In addition to teaching every guest a bit about ecology of the surrounding rainforest, the Pacuare Lodge has launched an environmental education program for schools in the communities closest to the lodge and Pacuare River. Our goal is to raise awareness among local elementary school students of the importance of protecting their environment, and to promote the adoption of good practices that will help them have a more balanced relationship with nature, to live in an ever-healthier environment, and preserve natural resources for future generations.
The project began with a bibliographical review of books, magazines and Internet sites covering the varied themes and methodologies of environmental protection. Then teams of river guides and Pacuare Lodge employees were trained to give presentations at the schools in the communities of Bajo del Tigre, Linda Vista, Santa Marta, Guayacán, El Coco and Betania, near Siquirres, where our warehouses and laundry are located. The presentations emphasize sustainability, in a practical, simple way, and urge the kids to adopt good habits, emphasizing the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. This theme is reinforced during the snack shared during each visit, since we use only non-disposable containers, cups and plates. The children also plant native tree saplings around their schools and communities. Among the principal issues we want the children to understand are:
• The importance of water in their environment and the need to conserve water and protect water sources.
• The importance of energy for human beings and the tools and techniques for conserving it.
• Basic concepts about the local flora and fauna and the principals of their protection.
• The basic principals of managing garbage in our communities.