Nature, Events

The Voice Scholarship Helped 25 Students and Professionals Learn About Environmental Contrasts in Guanacaste

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What do the source of a river, a forest, a mangrove, a garbage dump and a nature reserve have in common? There is one answer: they are all ecosystems surrounded by human beings. We have had a very positive impact in some while we have ruined others.

The Voice of Guanacaste awarded scholarships to 25 students and professionals to participate in a workshop about resilience and climate change. The scholarships included everything from food to free discussions thanks to the financial support of the Craig Newmark journalism school of the City University of New York (CUNY).

Participants came from fields like communication, anthropology, sociology and education, and were able to closely observe the environmental contrasts of some of Guanacaste’s communities. The goal is that they can take back to their communities, classrooms and media concern for looking at ecosystems as part of their lives and not as “resources” for monetary gain.

Here is a summary of what we experienced during the workshop:

On Friday, we visited the Monte Alto reserve in Hojancha, which has an astonishing history of forest recovery to protect its water resource. This feat began 30 years ago, when they succeeded in saving their aquifers and the Nosara River, whose source is right there.

 

We went all the way to the river’s mouth at the Pacific Ocean, at Lagarta Lodge, a hotel located in the middle of a nature reserve. There, they presented their sustainability and resilience plan to us. We also talked about the environmental buffer project in Nosara with Ethel Araya, president of the Nosara Civic Association.

 

We ended the day learning the story of Christian Zumbado, who decided to dedicate himself to recycling when he realized that he wants to leave a legacy for his son. Today he is the administrator of Nosara Recycles.

On Saturday morning, we traveled to the Guanacaste Conservation Area, which has been struggling for 35 years to recover the forest. We had the honor of listening to Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs, American ecologists and conservationists.

We finished the camp with a session on resilience journalism with our editor Maria Fernanda Cruz and Dale Willman, climate resilience program manager at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. At the end of the day, the participants surprised us with proposals for subjects that they will work on to use the new things they learned from the course.

 If you know any stories about resilience, share them in the comments. We are interested in reading about it.

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