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THE FOREST: Center for Learning and Sustainable Living
SUMMARY: THE FOREST seeks to rescue a property of pine-oaks located in Chiapas, Mexico, y transform it into a unique experience of coexistence, education, awareness and responsible usage of the environment.
WHAT IS IT?
An educational center which offers a unique and privileged experience of closeness, learning and awareness of sustainable life in its different dimensions:
WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES?
· To rescue a threatened forest and convert it into an authentic and effective reference of handling of and coexistence with the natural environment.
· To promote awareness amongst the population of effective ways of living sustainably based on direct and functional experiences.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
· It consists of a limited space of one hectare and a half (15,000 square meters) of pine-oak forest located in the municipality of Teopisca, Chiapas, Mexico, at an altitude of 1700m.
· It offers different areas and activities that allow the visitor to participate directly in experiencing ecology, education and sustainable living.
· The visitor may observe, experiment, learn, transform, appreciate, become aware, share and enjoy a threatened environment in the form of an achieved complete conservation area.
WHICH ARE ITS COMPONENTS?
· Reproduction of endemic flora.
· Reforestation and integral forest management.
· Handling of domestic and wild fauna from the region.
· Integral systems of agricultural production: composting, vermicomposting, green fertilizers, vertical vegetable gardens, traditional vegetable gardens, hydroponics, comprehensive farm, agroforestry, among others.
· Accommodation in quarters built using various experimented technological techniques that are fit for the site.
· Food products from the farm and other similar experiences.
· Recreational and coexistence spaces that are responsible towards the environment.
· Appreciative hiking.
· Responsible coexistence with flora and fauna.
· Hands-on learning and knowledge of techniques, systems, experiencies and effective models of sustainable living.
· Learning of the high level of diversity present in Chiapas, Mexico and the rest of the world.
· Use of effective systems of renewable energies in all the spaces of the Center.
· Use of optimization techniques and responsible handling of residues and resources in the entire Center.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
· Because a novel and long-term reference will be consolidated that responds to specific environmental problems and exemplifies that sustainable living is a real path accessible to all beyond political and esoteric discourses.
· Because almost everyone today is more ecologically conscientious about our environmental impact, but we still don’t encounter effective places that allow us to learn and pursue our ecological conscience in real and daily actions in environmental care and handling.
· Because many important experiences in these issues exist but unfortunately remain inaccessible to the population at large and become experiences almost exclusive for experts. With this project we aim to offer palpable sustainable experiences to all.
· Because the references in nature handling are almost always located in big ecological reserves, and there are few experiences in small areas that, in the end, are the kind of spaces in which we live every day.
· Because we seldom have the opportunity to have in one same place real experiences in environmental education together with esthetic, fun, recreative and cultural experiences.
· Because we have the experience and the operational capacity for the project, as we are an institution established ten years ago, constituted by professionals in diverse scientific, artistic and cultural disciplines, in social and sustainable development, in education and in social sciences.
WHO OPERATES THE PROJECT?
Germinalia A.C. is an authorized non-profit with the full legal, administrative and operative structures necessary to carry out the project. Constituted by professionals in different disciplines and areas, it has received national and international recognition for its’ committed endeavor towards society and the environment. www.germinalia.org.mx
As of 2004 it has operated projects like El Ingenio, Center for Learning and Creativity Development in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas a learning community with visible impacts in the improvement of educative and socio-cultural conditions of girls, boys and youth in the Altos de Chiapas region. www.elingenio.org.mx
WHICH ARE THE STAGES?
-STAGE 1: (We start here thanks to your valuable support)
· Aquire the land.
· Delimit the area with hedgerows
· Build a rainwater collection and irrigation tank.
· Elaborate an compehensive management plan
· Building of basic infrastructure
· Tracing and facilitation of nature trails
· Building of ecological spaces for accommodation
· Building of ecological spaces for meals and socialization
· Facilitation of integral vegetable gardens and educational farm
· Opening of the space
· Extension of green infrastructure and services: vegetable gardens, farm, greenhouses, aviary, accommodation, common areas, educational spaces.