“La Escuelita” is an after school program located in our neighboring pueblo of Macario Gomez. We are open for classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays of each week. A different group attends on each of these days.
In March, we featured lessons on world geography choosing Mexico, The United States of America, Slovakia, Great Britain, Venezuela and Japan; countries that represent our teachers and some of our volunteers. Children learned significant facts about each country, drew country flags, completed an activity related to the country’s culture and tasted typical foods. Our Japanese week included practicing brush painting technique. (see attached photos)
In April, we focused on jobs and professions. We invited members of the Macario community to come and speak about their work and Cecilia,, one of the biologist carrying out research on our spider monkey population, spoke about her struggle to receive an education, her work as a biologist and the importance of conservation.
This past week we welcomed an architect and a scenic designer, and veterinarian Dr. Juan Erazo, to talk to the children about their work. Students drew images of their “dream houses” and made a theatre out of recyclable materials. (See attached photos) Dr. Juan talked about how to care for pets, showed videos of surgical procedures and showed children how to read x rays with the help of an anatomical chart of a dog’s skeleton.
The summer program is underway with a unit on the sea and sea creatures, songs in English and free time for a number of challenging games and puzzles.
We continue our support of Save the Children and the ludoteca which has just moved into a new space across the street from the Cancha Maya, the traditional Mayan church in the ejido neighborhood in the center of Tulum. We are sharing a newly renovated building with Xcaret Flora y Fauna, an organization committed to environmental education and the preservation of Mayan culture. We look forward to serving children from the local primary schools and to working with our partners to create environmental workshops, a community garden and other activities centering on the community and its needs.
We are currently working on implementing a program in some of the local schools to bring awareness to children about the need to care for and respect all animals. The project will consist of a puppet show and hands on art workshop. Karina Rebollo,a local artist, and Kar Aguilar, an animal activitist are the writers of this grant.
Thomas Bayer, an LAT resident, has written a grant which will create a medicinal plant garden at our Community Center. The native plants will be gathered from our jungle and from other sources. .LAT residents Matthew Leach has done the design and his wife, April Larkin, has shared her expert gardening advice with our committee. The garden should be ready this winter. Once the plants are thriving we hope to hold workshops on the healing powers of medicinal herbs.