During the first week of March a class from the Cambridge School of Weston, a high school in Massachusetts, USA visited the AEP office with their three teachers, Amber Espar, Awa Diop, and Isabella Batts. The class visited Panama as part of “Science and Language in the Neotropics”, a biannual program that gives 11th and 12th grade students the opportunity to study abroad in Latin America. This year the program included a segment in Pedasi with Spanish classes at the Buena Vida Language School, home stays in the community, and hands-on learning activities.
Students worked in the AEP organic garden, with Jairo Batista, AEP’s organic gardener, and volunteers Manuel Fankhauser, Lina Castillo and Pedro Perez. In a few hours the students deconstructed the garden’s wooden compost bins and moved them to a more suitable area in the shade. They also prepared a new garden bed, mixing earth with cow manure and rice husks to increase soil fertility and reinforcing the bed with split bamboo poles. The garden project was a great opportunity for cross-cultural exchange. Jairo commented: “Sharing with other people from other cultures is very beneficial for both parties because we learn from them and they learn from us”.
Students also volunteered with local Pedasí high school students in AEP’s recycling program (Recicla Pedasí). They worked with Carmela Luciano, who coordinates AEP’s Recicla Pedasí program, to collect hard plastics and aluminum from the tanks in seven sites around Pedasí. The students then returned to the AEP office for a recycling party, painting new tanks for the community. Carmela commented: “It was a marvelous collaboration to paint the new tanks, which supports the recycling initiative in Pedasí”.
Thank you, Cambridge School of Weston, for your good work, and we hope to see you in the future!
Written by Sophie M. Fuchs