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


Index to 2007 Reports

Ramon's Weekly Report #7

Advanced Bioregionalism Education
Winter Session 2007

November 21st, 23rd

This week began early on Wednesday because everyone wanted to watch the national selection soccer game and on Friday had a bit of an adventure. The theme for the week was Natural Resources. 

Everyone had some idea of what these are, so I used the technique of a 'rain of ideas,' where everyone has to say what they think natural resources are to get a basic idea of the theme. 

Hermita said that natural resources are everywhere around us; Mathew said one is the soil. Raisa said that natural resources can be classified into three categories: renewable, nonrenewable, and permanent. 
I then asked them for examples of these different types of resources. They told me that renewable resources are those that can be recovered, such as water, plants, animals and soil, but if we aren't conscious of these resources, they can become contaminated and cause damage to all living creatures. We need to care for these resources to improve all of our lives. 

Nonrenewable resources are those with a finite limit, such as fossil fuels, which were formed thousands of years ago.

And permanent resources are those that do not run out, such as sunlight and energy from wind and the waves in the ocean.

After discussing these details about natural resources and classifying different types, we had a general discussion about this theme. We concluded that natural resources are elements that form part of nature and are all around us. Without them we would not be able to live, because human beings are also a part of them

That's why there always needs to be an equilibrium between humans and nature. Humans are the ones always using up all of the world's natural resources. Then we played a game and all of the students had a great time.

Friday was an excellent day for all of us. 

With permission, we left school at 7am to go on a hike from the Fanca neighborhood all the way to El Toro Mountain. Everyone was ready for a new adventure. 

We rented a truck to take us from Bahia to Fanca to start the hike. After the hike began, the first thing we saw was a large group of 'Negro fino' birds. 

Then we heard a bird call and Raisa said that it was a Valdivia (Falcon). Everyone scoured the landscape looking to find it. Then we spotted it, it was perched on the limb of a Ceibo tree. I explained that Valdivia is the common name, and that its full name is Halcon raidor (Lauehing falcon).

Farther up the hill we could see the brown waters of Bahia's septic filtration system, next to the Fanca neighborhood. The students asked why it was next to where people were living. I told them that the septic facility was there first, and people moved in near to it (invasion). They commented that this was a bad idea because the people could get sick from living there.    
We also had a view to the south were there are a lot of deforested mountains and smoke plumes from where farmers were burning brush. Along the hike we went past a cut-down Ceibo and Jaile. The students noticed that whoever cut down the trees didn't even bother to take the wood.

When we reached the peak, I told them about the importance of nature and how we need to take care of it. The environment is the source of natural resources, which are used for our personal needs, such as food, health and places to live. For all these reasons we are learning about its great importance and are working to preserve it.     

By the end of the hike the students had run out of water, some fell along the way, others got dizzy, and three of them got within 50 meters of the top without making it all the way. All of them returned home completely exhausted, but with the reward of knowing that they had completed the adventure.










Translated by Clay.



Ramon's Weekly Report #8

Advanced Bioregionalism Education
Winter Session 2007

November 29th, 31st

On Wednesday we met at our weekly spot in the city park. I began by asking what the students know about our topic of recycling and why they think it's important. The different answers I got were: it reduces pollution and that we can take advantage of reusing materials that most people simply throw out.

But this wasteful practice of dumping could be changed if there was more public information in the city about what can be recycled and how to recycle. There should be enforceable laws that make people recycle. One example of recycling working is the collection and reuse of old paper materials to make a new product: 'papel reciclado' (recycled paper – paper products produced by local micro-businesses.)  Another is the cardboard recycling program, led by the Municipio, where cardboard is collected and then sold to recyclers.    

In conclusion, we decided that recycling is very important because it allows for the recuperation of natural resources. As a result, fewer natural resources need to be exploited. The more recycling of paper that we do, the fewer trees we need to cut down.

On Friday, we paid a visit to the cities recycling center. Among the materials we saw that they were collecting were: aluminum, copper, cardboard and iron.

We asked them where the get all this material and they said that they separate it from the garbage they collect daily in the city. After the recycling center, we went for a walk through Bahia, where we saw a lot of discarded plastics, especially from bottled water. I explained that the students need to become part of the change and only use returnable containers instead of disposable ones.

The students commented that they've also seen another recycling center in Leonidas Plaza, where people on triciclos (three wheeled bicycles—used as alternative transportation for people and things) will take iron they collect around the city to sell. After this, we ended the class. I told the students that the following week there would not be class because of the bi-national, workshop seminar at Cerro Blanco y Puerto Hondo in the province of Guayas.

Unfortunately this week's photos were accidentally erased.

Translated by Clay.