CCFC’s Kids & Birds program has a wonderful new resource, the Warbler Coloring Book. Thanks to the excellent art work of CCFC intern and University of Mary Washington Biology major, Savannah Aldrich, CCFC has published a coloring book which includes all the warblers of the region.
Teachers and staff from Defensores de la Naturaleza came to CCFC for a four teach Kids & Birds teachers training workshop. National Park Sierra Lacandon is facing unprecedented deforestation. Defensores de la Naturaleza is making a valiant effort to protect the forests of this officially protected area. Teachers and public health promoters employed by Defensores will be teaching Aves de mi Mundo, a curriculum of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology used by CCFC in our Kids & Birds program. This teachers training was a strategic step in promoting conservation in village schools within the national protected area.
The Sierra Lacandon is located in norther Guatemala (southwestern Peten) along the Usumasinta River which forms the border of the Peten and Chiapas, Mexico. Officially the national park is a protected area but there have been many land invasions and today deforestation is rampant within the boundtries of the park.
Much of the country of Guatemala is on Red-Alert these days as tropical storm Nate passes by along the Atlantic coast of Central America. Many people in Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico are experiencing heavy rains, mudslides and other weather related set backs.
At CCFC, we are all fine. The buildings are high and dry and we’ve not had any damage. This is a great test of the quality of our new roof. And you will be happy to know that the roof is performing excellently well under the heavy rains. However the river has grown and covers a good part of the low pasture area.
Teachers and staff from Don Bosco Secondary Schools in Carcha’ and Chamelco visited CCFC on September 5th. These campuses are seeking to establish sustainable agricultural programs. Over the past ten years, Don Bosco students have participated in CCFC’s environmental education workshops and tree planting.
In preparation for a major influx of new students, CCFC is moving full steam ahead to get the dining area, kitchen and parts of the dormitory ready. On November 6, we are expecting a campus population of 150, with WALC students, peer leaders, teachers and staff. Last fall (see post below) we were able to finish two dorm rooms in this new building just before the WALC session started. This year we plan to have the kitchen fully functional, more dorm rooms ready and the large dinning all in full operation.
Thanks to you we were able to use the section of the new building that we were hoping to use on October 24. Thanks to your financial support and a big push from our workers we were able to house 40 students in the new building during the first week of session one.
Time flies when you’re having fun. The first fall WALC session started on October 24. 89 young women participants and peer leaders made CCFC’s ecology center their home for the following 25 consecutive days. It went off without a hitch. The schedule was intense but enjoyed by all. The first session came to an end on November 17.
Photo of first fall WALC session participants.
The second WALC session started on November 18. This time we received 130 young women participants and peer leaders. CCFC’s buildings are full to the brim but everyone is comfortable and well taken care of. During the second fall WALC session, CCFC is housing and feeding a total campus population of 145 people. This includes one resident researcher, seven interns (two from the US and five local) and other staff.
CCFC, in partnership with the senior class of Liceo Javier de la Verapaz, San Juan Chamelco undertook a major reforestation project with the village schools of San Pablo Xucaneb, Coban. The village of San Pablo is located at the foot of the Xucaneb mountain. The Resplendent Quetzal, a near-threatened species and Guatemala’s national bird, can still be found in the cloud forests of the mountain. San Pablo Xucaneb is also high priority work area for CCFC programs such as Artful Eyes, Kids and Birds, and the scholarship program.
As a part of their senior project, 10 senior students from Liceo Javier made several visits to the village of Xucaneb. With guidance from CCFC, the students defined and mapped areas for reforestation. Students then met with village leaders and private landowners to agree upon a plan for reforestation. On July 6, CCFC provided 500 seedlings for the first installment in this project. Students from Liceo Javier worked with local students to plant target tree species.
When finished, this reforestation and stream bank restoration project will cover 8.629 acres. In terms of overall environmental impact, maybe it is a drop in the bucket, but it’s a start. This project is also another opportunity for CCFC to reach the teachers and the youth of this village and to advocate for the long-term appreciation and protection of the cloud forest.