecosystems. When we made the trip to Punta Bellaca, the tide was rising but we saw a lot of shellfish, crabs, crabs, many echinoderms such as sea urchins. In tidepools there were animals such as asteroid starfish, sea cucumber, and fish. But after reaching Punto Bellaca, the young explorers saw the large amount of plastic waste in the ocean, and I told them the negative impacts of human beings. Jennifer said that other marine species mistake them for food. Once we finished the tour, the boys swam and played soccer on the beach until the trucks came to pick us up.

Ramon’s class plays a game of soccer after a fieldtrip to La Bellaca.

The week of evaluation was the last class .The boys and girls were amazing. They could identify a bioregion with its characteristics, the importance of the environment around us and our relationship with them directly.

Ramon’s class poses at the gazebo in the city park.

On Friday, we were provided a barbecue and closing ceremony for the kids. Click here for pictures from the Closing Ceremony. And after lunch we made a circle so that the scouts could talk about what they learned. Naomí thanked Planet Drum for allowing her to participate in the program. She also mentioned the importance of water and talked about how she previously wasted more water. Ingrid Cuellar and Luis Melo also made their presentation on how the bio-region was composed and of how they could produce compost. After the presentations, we took all the kids to the beach to go swimming.



Profesor – Grupo A: Ramón Cedeño
Fundación Planet Drum
Programa Educativa de Bioregionalismo
Informes Finales

En esta etapa, hemos tenido la visita de dos voluntarios que por tres años seguidos han estado participando en el programa de educación bioregional, ellos son William y Jaime.

Lo primero que hice fue presentarles al grupo de exploradores bioregional, los chicos se fueron presentando uno a uno.

Después de esto dimos inicio a la clase, con un nuevo tópico, el estuario, donde hicimos grupos de trabajo, dirigidos por Raisa, Lissette, William y Jaime, y otro por mí, donde cada grupo tenia que analizar los temas para después formar un gran circulo y exponer todo lo que entendieron sobre el tema.

Unos chicos me decían que no podían entender muy bien a los voluntarios cuando hablaba rápido, pero cuando empezaron a hablar mas lento le entendieron, fue una buena experiencia para ellos 

Después de haber hecho el trabajo hicimos un gran circulo y Ingrid nos dijo que los estuarios son muy importantes por que pueden crecer muchas variedades de manglares, Luis Cuellar nos dijo que el estuario es una gran cuenca donde desemboca el Río Chone, y carrizal y que ahí pueden venir a desovar muchas especies marinas.
Jennifer nos dijo que en el estuario que hay personas que lo contaminan y que nosotros no sabemos que tipos de contaminantes puede tener o no el estuario, a lo que le dije que si que a veces no sabemos si hay contaminantes, ya que los ríos pasan por muchos lugares poblados, agrícolas entre otros y ellos realizan actividades perjudiciales para el estuario, Noemí nos hablo sobre el ciclo del agua y como ella ahora se da cuenta de la importancia del agua en la vida de los seres vivos.
Después de haber realizado el trabajo les dije que el estuario es muy importante ya que aquí los manglares pueden ser hábitat de muchas especies, pero que hace muchos años el sistema de agua servidas de la ciudad colapso, y todas estas aguas residuales se dirigieron al estuario, a si mismo les dije sobre el impacto que cusan las personas en el ya que por la erosión se esta creando una gran sedimentación dentro de el.
El día viernes nos dirigimos a realizar una actividad diferente, ese día les dije a los chicos que hoy caminaríamos por el malecón de la ciudad y limpiaríamos la playa, es así que los jóvenes formaron grupos y con sacos y unos con guantes, empezamos a limpiar la playa y vimos la gran cantidad de basura que había, especialmente plásticos, Ingrid Melo y su grupo recogían y decía que parece que esta limpio el lugar pero si miramos bien hay muchos desechos.

Carlos Panta encontró la espina dorsal de una anguila y me dijo que paso con ella a lo que respondí que eran las aves quienes se habían alimentado de ella y que ellas también realizan un trabajo de limpieza, me pregunto que tipo de ave a lo que le respondí que era el Gallinazo cabeza roja, y que nosotros lo habíamos visto siempre cuando vuelan o están en la playa.

Después de haber llenado tres sacos de basura plástica les dije que hoy tal vez hemos ayudado a muchos animales que hubieran confundido estos como alimentos.
Una vez terminado el trabajo los chicos jugaron frisbee, ya que en la playa se encontramos a un amigo que nos invito a jugar y los chicos encantados corrían el la playa hasta que tuvimos que salir cada uno a su casa.
Cuando realizamos el tema Flora, realizamos la misma técnica que la semana anterior, formando grupos y empecé a preguntar a los chicos por que es importante la flora o que es la flora, y como ellos habían analizado ya el tema respondieron que son todas las plantas.

A lo que le respondí que si y que ellas son muy importantes ya que a mas de servir como hábitat, para otras especies nos brindan oxigeno muy importante para la vida de los seres vivos.

Luis Cuellar dijo que ahí pueden vivir muchas especies, ya que las aves pueden realizar sus casas ahí, Noemí dijo que nos pueden brindar alimentos tanto a los seres humanos como animales, como los árboles frutales.
Después de esto les dije que tenían razón pero que ahora ya no hay muchas especies de árboles por la deforestación que ha habido, y esto a creado un gran problema llamado erosión que es el desgaste progresivo de la capa del suelo.
Que aquí hay muchas especies de árboles, y pregunte cuantos árboles hay en el bosque seco, empezaron a nombrar muchos como, ceibo, Bototillo, algarrobo, guayacán, palo santo y otros mas.

Les dije que el día viernes haríamos un recorrido, a un sitio de reforestación de la fundación y podríamos observar las plantas que se sembraron este año.
El día del recorrido al sitio de reforestación queda en el Km. 8, donde William Sánchez, llegaron muchos galones vacíos que los utilizaríamos en nuestro recorrido, ese día salimos en un bus con Clay y Sol, cuando arribamos al lugar rápidamente nos dirigimos a la cisterna ya que la actividad que realizaríamos era regar los árboles, es un sitio muy grande, antes de empezar les dije que aquí hay especies que ha sido sembradas por la fundación, y Clay les dijo que cada galón sirve para tres plantas, es así que Clay nos dirigió al lugar y los chicos empezaron a regar los árboles, unos por un lugar otros por otro lado que cuando hicimos el primer recorrido nos encontramos en el final pero cuando regresábamos por otro camino vimos una gran cantidad de árboles que habían por otros senderos es así que hicimos dos viajes mas, y los chicos corrían por los senderos y los galones de agua que sobraron se empezaron a bañar, después de haber terminado el trabajo Clay compró unos galones de agua para los chicos.

La semana que vimos el tema las aves, hablamos sobre la importancia de esta en la vida, ya que ellas son las que propagan especies vegetales, y les pregunte que si todas las aves vuelan, y me respondieron que si, a lo que le respondí que no ya que hay especies que no vuelan como la avestruz, y todos empezaron a reír, después de esto les hablé que las aves tienen muchos tipos de plumas como remeras, tectrices, timoneras y plumón, que son de mucha importancia para dirigir el vuelo y cubrirlas, que muchas de ellas realizan migración, sea por alimento o para aparearse, y que hay muchas especies como rapaces, corredoras, zancudas, palmípedas y muchas más. A esta última les pregunté por que eran palmípedas y ellos no supieron responder. A lo que le dije que es porque tienen una membrana en sus patas que le sirven para poder nadar.

También les explique que una de las principales amenazas es la destrucción de su hábitat, a lo que Luis Cuellar dijo que por la tala de árboles, y lo que respondí afirmativamente.

Este recorrido es uno de los más esperado por todos los chicos a “ISLA CORAZON”, todos los que estábamos en bahía, esperamos la gabarra, por la gran cantidad de alumnos que transportamos, otra cantidad nos esperaron en san Vicente, ahí nos estaba esperando un bus que alquilamos para poder movilizarnos más rápido, en el viaje los chicos exploradores siempre con sus locuras por ser hiperactivos, pero muy inteligentes, una vez que estábamos en el lugar los primeros en correr fueron los del grupo A, fueron a la tienda y empezaron a comprar y otra vez me di cuenta como ellos generan más ingresos en esta comunidad, esto no fue del agrado para ciertas personas, pero yo siempre estoy feliz con el desempeño de mi grupo, es así que partieron los del “ C “, y los chicos estaban un poco enojados es si que yo les dije que se tranquilizaran que no paso nada, y hice un circulo y les pregunte que habíamos aprendido el día miércoles, que especies de animales y árboles habitan aquí.
Después de esto nos embarcamos al bote para iniciar el recorrido, con nuestro guía, dónde él les fue detallando cada una de las especies de aves que hay en el lugar, ya que en esta época entre los meses, de julio y agosto las fragatas están en época de apareamiento, y observamos la gran cantidad de esta especie con su pecho característico, color rojo muy hermoso, además de que les enseño a diferenciar entre las hembras y machos jóvenes de fragatas, habían muchos tipos de aves como pelícanos, diferentes tipos de garzas.

Nos hablo sobre la profundidad del estuario antes que era de 30 a 40 metros y que ahora solo es de 5 como ingresaban los delfines, y que ahora por la deforestación el estuario tiene mucha sedimentación.

Terminado el primer recorrido ingresamos al sendero de la isla corazón, donde los primero que le enseñaron a los chicos es el propagulo, la semilla del mangle rojo, y nuestro guía también le contó que dicen que en esmeralda están los mangles más altos del ecuador y nos contó su historia que los manglares más alto estaban aquí en este estuario y que median más de 70 metros de alturas y cuando él trabajaba en camaroneras el tumbo o talo todos estos árboles y que ahora siente mucha pena por la que hizo, y que ahora el está trabajando en conservación y se dio cuenta de todo lo que hizo.

Después de ello nos hablo sobre el tanino que sacaban antes del manglar y que era utilizado para curtir cuero.
Los chicos tenían miedo ingresar por la historia de el duende que vive en el lugar, también vimos casas de termitas adema de los impactos negativos del ser humano como plásticos, después de terminar el recorrido todos regresamos a nuestro respectivo lugar los chicos de san Vicente se quedaron haya, mientras nosotros nos aprestamos a subir a la gabarra para regresar hasta bahía.
La semana que analizamos ecosistemas marinos hablamos un poco sobre nuestro recorrido en la isla corazón, por que forma parte de este ecosistema, inicie realizando una pregunta, cual es la diferencia entre el invierno y verano en nuestra bioregión.

Luis Cuellar dijo que en invierno hace calor y verano frio, Ingrid dijo que el bosque cambia de color ya que empiezan a salir sus hojas, Noemí dijo que llueve mucho en invierno, y les dije que todas las respuestas eran acertadas.
Y les dije que nuestra costa como saben ellos están influenciadas, por la corriente fría de Humboldt y cálida de el niño y por eso poseemos una riqueza ictiológica, muy grande, que el mar es una gran despensa ya que el nos brida alimentos, por su gran inmensidad se puede realizar el ciclo del agua.
Pero que el hombre también a creado grandes impactos, por la sobre explotación de la pesca, contaminantes que son depositados al mar, y que por la lluvia todas las cuencas hidrográficas depositan contaminación.
Que una gran cantidad de especies viven y subsisten con el mar, como pelícanos, piqueros patas azules, fragatas y demás especies que conocemos que hay en este tipo de ecosistemas.

Cuando realizamos el recorrido hacia punta bellaca, la marea estaba subiendo pero logramos observar una gran cantidad de crustáceos, jaibas, cangrejos, muchos equinodermos, como erizos que se encontraban en posas de agua, asteroideos como las estrellas de mar, pepino de mar, y que ellos respiran por branquias.
Pero después de esto cuando atábamos llegando a punta bellaca los jóvenes exploradores miraron la gran cantidad de residuos plásticos que estaban en la orilla del mar, y les dije que son los impactos negativos de los seres humanos, Jennifer dijo que ellos pueden ser confundidos como alimentos por otras especies marinas que las confunden con alimentos.

Una ves terminado el recorrido los chicos se bañaron y jugaron fútbol, en la playa hasta que llegaron los vehículos a recogernos y cada una retirarse a su hogar.
La semana de evaluación fue la última clase en el parque los resultados de muchos chicos y chicas fue sorprendente, podían identificar una bioregión con sus características, la importancia del medio ambiente en nuestro entorno la relación que tenemos directamente con ellos.

La elaboración de compost, la diferencia entre una especie endémica y introducida.
El día viernes se les brindo una parrillada como clausura, jugué con los chicos fútbol Raisa, Nadine, y los chicos de los diferentes grupos, se bañaron y después de comer hicimos un circulo para que los exploradores hablaran sobre lo que aprendieron, Noemí agradeció a la fundación por que les permitió estar ahí y sobre la importancia del agua y como ella antes la desperdiciaba, Luis Cuellar e Ingrid Melo también hicieron su presentación de cómo estaba constituida la bioregión de cómo podían elaborar compost.

Después de esto los chicos se retiraron y nosotros recogimos todo lo que se llevo a la playa, para después disfrutar de un baño en la playa.



Group B Professor: Nadine Flexhaug
Assistant: Roberto Rodriguez
Planet Drum Foundation
Bioregional Education Program 
Final Reports 2010

Now half way through the Bioregionalism Educational Program, everyone is a little more familiar with what a bioregion consists of and how we as human beings can interact with the environment in a more sustainable way. Covering the theme of ¨suelo¨, (soil) in week 7, we talked to the kids about the different kinds of soil and how their distinct characteristics allow certain plants to grow and flourish while others need a different type of soil to survive. We also explained the process of compost. Most of the Students hadn’t even heard of the term before, and were a little lost as to how the process works. When I began to explain that you first need to separate the garbage between organic and inorganic, I asked them what some examples of inorganic garbage are. One student, Recalde Alejandro, responded with ¨plastic bags.¨ I immediately explained to them the difference between organic and inorganic garbage and everyone began listing examples of organic like, fruit peels, seeds, vegetable leftovers, coffee grounds, etc. The students were surprised when we told them you can create a compost in your own backyard and return the organic waste back into the soil instead of throwing it out with the rest of the garbage. We talked about how much of the garbage in Bahia is organic and what a big difference it would make if we all made the effort to recycle our own organic waste. 

Nadine and a group of her kids read of Bioregionalismo material in the park.

That following Friday we went on a fieldtrip to one of Planet Drum’s revegetation sites. Clay, the coordinator of the program came along and served as our guide. He led us along a trail through the forest and pointed out some native plants, testing the student’s knowledge. Mariuxy, who is always full of energy and intrigued by every new thing she learns about the environment, quickly spotted the Palo Santo tree and was so fascinated by it’s aroma that she began collecting fallen branches and distributing them to everyone, so they could take it home and burn to keep the mosquitoes away. 

The following week we covered ¨flora¨ and went to visit Planet Drum’s greenhouse. Orlando, a Planet Drum employee met us there and explained to the students about the greenhouse and the plants which were planted inside. He was great at motivating the kids and after explaining how they were going to transplant the little trees into the plastic bottle pots, he pointed out to them the work of the other two groups which had already been there. Each group had an area full of planted trees, and the kids began to count the number of completed transplants in each group. Then, very determined, they started working together to transplant as many trees as possible. Rosa, Mariuxy, Samantha and Ariana planted the plants, Recalde and Jean Benavidez made the holes to put them in and the others went collecting bottles and arranging the planted trees. They finished with the least time and the most trees planted in all three groups. They were so satisfied with their work, they wanted to take a tree home and care for it.

On the 9th week, we talked about birds - The different species, habitats, food, migration and the threats to their habitats. The following Friday they went on a field trip to la Isla Corazon. (Click here to see photos of the trip to Isla Corazon.)I didn’t attend this field trip because I had to give exams in the University, but the kids informed me of the trip the following week and since that day it has been their favorite field trip. 

Lisette helps substitute assist with Nadine’s class.

On the 10th week, we covered the theme Marine ecosystem. I told the kids about how the currents change in summer and winter, and how this affects the whole marine ecosystem – the marine animals and fish that live in the ecosystem and the birds that feed off the fish. I asked them to name the different types of contamination in the oceans, rivers and lakes, and what they can change to no longer contaminate. Then all three groups went walking to Bellaca beach. I quizzed the students along the way asking them about the types of fauna that live in the ocean in Bahia and about the changes in the water between summer and winter. When we arrived, we set up goal posts, played soccer, Frisbee, swam, etc.

The next week was the final test. We split the kids into two groups, Roberto with one group and I the other. We each reviewed each theme with the students, focusing on key points and helping them remember by referring to the examples we had seen on the field trips. The students confidently wrote their tests, handed them in and we went to the beach. 

The last week we prepared for the open house. We have decided to make recycled paper. Mariuxy brought the molds and nets, Cagua brought the blender and the rest brought all kinds of old, used sheets of paper. I put them to work ripping the papers into very small pieces and sorting them according to the color. We are now waiting to hear when the open house will be, as it has been rescheduled, to finish the project and present it to the public. 

The closing of the program was held on the 23rd of July, on the beach. Click here for pictures from the Closing Ceremony.  All three groups, the professors, assistants, coordinator, etc. met and played on the beach. We had a barbeque and each group had 2 or 3 representatives share with everyone what they had learned and what was their favorite part of the program. We gave prizes to the best students in each group – the best assistance, the student who participated the most, etc. 

Now the program is at a close, with the open house pending. The students have asked when we are having more classes and are waiting patiently for the day of the open house.



Group C Professor: Margarita Avila
Planet Drum Foundation
Bioregional Education Program
Final Reports 2010

Translated by Clay Plager-Unger

Report # 5
Topic: Land Ecosystems

Today I explained how animal and plant life develops and explained how humans are included in this cycle. It is the most practical way of learning more of about land ecosystems. We talked about the most important topics: habitat, forests, fauna and finca (farm), or human interaction with nature. We defined habitat as a place where species of animals and flora live. We discussed the diversity of the forest and the many species that inhabit this particular area.

Farms provided an example of the positive and negative impacts of human interaction with nature, including pollution, construction of roads and the various impacts of industry. The most important point of the exercise was to raise awareness among people of our region to encourage a change in thinking and create balance with the environment. Ramon told me that the kids were great and interacted a lot. 

Fieldtrip: Cerro Seco

It was the second time that groups A, B, and C went together on a fieldtrip. Marcelo Luque worked with us and it really struck me how he and his assistants handled the three groups. They were our guides and they showed us, step by step, how to plant a tree, and the children participated in the activities.

The kids wanted to know if they could be volunteers. And they were charmed by the place. Luckily for Marcelo, a group of foreigners came to see the area and found the kids watering. They congratulated Marcelo Luque for educating the children about the environment so early on.

Report # 6
Flora Theme

The children took a test on everything they learned in the book; the best student in my group was Oscar Lucas. What an excellent child. We talked about how Ecuador is a diverse country because it contains the Sierra, the coast and lowlands, and the Oriente (jungle) and has a diverse range of flora with unique characteristics. We also discussed the importance of trees, characteristics, types of plants, and shrubs.

Our next subject was different ecological niches from humid zones to dry areas. We talked about the mangroves and their relationship with humans. To connect niches with their relation to humans we performed a special type of animated theater with the kids. I was ‘deforestation’ and I followed each of the children who represented different aspects of the environment. Afterwards each child had to give a positive message about their aspect.

Jefferson said: To be a part of the change, we need to pass on the information that we learned in this class to others so that we can have a better future.

Jefferson From Margarita’s class answer questions in the park.

Theme: Flora – Revegetation
Jorge Lomas

We walked to the revegetation site with a mother of the one of the families. Clay came with us as our guide. A mother of one of the girls in the class came along with the group. We began to carry the water needed for watering the trees. The mother participated with the group and helped us.

It was the afternoon of working together and the children asked Clay many questions, e.g., how many trees had to be watered and how long it takes the trees to grow. We shouldn’t forget about Carlitos, who is an excellent assistant and guide.

Report # 7
Topic: Soil

The topic today was the soil, which is a fundamental part of the biosphere. We talked about soil as an aspect of all life. The children learned about different soil types, and we discussed how to make compost.

The subject was extensive and interesting because many of the children did not know how little importance citizens give to our planet. They were interested in the class and commented on the negative and positive things that happen with soil and the low priority given to the problems that arise when citizens don’t protect the soil in their own neighborhood.

Margarita’s class studies in the park.

The Greenhouse

What an exciting day with lots of uproar and happiness on the bus. Arriving at the greenhouse, Orlando warmly welcomed us and we began explaining the subject matter of "how to transplant the seedlings” and all of the steps that go into the greenhouse from: how to prepare the compost, to how to nourish the earth, to how to plant a tree.

The task was fun because I taught them how to plant trees and in the end we planted 120 seedlings that day!

Report #8

Today in class I gave the children a different place to study: the beach of the bay. We began the class by cleaning the beach with the children but we couldn’t finish cleaning everything.

This gave the children an illustration of their own interactions with the environment and allowed us to take advantage of an opportunity to contribute to the area during our studies. We were actually having fun doing the task. Then we stopped to take a break in the dry sand to talk about the estuary and the importance of preserving it.
We talked about the water cycle, habitat, erosion, and sewage. During this discussion we took a moment to remember a little about what happens during the phenomenon of El Niño year. We distinguished between this natural event and humans’ interaction with nature, e.g. our contribution to soil erosion.

Field Trip

The group was so excited when I arrived. They were eagerly waiting for me because they knew we were going to go to go across the estuary. As we crossed in the barge, I began my explanation since we had a great view of the estuary from the barge. I talked to them about the mangroves and reminded them of the great variety of different species found in the mangroves and the importance of preserving this ecosystem. We walked to the bridge and the kids were surprised by the amount of debris and pollution that was there. This was a perfect example of things that humans should not do. We got back late but I took the trouble to call each parent to notify that all was well so the kids wouldn’t get in trouble.

Report #9

I was quite surprised this time, five children made landscapes out of recycled things. We talked a little about everything and we did a review of the most important points of the course. We worked with recycled bottle labels to prepare ourselves for our presentation.

Field Trip
Isla del Corazon

Click here to see photos of the trip to Isla Corazon.

This day everyone got together to go to Isla del Corazon. The people at Isla del Corazon welcomed the three groups of students, who were well organized. We boarded the boat and began to tell the children about the different types of mangroves still in existence. We taught them the important role that mangroves play in the ecosystem, as they give life to different species and provide oxygen for our environment. We saw different species such as tejeritos and frigates, and we talked about their gestation period. All the children were quite excited with the fieldtrip and with all of the new things they learned.

Report # 10

Today the kids took their final test. They were nervous but ready to fill out their questionnaires with everything they had learned. It took them a long time to answer the questions but we had time to finish a little more preparation work for the open house.

Nadia Isabel goes over class materials.

Field Trip

High tide had inconveniently come in at our scheduled time. We decided to take a walk to Punta Bellaca while looking at the landscape and going over the lessons we learned (throughout the course). We saw a mountain where you can see the types of soil, each of which provides a unique habitat for individual species. We spoke in particular about trees and saw the Guayacan that was beginning flower. Finishing the walk, the groups played games they knew and shared their topics and said they didn’t want bioregionalism to end!

Clausura (Closing Celebration)  Class Report

Click here for pictures from the Closing Ceremony. It was a very packed but emotional day; we had to prepare the awards and dinner for 60 students. With the help of volunteers we prepared the salads and appetizers, chicken skewers and the fruit juice for the kids. Clay finished buying everything and brought the grill among other things to the beach.

Evening time came and all the students ate and played on the beach. Each child gave a presentation about what they learned, their experiences in the group and his or her new way of seeing the world.



Profesor – Grupo C: Margarita Avila
Fundacion Planet Drum
Programa de Educación Bioregional
Informes Finales 2010

Informe #5 
Tema: Ecosistema Terrestre

Se los explico ese día donde se desarrolla la vida animal vegetal, en la cual nosotros como seres humanos estemos incluidos. Es la manera más práctica de aprender más sobre nuestro Ecosistema Terrestre. Hablaron de lo sistemas más importantes:

Hábitat: lugar donde viven especies, vegetales y animales.
Bosques: Lugar muy diverso; un habitado por muchas especies.
Fauna: mamíferos, aves, reptiles
La importancia de la presencia de los seres humano.
Finca: los impactes negativos y positivos. Contaminación, carreteros, industrias.
De todos estos puntos mencionados lo más importante es concienciar a los habitantes de nuestra región para que haya un cambio de mentalidad y empiecen a vivir en equilibrio con el medio ambiente. Me comento Ramón que los chicos son pilas y que interactuaron mucho.

Tema Comunidad A Cerro Seco

Fue la segunda vez que los grupos A-B-C trabajaron juntos con nosotros y me llamo mucho la atención la forma en que Marcelo Luque y sus ayudantes manejaron los grupos. Ya que, fueron los guías y explicaron, paso a paso, su trabajo, como sembrar un árbol e incluso los chicos colaboraron con ellos.

Las preguntas de los chicos fueron si podían ser voluntarios. Y eran encantados por el lugar. Ese día para suerte de Marcelo, llegó un grupo de extranjeros a conocer el lugar encontrando a los chicos regando y lo felicitaron a Marcelo Luque por la obra que fomento a los niños desde temprana edad. Suerte por el la tarde. Terminó el día y jugábamos en la playa. Se paso increíble ese día.

Informe #6
Tema: Flora

Se tomó la prueba de todo lo aprendido en el libro. El mejor alumno de mi grupo fue Oscar Lucas Solía. Excelente el niño. Aprendimos como tratar la flora. Comentamos que Ecuador es un país diverso porque tiene costa, sierra, oriente y región insular y la diversa variedad de flora con sus característicos propios de cada una de los ya mencionados. Comente de la importancia de los árboles, y sus características.

Hablamos de los diferentes nichos ecológicos por ejemplo las regiones húmedas y secas. Después hablamos de las mangles y la relación que tienen con los seres humanos, deforestación, erosión, y reforestación entre otros. Fue muy animado, hicimos una especie de teatro con los chicos y cada uno representaba uno de los puntos mencionados y yo era la deforestación y los seguí para matar a la madre naturaleza y cada uno tenía que dar un mensaje de positivismo.

Jeferson dijo: Que teníamos que transmitir lo aprendido para hacer parte del cambio y tener una vida mejor al futuro.

Tema Flora: Sitio de Revegetación 
Jorge Tomas

Caminando al sitio de revegetación una madre de la familia nos acompañó. Clay era nuestro guía. Junto con el grupo empezamos a cargar el agua necesaria para regar cada árbol sembrado y la mamá de la niña Pincay se envió al grupo y nos ayudó. Fue una tarde de integración y los chicos hicieron muchas preguntas a Clay. Referente a que cuantos árboles había que regar y que tiempo demoran los árboles en crecer. Solo me olvidé de Carlitos, el es un excelente asistente y guía a la vez.

Informe # 7
Tema: El Suelo

El tema de hoy día fue el suelo porque es la parte principal de la biosfera; la parte principal de la vida.

Discutimos como esta constituido y los diferentes tipos de suelo que hay. Hablamos del compost y como se contribuye al suelo. El tema fue extenso e interesante porque algunos niños no sabían las diferencias de desechos orgánicos e inorgánicos. 

Se interesaran por la clase y comentaron las cosas negativas y positivas de la que pasa con el suelo y la poca importancia que los ciudadanos dan al no cuidarlo en su propio barrio.

El Vivero

Muy emocionante este día mucha alegría en el bus y cosas felices. Llegando al vivero nos dio la bienvenida Orlando, fue muy amable ya nos explicó parte por parte el tema que tratamos. Les explicó como se plantan las semillas y todas las etapas que pasan en el vivero desde como se prepara el compost para nutrir la tierra hasta como siembran un árbol.

La tarea fue divertida porque les enseñé como plantar árboles. Total en ese día sembramos 120 árboles con todos los chicos.

Informe # 8

Hoy la clase se los di en un lugar diferente: en el estuario de bahía, aprovechando nuestros alrededores. Limpiamos un poco la playa. Fue divertido. No terminaron la tarea. Nos sentamos en la arena. Les pregunté ¿Que es el estuario? ¿Cuál es la importancia de preservarlo? Hablamos sobre el ciclo de agua el hábitat, erosión, aguas servidas y recordamos un poco sobre lo que pasó en el recorrido, de esa manera, demostrando un poco de que manera tomamos que manejar el impacto de los seres humanos al medio ambiente.

Informe #9

Este día les tocó la prueba final. Los niños estaban nerviosos pero dispuestos a llenar el cuestionario de todo lo aprendido les tomó un largo tiempo contestar las preguntas, pero tuvimos tiempo para terminar un poco mas de los trabajos que presentaremos para la casa abierta.

Tuvimos un inconveniente con la naturaleza, el mar justo ese día estaba lleno a la hora fijada. De la misma manera los tres grupos íbamos juntos, tomamos la dirección de ayer. Una caminata a punta bellaca mirando el paisaje y recompilando lo aprendido pudimos ver una montaña la cual muestra los tipos de suelo el hábitat de otras especies hablamos de los árboles en especial vimos el Guayacán que ya empieza a florecer. Terminamos la caminata los grupos compartieron juegos se conocieron mas e intercambiaban temas y comentaban que no quería que se termine bioregionalismo.

Informe #10

Esta vez yo quedé sorprendida. Cinco chicos me llevaron paisajes hechos por ellos con recursos recicladas. Hablamos de todo un poco. Hablamos sobre los aves en el estuario hicimos un repaso de todo lo aprendido. Estamos recogiendo las etiquetas de botellas recicladas preparándonos para nuestra presentación.

En este día todos los grupos nos unimos para salir juntos para ir a Isla Corazón. Nos pusimos muy atentamente y en un filo ordenado subimos a la embarcación. Empezaron por enseñarnos los tipos de mangles. Nos enseñaron que los mangles hacen una función muy importante en el ecosistema, que dan vida a diferentes especies, que oxigenan nuestro medio ambiente, que hay diferentes formas en que hacen un grupos y que habían sembrado manglares. Vimos diferentes especias de aves. Todos fue bien explicando y los chicos hicieron muchas preguntas. Todos los chicos eran emocionados por el viaje y con todo lo nuevo que conocieron.



 Photographs of Isla Corazon

Note: Click on photos for larger image

The BEP students arrive for the Isla Corazon visit.

The guide, Francisco, from Isla Corazon talks to the children as they ride along side the mangrove island in a boat.

View of Fragata (Frigate) birds and the mangroves.

A boat with kids driving by.

Students try planting mangrove seeds by dropping them in the mud.

The guide talks to the students on an elevated platform inside the mangroves.
Fernando explains about catching crabs.



Photographs of Closing Ceremony

Note: Click on photos for larger image

Bioregionalismo kids hanging out during the final class celebration.

Shirley presents to the other kids about what she learned during the program.

 The children present to each other about their favorite parts of the classes.

The kids get to play on the beach for the afternoon.
The different groups join up for a big game of soccer on the beach in Bahia.



(Click here for next Set of Reports)