How to help long term sustainability in the areas where our sustainable luxury hotels and lodges are located in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. An important message from our partners at Earth Equilibrium.
We”™re getting closer to midyear, the summer solstice, long warm sunny days for some, and for others, like us in Costa Rica, warm rainy afternoons. At Equilibrium (www.earthequilibrium.org) it means the beginning of our environmental education program Learning is Change; and, we”™re so excited to begin!
We are starting with 8 rural schools, 650 students, 20 teachers and lots of fun lessons about the wonderful world of water and the beauty of biodiversity! Costa Rica is a tiny country ““ a mere .1% of the world”™s landmass ““ yet it harbors almost 5% of the world”™s biodiversity, and is betting on hydropower and geothermal power to be carbon neutral by 2021. However, we”™re also a country that in 2012, per capita, used 11% more resources than what the land can actually provide; up from 3% ten years ago.
And, while we”™re protecting some of our resources through a vast network of protected areas, the last three years have been wrought with serious disputes over land, forest, and water use in these areas. Unfortunately, neither local government nor state organizations are able to effectively carry out their environmental mandates. And sadly, in Costa Rica 1 in 3 homes is poor; it is well known and documented that poverty increases pressure on the use of natural resources.
In many ways, Costa Rica is a panorama of environmental and social contradictions and uncertainties, and without doubt sometimes we feel overwhelmed by the environmental and social challenges that face our country, yet we also prefer to focus our knowledge and abilities on effective grassroots solutions. We feel that creating and sustaining a carbon neutral culture requires that every generation henceforward understand, value, and act more sustainably with each other and the planet. It necessitates the creation of a sustainability ethic, and that is exactly what Learning is Change plans to instill.
It is critical that children develop core conservation values and a sustainability ethic at an early age. If they internalize the value that protecting the environment is important and are empowered to play a direct role in preserving it, it is very likely that their knowledge and values will affect their behavior as adults. Learning is Change is competency and mindfulness based environmental education instruction. It is designed to engender a sustainability ethic, develop core stewardship values, and foster direct participation in environmental conservation activities. Plus, the lessons are full of art, music and outdoor activities, so it”™s going to be fun!
As Equilibrium, we want to become the organization for innovative environmental education in Costa Rica and”¦..who knows, probably in Central America! We are starting with eight schools but our aim, as we raise more funds, is to always work with 20 schools on a six year cycle. More importantly however, our big picture goal is develop a curriculum that the Ministry of Education will adopt and place in all public schools.
So, we are getting ready to start, to start something big, and we”™re wondering: ” Do you want to help us get ready?” Here”™s the scoop, we still need some microscopes, binoculars, projectors and laptops. If you”™re visiting one of the Cayuga Collection properties between now and mid-June and want to contribute here”™s the list of what we need:
|2 Projectors||Powerlite 99W WXGA 3LCD Projector: V11H578020 (or similar) http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/Product.do?sku=V11H578020|
|2 Laptops||Dell Inspiron 14, 7000 Series (or similar) http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-14-7437/pd|
|10 Microscopes||Vivitar 20-piece compound Microscope Kit http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=957908&Q=&is=REG&A=details|
Whetstone 5 x 30 mm Binoculars With Neck Strap and Cleaning Cloth, Black
|Videos||The following ones are available at Best Buy and come with Spanish audio. I include the SKU # to identify them correctly.|
1. The Lorax: SKU: 5768107
2. Happy Feet: SKU: 8254131
3. Rio: SKU 2960352
4. Disneynature, Earth: SKU: 9422733
5. Fern Gully, The Last Rainforest: Available on Amazon hopefully with option for audio in Spanish
If you”™re interested in helping and are coming down please send us a quick note and let us know what you plan on bringing and when you”™re visiting. You can reach us at [email protected]. Be well, and enjoy the approach of summer and all the fun things it brings.