September 2017 report.
Escuelita in Macario Gomez
The escuelita, or afterschool, began two years ago in Macario Gomez. B and B owners Erika Wittman and Moe Mulrooney wrote the first grant creating an afterschool for about 30 children. The program is thriving and now reaches more children with an even greater variety of activities and experiences.
Children in the pueblo of Macario Gomez do not have access to libraries, after school activities, or organized groups of any kind once they leave school. We offer them a safe and stimulating environment in which to grow intellectually and emotionally. Volunteers are on hand to provide role models and expose the children to different languages, cultures, and ways of viewing and interacting with the world at large.
In September and October, we will focus on the study of Mayan legends and science. How are these two different and the same? By creating hands on activities using the scientific method and observation children will develop critical thinking skills and at the end of our unit, reach their own conclusions. Each class will include the reading of a legend, discussion of a particular topic like conservation, indigenous plants and animals, a science based activity or experiment, and an assessment.
We have observed many positive changes in our students over the past two years and are hopeful that this program will grow organically and reach even more children in the community.
Save the Children Ludoteca in the Cancha Maya
After searching for a permanent space in Tulum for more than two years
we are pleased that the Save the Children Ludoteca has a permanent home in the newly renovated headquarters of the Centro Comunitario La Ceiba, el Corazon de Tulum. This organization is the educational arm of Xcaret and provides environmental, cultural, and educational support to the Mayan community through workshops, classes and outreach. Save the Children is very excited to be partnering with them in this venture. For more information on the work that Flora and Fauna is doing in the Riviera Maya please check out their website(http://www.florafaunaycultura.org/)
The English classes that a member of our committee offers at the Ludoteca, involve no cost to LAT. They are simply a gesture of our good will and interest in the community.
Helping Dogs in Tulum and Cuyo
Our committee has contributed to MexiPaws and their September sterilization clinic in El Cuyo. Check out their Facebook page www.facebook.com/mexipaws/
We will also donate to a November clinic for dogs here in Tulum sponsored by Help Tulum Dogs.
We continue to support the Wednesday morning glucose check for diabetics at the Municipality. This project is run by Rotary and manned by the incredible Lea Brown and Claudia Munoz. Los Arboles is proud to contribute strips to this project.
The Monkey Project
Our researchers have been following the monkeys in Los Arboles, to determine where they sleep and how they move during the day. They now are able to identify 18 monkeys based on markings and distinctive features.
We are excited to welcome two new researchers Denise Spaan, who just received her PHD from Universidad Veracruzana, and Anja Hutschenreiter who is starting her PHD. They will be at LAT for about a week helping Cecilia and doing some training in monkey census techniques and identification of vegetation. Denise will return to work with Cecilia every two months. We hope to get a new student to team up with Cecilia on a more regular basis in the next few months
Our researchers are the students of Dr. Filippo Aureli.
LAT Medicinal Garden at our Community Center
We have begun the process of creating an LAT medicinal plant garden located in our Community Center. Paths will be laid out to invite residents to walks among the beds, study the plants and learn their individual functions and usages from signs written in Spanish and English.
Thank you LAT residents Thomas Bayer for writing the grant and April Larkin and Matt Leach for creating the garden design. This will be a lovely and peaceful place to sit and contemplate the beauty of our environment and to learn about the plants that grow in our jungle.
Young musicians of Xache
We have purchased musical instruments for six students in the community of Xache in the Zona Maya, a part of the municipality of Tulum.
The students will receive music lessons from a teacher sent by The Calica Foundation. The young musicians will take part in a philharmonic concert to be held in December in Xcaret. Last year’s concert was a successful effort by The Calica Foundation and School and Xcaret to reach children in distant Mayan pueblos and give them the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument, read music, and perform in public. We look forward to this year’s concert and invite you all to attend.
Those of us fortunate enough to live in this community have a responsibility to reach out to our neighbors. We do that through our Non Profit Committee and the relationships that we have forged with individuals and a number of other non profit organizations operating here in Tulum and in the state of Quintana Roo. We can make a difference by building bridges through our environmental, educational, and health projects.
Please let us hear from you. We value your input and suggestions.
The LAT Non Profit Committee