Learning by Doing

This is one of my favorite environmental education projects. I worked with this very participatory, small middle school in Metztitlan. I say small, because there just 11 students and two teachers. The students are from grades 6-8, but really they are all in one class together. This year,  we built a school garden together with native cacti species. It was great fun and a great way to teach students about how to take care and protect cacti in their community. They will be responsible for taking care of the garden and training future students. Parents participated as well.

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This photo was taken prior to planting. The students and teachers did all the work in clearing and preparing the ground. Cacti actually grow well in rocks, because their roots spread out horizontally instead of growing deep into the soil.

 

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We laid out the cacti before planting to get a feel for what we wanted the garden to look like. All plants were purchased from a local greenhouse and NOT extracted from the wild!

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Father and daughter plant a cactus called “organo dorado” together.

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As you can imagine, handling cacti can be very painful because of their spines.  Using cardboard, we created our own tongs-like apparatus to avoid having to touch them directly.

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My boss and I plant a cactus called “liendrilla.”

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Parents were a great help that day. And yes, people do carry around machetes. 

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All done.

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And of course, we ended with comida (food).

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